Pre Cards

“Keep writing,” the tone wavered between hope and command. “No. No that. It wasn’t that.” She flipped past another postcard, reached for a cigarette and took a shaking drag.


It had been two weeks, both of them holed up in a hotel room writing postcard after postcard. The room service bill alone would wipe them out if they had any intention of paying it.

“I don’t remember what it said!” She tapped the light card with the tip of the pen. “Whose handwriting was it in?”

“I’m sure it was yours,” another nervous pull on the cigarette.

Her hand was cramping as she began again. Salutation. Brief message. Sign off. Address, well, that was easy because they found it here a fortnight ago, dated tomorrow. A warning. “But you can’t tell me what the warning was?” She grabbed the wine glass at the foot of the bed, scowled at its stubborn emptiness, refilled, drank. Perhaps she needed to be drunk, perhaps the words would come in those stretching gaps between thought.

“I think I might just tell us not to waste our lives here,” she declared. She looked at the card and started doodling and scribbling. “I want to go now.” She stood up, threw the last card on the pile and left. The back was covered in pictures. Two people, hearts, the sun, all slashed through with thick strokes of the pen. A grey smear of dropped ash.

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