by Bill Schott
‘Who writes letters these days?’ Jack wondered as he opened the envelope.
Inside was a brittle, weathered document. He saw that the printing was erratic and uneven. Closer inspection revealed that the words were written on a slant to the right. He noted that the salutation was Dear Jack, which established an informal opening that needn’t cause alarm.
Jack began reading, occasionally looking over his shoulder.
Stationery washed up. So long since I have written a letter to anyone.
‘That’s what I was thinking. What scrawl!’
We were castaways after our ship sank. Clinging to flotsam and jetsam, we were washed up on the shore of a deserted island.
‘Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…’
We were five souls trapped on a remote piece of dirt. A few trees supplied us with food, but we were soon starving.
‘Uh oh. This doesn’t sound like it will end well.’
Time became a blur. Only day or night was apparent. Each of us knew that sooner or later one of us would perish, and the rest would eat his body. This condition did not occur along with our desperation, so it was decided that Ed would be strangled and consumed.
‘Oh my god!’
Once we were gorged, I saw that the others were weak and vulnerable. I struck each with a heavy rock until all were dead.
This will be my final act. With the blood of friends as ink, and a bone shard as my quill, I complete this letter, which I write with my left hand, since I have eaten most of the right. I leave it for you, Jack, so perhaps this moment of clarity will remind you of what you have done.
After this, you will walk into the welcoming sea.