It’s First Line Friday at The Haunted Wordsmith Blog!

The letter arrived today, even though there was no mail delivery service on Sunday.

A courier service brought it around 11:00 AM. I assumed it was important, either really good news or very bad, and quickly tore the envelope open to find …nothing. Tommy must’ve forgotten to slip the note — or whatever had been so critical — inside.

That was just the way Tommy rolled. He often failed to think things through. He could just as easily have put a stamp on the (empty!) envelope and tossed it in a mailbox, or even picked up the phone but that would’ve been too easy, I guess.

Tommy’s eccentricities presented about the same time his pet spider monkey arrived on the scene. Tommy had begged our parents for a pet monkey for months. Finally, they bought him one. Tommy named him Godzilla, which turned out to be a harbinger of future events. Godzilla and Tommy had gotten along fine at first, but as Godzilla grew older, he also became more aggressive. Soon, Tommy was walking around with black eyes, unexplained cuts and bruises, and tufts of hair missing. He also seemed fearful and his grades at school plummeted. Finally, he confided in our father that Godzilla was beating the shit out of him almost every day, and could he please find him a new home. Fortunately, Dad was able to find Godzilla a lovely home with spider monkeys his own age where they would all enjoy beating the shit out of each other.

One might assume that after Godzilla’s relocation, Tommy’s life had gone back to normal, but one might be wrong. His life only became more complicated; nothing was ever simple.

One summer afternoon as he fed the seagulls, an alarming thought entered Tommy’s mind. What if more seagulls came to eat the leftover bread after Tommy went home? How would they know who had left it for them?

Eventually, Tommy sorted it out: He would leave his driver’s license near the bread, so the late-comers would see it and know that it was Tommy they should thank. It’s the only thing that made sense (to Tommy). But, when he went back the next day to retrieve his license, it was nowhere to be found. Either the tide came in and carried it out to sea or perhaps, as Tommy deduced, one of the seagulls was playing a trick on him. What else was there to do but wait for the prankster to show up with his license? So, Tommy made himself comfortable and commenced to wait, and wait…and wait.

After two days, a policeman noticed a disheveled Tommy sitting on a bench and asked him for some identification. Of course, Tommy could not produce any. After explaining the situation, Tommy selflessly invited the policeman to wait with him for the seagull’s return.

The policeman politely declined.

And this is how Tommy won a Blue Cross vacation at Sunny Acres Mental Health facility for an undetermined amount of time.



“Hey Sis, it’s me. Did you get my letter?”

“I got an empty envelope, if that’s what you mean.”

“Oh, good ! I was worried.”

“Tommy, why did you send me an empty envelope?”

“To let you know that nothin’ was going on.”

“But why pay for a courier?”

“Because I wanted you to know at that particular moment, nothin’ was going on.”

“You could’ve called…like you are now?”

“But then there would’ve been no reason for the envelope, silly!”



Susan Marie Shuman/ SusanWritesPrecise




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