Miss Julie was just trying to mail a letter. She walked down to the post office, clutching the envelope in her fist. Inside was a thank-you card she’d been meaning to mail for months, to a work acquaintance who had given her a novelty mug for her birthday.
The writing of the card was a saga of its own. She spent weeks weeks halfheartedly reminding herself to buy a card at Walgreens, and waking up nights with a pang of guilt at her ungratefulness, especially since she used the mug every day for her morning coffee. She had been to Walgreens before to search for a card, and several times had abandoned the aisle after failing to find the perfect one. The classic flowered cards were all so boring, but the edgier ones risked missing the mark, and the fancy ones were too expensive…
Finally, on August 6, she forced herself to just pick one. It was a classic thank you card with a drawing of a vase of flowers, and the words “Thank You” curlicued around it. Proud of herself, she paid $4.99 (an acceptable price), wrote the card hastily and dropped it in the mailbox at the post office. On her way out, she narrowly missed this horrifying specter lying in wait at the curb, its evil reflection glimmering in the mirrored bumper of a parked car.
She avoided disaster and headed home. Later that afternoon, she remembered with a pang that she had forgotten to thank her frenemy Gail for her birthday gift, a tangerine-scented candle that had scented her bathroom nicely for a couple of months. She vowed to get the card the very next day.