Day 146

Prompt: You come into work one morning and the dry erase board by your desk has a note on it that you didn’t write. You assume it’s a coworker friend so, just to amuse yourself, you respond to the note on the board with your own note. The next morning you come in and there’s…

 

a website written on the board. You pause, thinking this has to be a joke, that maybe you’re about to get Rick Rolled again. You type it into your computer, shaking your head as you press enter. A black screen appears and on it is an image. It’s a picture of your brother, the one who died in a car crash six years ago. He looks different, almost like he’s older. The picture is dated two days ago.

“What kind of sick joke is this?” you ask the webpage, moving your mouse to close the window.

A message pops up on the screen. Click here if you want the truth. You pause, finger hovering to click and close the window. You know he’s dead. You saw his body at the funeral. You held his cold hand and asked him for forgiveness for all the times you teased him. But what if…

You click on the message, holding your breath as the image slowly fades. A new message pops up. We’ll be in touch.

Your computer flickers and shuts down. It’s dark for a minute, not responding to any of the buttons you push before it finally starts up again. It loads normally like nothing happened. You open a browser and type in the address again. Error 404 – page not found.

Puzzled, you lean back in your chair.

“He looked older,” you whisper to yourself. “How can he be older?”

A knock at the door brings you back.

“Mail delivery! Whoah, is everything alright? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

You smile half-heartedly. “Yeah, just remembering my brother. Come on in, John.”

John comes in, sitting down as you close the web browser.

“He died a while ago, right? That’s never easy. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine. I’ve had years to come to peace with it. Mail delivery?”

“Yeah! This came for you this morning. No return sender.”

“Thank you,” you say, taking the envelope from him. “Have a good day, John.”

“You too, thanks.”

He leaves slowly, looking back at you with a worried expression. You smile, a fake smile meant to soothe others and get them to stop asking questions. The envelope only has your name written on it. You sniff it, looking for any clue as to where it came from. It smells disappointingly normal.

You open it carefully, turning it over and dumping out the contents. A small piece of paper flutters onto your desk. There, printed in neat letters, is an address.

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