A Letter in the Mail

What story could this image tell? Use your imagination to write the opening of a short story or poem inspired by this illustration.

Comments: 28

  1. After viewing the New York Times image "A Letter in the Mail" I think that the image is trying to show the letter as our future or what we are went to be. Mail goes through many people before it gets to us, so I think that what we are meant to be will depend on many others. We also need to help of others to get where we are going in life. Overall I think the image shows that we can not go through life alone.

  2. The mailman sticks his human hands into his mailbag and I feel his fingers slide in to grab me. I inwardly sigh as he shoves me into the mailbox and tilts the red stick up as a sign to the receiver. I didn't want to be an envelope for one of the most flirtatious people in the world, but here we are. All the other envelopes knew of him and knew how the receivers would react. Hours pass and I patiently await my fate, waiting till the moment where I would be ripped open and the contents of the letter would spill into the hearts of these women who didn't know about the other three who had gotten the same words in different ways. The moment comes. The lady opens the door to the mailbox, whips the stick back down, and starts shuffling through the pile nervously, awaiting to see me. She jumps a little when her eyes meet me and I almost want to groan in displeasure. She sticks her finger underneath my flap and begins to tear me open, it only hurts a tiny bit. "Dear, Tris," she reads and then speeds through the rest of the letter. She clutches the paper to her chest and I look at her, amazed at just how blind she can be to the truth. Humans.

  3. The mail had just come in. Most of it was for my parents, but one from a college. It was from James Madison University, a D1AA powerhouse. I haven't been getting much love from D1 college, but im satisfied with where I am. I went inside and opened the lettter. "You have been given a full athletic scholarship to JMU. I was appaled. MY FIRST OFFER. FINALLY

  4. I'm always used to seeing the mailman, I'm always home when he arrives to drop off the mail. Sometimes I talk to him when im expecting a very important card or package. Sometimes i dont even feel him coming up my porch stairs. I just returned from vacation and i was ajusting back into my regular home early in the morning when i noticed, a new mail man. He comes up slowly and comes closer to my house and i see he puts in letter and then he leaves. I open it up and it doesnt feel the same, i wonder "Where did the mail man, go?"

  5. I didn't know what to say when I was found crying beside my mailbox. Usually, no one passed by this street during the day, let alone at noon. So, to say that I was shocked to see my neighbor, who was supposed to be at college, walk out of his car and towards my vicinity was an understatement. "Penny, what's wrong? Are you okay? What happened?" he asked cautiously. If his tone had been any harder and I might have actually broken. I looked up at the boy sitting beside me and allowed for him to see what my shaky hand was holding, a paper, now covered in tears and wrinkly. I watched as he took the envelope from my grip and read the return label. "William wrote to you? What's wrong with that? You love each other!" he exclaimed confusedly. "Wait... Did you break up?" "Worse," I whispered, my palpitating heart suddenly overcoming my senses. "What could be worse than him breaking up with you, Penelope?" "He's Dead."

  6. "no one writes letters anymore," she says (more like giggles) but she's wrong. no one sends letters anymore, and that's different. i've written her a hundred letters, a thousand, more, on paper and in my head and anywhere i have room. i never send them. because, because, because she thinks i haven't written them. "no one writes letters anymore," she would say (more like giggle) but everyone writes letters. everyone lays awake at night and writes "dear someone i knew once" on the backs of their eyelids. sometimes people tattoo their letters, not words but images, onto skin like stained paper. "we are the future," i say (more like whisper) "and if no one writes letters then we are no one." ...

  7. This is the best day and the worst day of my life. I cant believe this is actually happening you know you never think this could actually happen to you its like a dream come true but then again this exactly my worst nightmare. This letter has the power to change everything in my life. What i chose to do with this is up to me. What do i actaully want to do? Maybe i should go on and do this and give my life a new meaning. no i dont want this i never have and i nver will. My mom hasnt been in my life and ive been fine without her what makes her think she can just come in now and change evrything. but then again has she actually changed is she actually sorry? my dads version of the story makes her seem like the worst person ever but is she really? as i sit in my room on my 18th birthday i have the power to do what i please with this. im moving on and i will be fine. if shes actually sorry shed call. but wait she doesnt have my number she can't call me if she doesnt have my number so... what to do what to do. my dad can no longer dictate my life he isnt my boss anymore i'm 18 now i can talk to her if id like. im going to wtite her back and talk because what else is the best choice right?

