The Tale of the Haunted Mailbox

October 3, 2007

It only took a few weeks for Gregory got used to the haunted mailbox.

Now, a mailbox is not normally an object of ghostly or demonic possession, and even when it is, it is hardly the most frightening repository for malevolent spirits. Furthermore, one usually expects an obvious reason for why said spirits have taken up inhabitation – but Gregory’s mailbox had gone for years without showing the slightest inclination for the dark arts.

And yet, one simple afternoon, Gregory had opened the mailbox to procure his daily allotment of bills, ads and well-wishings… and was assaulted by a thunderous cacophony of voices. They spoke in a language just beyond the edge of understanding, a hundred clashing voices screaming, shouting, whispering, moaning, and they did not cease until he grabbed his mail (for he didn’t want to open it a second time) and slammed the mailbox shut.

Being a rational man, he considered whether this was a sign of mental instability, as the appearance of mysterious voices occasionally is – but he concluded that this was far too specific an incident to represent any sort of madness. This wasn’t necessarily an accurate conclusion, but it happened to be correct. His mailbox had become a portal to a hellish realm of agony and despair. All that could pass through the portal, admittedly, was sound and noise, but it was a troubling circumstance nonetheless. He resolved to put the matter from his mind and hope it was gone by the next day.

It was not.

The voices were harmless, however, and he could hardly leave his mail to go uncollected, so every day he braced himself for the screams of the damned, rapidly snatched his mail from the box, and slammed the portal closed before continuing his day.

And, three weeks later, he had grown used to the situation. It happened to be just around the start of October, and his neighbors had apparently concluded that it was merely an early halloween prop, done in poor taste. He didn’t know what the mailman made of it – but the mail arrived everyday without fail, so it clearly wasn’t a problem. Gregory came to the private belief that mailmen must deal with such troubles all the time, and just as rain and snow and sleet would not bar their way, no less would they be stopped by otherworldly hell-portals.

At the time, however, Gregory didn’t stop to think on all those stories about postal workers who had gone mad – or just what had driven them to do so. And so he made the unforgiveable mistake of putting the portal from his mind, no longer worrying about it, and continuing on with his life in the usual fashion.

You see, all that could get through the portal were words – but words can have their own type of power. And when Gregory stopped worrying about them, and grew used to them… well, he stopped fighting their influence, and that was when he was lost.

The more power over him his mailbox had, the more physical reality it gained. It became a magnet for trouble – kids running down the street would trip and slam into it, or children riding bikes would lose control and impale themselves upon it. It was never injured by the disasters, and it never actually claimed a life – but it was fed a steady diet of blood and pain, and continued to grow stronger.

Soon it would be unstoppable, and the portal would open, and the world would burn.

So you see, officers, why I had to step in and take action? I saw it every day, on my route, and heard the voices of the damned growing more powerful. Gregory was lost to them, and no one else realized the danger – so I had no choice but the take an axe to it, and make sure Gregory was cleaned from the influence as well.

You understand, don’t you? I see this sort of thing all the time, and I’m content to ignore it while on my route, but sometimes one has to go above and beyond their standard duty, for the good of mankind.

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