Near 500 words: TW and the Missing Postcard

Episode 10 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) looked through the postcards again. The first one was postmarked April 2, 1990. He laid the second one down on the table. Postmarked 1991. Again a third postcard and a fourth. Year by year they came, all laid down in chronological order until he came to 2018, then there were no more.

He went through the cards to see if any were stuck together. They weren’t. Then he counted them. Twenty-nine.

Here it was the beginning of May and no yearly postcard had arrived. Had something happened to Sylvia? If it had, how would he know?

He picked up the 2018 postcard. He studied the picture. Before him was a small village with Mount Everest rising above the village. The several people in the photograph were dressed in colorful clothes. Their features reminded TW of American Indians.

As he studied the card, he imagined Sylvia, dressed in the colorful clothes, her green eyes looking out at him with a smile on her face. Her face was peaceful. He missed her. He really missed her. For the first time, he regretted not going with her.

He then turned the card over. It was postmarked Nepal. He read the few words of text on the card in Sylvia’s delicate handwriting.

“Have landed here at the end of the world. After all these years, Maybe this is the end of the rainbow I’ve been searching for. Finally.” The card was signed Sylvia and there was that calligraphy below her signature. What did the words mean?

He reread her message several times, then stood up and went to the kitchen and heated up water for coffee. He looked outside. The sun was setting.

He headed through the kitchen door and out onto the porch. The sky before him was colored reads and oranges and yellows with streaks of blues from the sky. Thoughts in his head ranged over the last thirty years. What had he done with all that time? It was a mystery to him.

The novels he had meant to write. The stories too. Only ten published stories and a few people. Then it hit him square in the face. All his poems and stories had been about Sylvia. Maybe that had been why he had not been able to start a novel. Sylvia wasn’t in the writing of it.

The sun had gone down, and now it was dark. Night had creeped in with only a few stars and no moon. Just like night had creeped inside of his brain. A darkness he couldn’t understand. He was frightened.

Back inside the house, he poured himself a cup of coffee, flipped on the light switch and sat back down with the postcards before him. He picked up the first one. Timbuktu. In the background, a large brown structure like a castle wall and three towers. In front of the clay building, several women carried large blue jugs on their heads. A Bedouin rode a camel across the frame.

And something else too. Something he had not noticed before. Sylvia in a long yellow dress and brown sandals, walking down the steps leaving the brown building. Then she smiled at him.