  8. Oh, letters. How you never cease to amaze me! How your white, manilla folds please me so! Oh, oh, oh letters! Perfect slips of white and brown, flying for miles to their targets. Splendiferously serenading through the sweltering, stagnant sauna of the world. You are my heart, my soul, the air inside my lungs and the ground beneath my feet. But tell me, oh letters, what secrets lie within you? When humans sleep what thoughts race through your head? Whom do you love? During those dark, sleepless nights, what thoughts keep you from the gentle reprieve of sleep? One can't help, when gazing upon your enticing stamp, recalling the words of the great authors, the biblical paintings of the Renaissance, the ancient French cave paintings of the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc. Letters, you recall human invention. Flight, love, death, sex, betrayal, ambition, war. A cup of coffee in a Parisian cafe at four in the morning. A hotly whispered sentence barely heard above the breathing of the wind. A lone deer bleeding to death in a crystal forest stream. Oh, letters. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh letters!

  9. I was on my way to school one day when... I realized something. Something was poking me in my pocket. I stopped, reached in my pocket, and saw that a letter was in it. Then it all made sense: this letter was supposed to be to my crush at school and in it described how I felt about her. I knew she wasn't going to be at school today because she wasn't feeling that well, so I decided to stop by the mailbox and mail it to her at her home. I really hoped that she would feel the same way I felt when I wrote that letter to her... I just had to wait and see...

  10. Composures. Elijah must compose himself. This is an important part of his day, Elijah thinks. He doesn't want to disappoint his father. He doesn't understand why his mother dislikes this practice, when he has tried to bring it up in the past, she has grown teary-eyed or changed the subject quickly. Elijah's letters to his father have taken their place as an important activity in his life, every Friday for six years Elijah has taken a seat at his desk and written a detailed letter to his father, describing the events of his week at great length. He has not seen his father for seven years now, and he grows anxious for his return. He has not received any letters back from his father, but he remains hopeful. More recently, his mother has grown more dissatisfied with his feelings of hope, and Elijah has gotten the sense that there is something she has not told him. Elijah has gotten older now, and as children get older they start to question things a bit more. He questions where he and his mother receive their income from, his mother only works a part-time job, and he's quite certain that they don't qualify for federal assistance, so how can they afford to live so comfortably? Elijah's mother drinks often, she tried to hide it from him in the past, but she has grown careless and tired. When she isn't at work she stays inside and keeps to herself. Elijah just wishes she would talk to him. He wishes she would let him in. However, mostly, he just wants to know where his father is.

  11. It was turning dark and I was getting ready to go inside. After a long day of yardwork I was ready to throw the towel and call it a day. As I'm cleaning my yard tools, I see a man walk up to my neighbor's mailbox. He seemed suspicious and looked around to see if anyone was watching him

  12. I know this new guy you have is constantly making it known how much he loves you. I see his cringe-worthy comments under each of your posts about how beautiful you are and how much you mean to him. You post screenshots of the daily good morning messages he sends you for the world to see. I don't know if you've caught on that it's the same thing every day just rephrased. I see how affectionate he is with you and really I'm glad you found someone who likes public displays of affection. I know you hated that I despised pubically displaying my love for you. See I was taught to prove my love with actions rather than statements. Anyway, that clearly wasn't for you. I'm not sending you this letter to convince you why I am better and because I want you back and maybe I could've texted you this but I think it means more this way. I saw him being affectionate with another woman who lives in my apartment outside her door. He's been here everyday at five for two weeks. I know you have yoga at five. He gives her flowers every time before going inside. Very punctual man that he is. I look forward to reading his five am text to you tomorrow.

  13. How dare she. How dare she take him away from me. I did everything I possibly could to support her and our child. I paid for the house, I paid for the food, I paid for the clothes, and all she does is disobey me. How dare she. The day I got the letter in the mail was the quite frankly the worst day of my life. I was just getting my life together, our lives together. One little relapse and she decided I wasn’t good enough. I repeatedly reminded her of the fact that I did love her. She looked at me with her big brown eyes with a single tear streaming down her face, a bruise slowly developing just underneath it. I could tell by the fear in her eyes that it was over for us. It was over for me.

  14. A letter. That letter. The letter that Janet has been waiting for all day. Her anxiety was through the roof, and she was ready to hear the answer in the letter. That blue googly-eyed letter she watched gripped in the hand of the mailman as he walked to her mailbox to deliver. This was the letter, the letter to determine whether she had won the trip of a lifetime. A trip to go into outer space. It had been a dream f hers for years now to just step foot out of earths atmosphere. Now As she watched the mail main close the mailbox, Janet just knew she won the trip that could launch her childhood carrer of being an astronaut. With the letter in hand, She sliced open the seal of the shiny blue letter with no hesitation and. As her large brown eyes scanned the writing, so came to the words, "you are not the winner." Right there her heart sank and her dreams were crushed.

