English short story I watching my new television. The programme was a western, a very tedious western. I wasn’t an expert in that sort of films but I knew this was very bad. I was taking my fifteenth handful of popcorn when I felt the tiredness gripping into me. Five minutes later I was sleeping like a baby on my sofa. A light filtered through my eyes and I woke up with a start. I looked at my watch and I saw it was 9 am. I was going to be late to the library. I stood up rapidely and went to the kitchen. Then I moved towards the bathroom to have a shower. When I was finally ready to leave, it was already 9.45 am. I took automatically the mail. There was just one letter. There was no return address on the envelope, which was a little weird, because Americans always do that. Already I was slightly uneasy. Even more so when I saw my name and adress – it looked like it had been done by someone who’d just learned to write. (Or more likely, the old writing-with-your-lefthand-to-disguise-your-handwriting trick. Wouldn’t it have been easier to type the damn thing?) The sensible woman would not have opened it. But, apart from a short period between the ages of twenty-nine and thirty, when had I ever been sensible? So I opened it. I hadn’t finished to take the small paper which was inside the phone rang. It was Andy (my husband) who wanted to know how I was. My concentration of return to the letter, I read it. Lou Trelawney place Saturday 11.pm Come alone There was no signature. I was anxious but not afraid. I put the letter in my hand bag,took my keys and went to my car. All Friday long my brain was filled by questions without answers : who? why? The stress was growing into all my body. Me, Mary Curly, the simple librarian maybe threatened by an unknow person. But why? And the list of questions started spinning in my head. And Saturday was no better. Considering that I had no occupation, the questions were event more present in my mind. When the evening finally arrived, I was with the roofs of excitation. I called Andy to warn him I would not be at home when he would come back. So I went to the famous Lou Trelawney place. Arrived there, I sat on a bench and waited. Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, still nobody in the picture. At the end of twenty minutes, I listened to some noises of steps. It was a little boy who was carrying a box in his arms. He came towards me and gave me the box which was very light. Then he made a half turn and left, running away from me. I didn’t want to open the box in the car so I came back home. Andy hadn’t arrived yet. It was bizarre but I was in a hurry to see what was in the package. I raised the lid and
deposited it on the table. At the bottom of the box, there was an other letter. But this time, my name and adress were not registered on it. I took it and opened it. Yet inside, there was again a paper. It was the same as the first one but the sentence was slightly different. Behind Quake restaurant Monday same hour Come alone I was relieved because I knew it was not dangerous to come to the appointements. Moreover the Quake was my favourite restaurant. Quite right: the chef of kitchen was Andy. While thinking about him, where was he? I hadn’t seen him in a while. I decided to go to bed and wait for him with a book. Twelve minutes later, I listened to the door which was closed by someone. I stood up and went to see. It was Andy. I kissed him and asked why he hadn’t come earlier. He answered there was a traffic jam. The following day, I decieded to go and do some shopping because Andy needed shoes. I went to the shopping center and began my round for sports shops. At the end of one hour, I found a pair of blue tennis shoes with small cramps in the form of stars. Andy would be happy: he would be able to jog more often. I bought them and got back home. All the afternoon long I tidied the house and dealt with the garden because it was very messy. At 18.00 pm, I listened to Andy who was in the livingroom, I gave him the shoes. He was very happy because for a time I didn’t get the right size. He took size 43 but I always took a 41 one. I didn’t know why. On Monday, at the library Andy came to have lunch with me. He was wearing his new shoes. He said they were very confortabe. More, with the cramps, he didn’t slide on the ice and snow. I was very pleased he was he had be able to come and see me. He was really the best of husbands! At the agreed hour, I came to the restaurant. I went in the short street next to the Quake. When I arrived behind it, I sat down on a bench and looked around. I coudn’t see very far because of the night but I was sure there was nobody. Ten minutes later, I prepared for leaving when I saw a man who was arriving. He was tall and muscular. He wore a very long black coat and a hood on his head. I was afraid. I don’t remember very well what happened but I know he said to me:”Be careful, somebody wants your death. Don’t accept the money and leave rapidely. Leave very far and don’t come back”. Then he turned over and retraced his steps. I was paralyzed with terror. To relax my body, I leaned over. On the floor, which was covered with snow, I saw some small tracks. They were the same as the cramps under the
Andy’s new shoes. I thought I was very stupid to think my husband wanted to kill me. The stress made me be delirious. I decided to come back home in the fourth speed to sleep and to forget I was in danger of death. I think it was dangerous to stay in that area. When I arrived home, Andy was not in yet but I was too much blown to notice it. I took automatically the mail and saw there was an other letter for me. At once, my heart started again to beat strongly. I opened it and saw it was not this horrible writing I hated so much. On the contrary it was a small itallic and fine one. Once I had need the letter I put it back in the enveloppe. One of my uncle had died and I was inheriting a lot of money. “Don’t accept the money...” this sentence returned in my memory instantaneously. I decided to sit on my sofa, to put on the television and to eat something because it was so much for me in so little time. About fifteen minutes later, Andy came back and went directly to the kitchen. He took something in a drawer and approached to kiss me. But contrary to what I thought, he didn’t intertwine me. He put under my throat a very big butcher’s knife and howled me: “If you die, I’ll have your heritage. Go upstairs and jump by the window. It will be a suicide I won’t have any trouble...” “Mary, MARY!!! Wake up, OUHOUHH are you listenning to me?” I awoke in a start. My body was covered with sweat. Andy was in front of me he was giving me a letter. He said: “There is a letter for you my darling! I’m sorry I couldn’t get back home earlier but there were some traffic jams. Well, I’m tired I’m going to bed.” And I listened to the credits of the bad film that was on television. I took the enveloppe and opened it. It was a letter of the funeral services. My uncle had died...