. . . . . .
He sat in a jalopy, directly across the street from the restaurant, in the parking lot adjacent to the taxi stand. He knew that neither he nor his wreck stood out. He’d planned it that way. Hidden behind large square reflective sunglasses and a red baseball cap, he grinned when she walked out of the restaurant and climbed into her car. Knowing she’d received the drink, he was curious about her reaction, but it didn’t really matter, he decided; he was pleased whether she drank it or not. He followed discreetly unobserved until she entered the Mall parking lot. Time to leave another little message, he decided.
Waiting until she parked and was on her way inside, he pulled into the vacant parking stall beside her abandoned vehicle. The window was open a half an inch, just enough to drop another envelope into the car. Someone was approaching so he quickly drew back, hopping into his truck to speed away. There was no need to take unnecessary chances he decided.
. . . . . . . . . .
Eilea was soon immersed in work, the remainder of the day passing quickly. She forgot all about the picture until after dinner. While putting her keys in her purse it fell to the floor.
Retrieving the envelope, she inspected both front and back and other than the stamp and postmark dated a week ago with no return address there was nothing else of note. How strange she thought. Dropping the photo onto the coffee table, she sat back and sipped an ice tea. The kids scurried through the door and the note was consigned to oblivion when the free-for-all started.
“Hey, keep it down, the neighbours will figure we’ve imported a bunch of elephants.”
“Oh, mom, you worry too much,” Christina suggested.
“Just sayin’,” she responded.
Then Andrew piped up with, “Yeah, yeah, we know.”
“Well . . . “
“Ok, Ok, we get it,” Andrew said before winking her way.
“Hey, what’s for dinner?”
“I thought we would have some Curried Chicken Salad, Garlic Bread and a Fruit Flan for dessert.”
“Alright!” Andrew whooped. “When do we eat?”
“As soon as the table is set.”
“Ok, I’m on it.”
During dinner, they caught up with the day’s events as Andrew narrated a joke Eilea decided was pretty earthy. Amongst the hub-bub of cleaning, clearing, and homework, the note was accidentally stacked with some fliers and forgotten.
About a week later, Eilea went to pick up the mail and found another unmarked envelope. “It couldn’t be!” She thought. Looking the envelope over carefully she noted just as before, there was no return address and it was written in the same handwriting as before.
Cautiously opening the envelope, she found a flattened dead petal from a yellow rose inside, tightly wrapped in crumpled tissue paper. She kept telling herself that it was just a flower and didn’t mean anything, but she couldn’t quite make herself believe it. The envelope contained nothing else. She shivered; there was a macabre feeling about this she couldn’t explain. Even as the eerie feelings assailed her and she shivered apprehensively, she was torn between keeping the thing and throwing it away then decided upon the latter.