Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #271

Nadine: “Why are you handing this to me?”

Postman Pete: “It’s addressed ‘To the Lady of the House’.”

Nadine: “You’re assuming that this is my house. And that I’m a lady.”

Pete: “You did sort of walk out the door just now.”

Nadine: “That doesn’t prove anything. I could have killed the people inside and I was trying to make my escape when you rudely walked up.”

Pete: “Well, I didn’t see or hear anything and I’m on a schedule. So could you just take the letter and I’ll rudely walk away.”

Nadine: “Why do you show up here every day? Are you stalking me? I’ve read about people like you. Did your mother neglect you as a child? Did you not get enough porridge?”

Pete: “My mother was a saint and I got porridge every day. And before you ask, Father was aces as well, we couldn’t be closer and I call both of them every day and people have written songs about how happy our family is. Now would you please take the letter?”

Nadine: “It’s my hair, then.”

Pete: “What?”

Nadine: “You fancy my hair. You want your hair to look like mine. I know you’ve been practicing, trying to style it just like I do. But you botched it this morning and now you’ve hidden the mess under that ridiculous hat the size of a bathtub.”

Pete: “I have no feelings whatsoever about your hairstyle or your dress or the fact that whoever is legally responsible for you is not doing their job. Just. Take. The. Letter.”

Nadine, sighing, taking, then shoving back: “I don’t want it. It bores me. Return to sender.”

Pete: “Fine, I will do just that. I’ll send it back to… hey, the return address is the same as this address. Did you send this letter to yourself?”

Nadine: “Perhaps.”

Pete: “For the love of God…”

Nadine: “God had nothing to do with it. My internet connection has been down for three days and I was bored out of my mind. Would you like to come in for some tea? I can fix that botch you’ve made of your hair. And I just got the latest beauty kit from Vidal Sassy Soon. We can frost your tips! The proper amount of highlighting can change your life.”

Pete: “I have no intention of… wait, what kind of tea?”

Nadine: “Better than what you can afford on your government salary. Previous visitors have reported experiencing small orgasms at the aroma alone.”

Pete: “I see. What kind of sandwiches will you serve? And will they be crust-less?”

Nadine: “Cucumber, and of course. The rest of the people in this town might be unrepentant heathens, but I’m certainly not. No offense.”

Pete: “None taken. I suppose I could consider this my lunch break, even though I’ve already taken three, what with this being a government job.”

Nadine: “Splendid! Let’s retire to the parlor.”

They entered the domicile, giddily.

Nadine bolted the front door, discreetly.

Rod Serling entered the frame, seriously. “Mail delivery is a tricky thing, an erratic quirk of the human experience. Sometimes everyone gets a postcard from a loved one. Sometimes that loved one is never seen again. Such are the risks of The Highlight Zone…”


Previous Footnote: Originally published in “Crusty Pie” and “Bonnywood Manor”. The ending was considerably changed and lengthened for this post, because I just can’t leave a story alone even after I thought I was done frosting the tips…

New Footnote: I didn’t change squat this time, other than screw around with the footnotes. I’m trying to train myself to leave well enough alone, as mucking about can destroy a dish that already has all the right ingredients. Of course, I will probably adhere to this new life vision for roughly five hours…


25 replies »

  1. That dress looks like a burlap sack. And he looks like he’s wearing a bucket. Must be a match made in that weird white house. You know, the one with the orange glow and the ghost-ridden televisions and the skeletons in the closets. 😉


  2. I was going to mention that not so subtle little bump in the midst of the mailman’s starchy coat, but then things became clear as to which way his bump blows… Um. 😐 And what are those stains on Madam’s (no profiling intended) frock? Someone needs to fire the maid who does the family washing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I spied the bump as well (instinct, I suppose) but I couldn’t quite work it into the story.

      I would imagine Nadine’s stains are from the last visitor whose last meal was cucumber sandwiches. Things got a bit messy…


    • Let’s just keep this between ourselves: I actually DID write that novella, but my mind went places it shouldn’t have and the end result proved a bit more salacious than intended. I quietly parked the story in an obscure folder…

      Liked by 1 person

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