  15. tristan always received mail and most of the time it was from friends or writing friends he had made from abroad. on this special occasion, it was different. this time it wasn't a friendly letter but a letter with mal-intent. he had never received a letter with such horrid words about him and what he did in his daily life. the worst part was he recognized the name of the author. how could someone so well do this to him and what if she had done it to someone else?

  16. Last night I experienced a pain I have never felt before. My whole body was on fire as if I was dipped in a volcano. My head kept pounding harder and harder as if someone was trying to hammer a nail into my skull. All I remember is a faint voice telling me that everything was going to be alright. I have no idea who was talking to me or how they got into my apartment, but they did save my life. I woke up the next morning feeling healthy as a horse, but the fact that someone was snuck into my apartment terrified me. I was on my way to the police station to file a report when I noticed a dark envelope hanging out of my mailbox. I opened the letter only to be left with a sense of confusion and bewilderment. The person who wrote the letter claimed to be me and pleaded with me that we must stop fighting and work together. I ran into my house and wrote out the letter to only find out that the handwriting was identical. My mind was filled with a sudden anger and confusion and before I knew it, I began to feel the same dreadful pain as last night and slip into unconciousness.

  17. "Hey," the room I was standing in fell away and became a whirl of blotted colors and I almost felt the wind whipping around me she was standing there like she used to a few whole years ago, her hair a little messy and her cheeks a little wan but her eyes were shining and it was raining again like before "I know it's rather late, but I thought of you the other day" as I read her voice I heard someone singing "and I know we're better now, but I found some things last night that I thought I threw away and my old thoughts of you crept out of the fray and I know it's done and through, but you know, I never hated you" and I saw the trees and the rotting leaves and I remembered sunsets blazing over that house and that old song came blaring in my head those few words that couldn't mean anything else "Anyway, I'm sorry for whatever's on my mind I hope you're doing okay and that today will be your day" and I read the word over and over sincerely sincerely sincerely and her name flooded up through my eyes it has been a real long time since I've cried but it's good this time

  18. Sharlot Manor lay in the cusp of an emerald knoll overhanging infinity. It was only a matter of time -- perhaps some hundred years or so -- before the glimmering bastion would succumb to the hungry tides gnawing away at the pink ridgeline supporting it. As for now, the rocky cliff-face upheld Anderson's marble spires like Atlas to the ancient globe. The namesake of the manor itself belonged to Anderson's late mother, a timid mistress who had given him everything he owed to his success. Inscribing her title in the wrought-iron front of the grandiose castle was his sole token of appreciation toward her efforts as a lone child rearer. Lone she was, and would have been in Anderson's memory till his end, if it weren't for a single black envelope brought to him by his butler one Sunday afternoon. Perplexing, indeed, as mail is never delivered on Sundays. Even more perplexing was the two vacant eyes printed onto the back of the envelope, eyes that suggested something oddly foreboding. However, the most stupefying detail of the matter was the name signed at the end of the note harbored within: "Anderson."

  19. Dear Susan, I know what Jackson did to you. You try to hide the scars on the legs and the bruises on your arms. You use just enough makeup to cover up your fading black eye. You walk around school acting as if you are living the perfect dream, holding hands with the class valedictorian/student council president/all-star lacrosse player. You pretend to social and outspoken, even though you hide in the library and write in that tiny journal of yours. I also know what he did at the party last week. It's the reason why you left walking in a broken way. It's also the reason why you walked like that late last night when you were painfully dragging yourself around the corner from his house. I don't have any concrete evidence, so I wouldn't be able to compete with the sad excuse of a role model and his rich mommy. But you can. You are proof. You can change what is happening to you. It sounds scary, I know. I can relate to you. It's the most difficult thing to do. But nothing is going to change if you don't say something. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Just know that I know and that I'm here if you need any help or if you just need to talk. Keep in mind that once you set this free, everything will be alright. - A survivor

  20. The days just seemed longer and longer to Ralph, nothing seemed to bring his joy, nothing brought him comfort. Nothing but one thing, the dream he had of seeing the bright crystal blue waves crash on the shores of the California beaches. The sound of seagulls and waves and the salty smell of the ocean, was the only thing that kept Ralph level headed. Ralph understood at that moment looking around his office, that he needed to run, he needed to run before the world he created for himself would be the world that ultimately would destroy him. He reached for a piece of paper on his desk and began to write, he wrote of how sorry he was, of how he felt trapped and how he for once in his life was going to stand up for his dreams. Getting up fast as if time were running out, Ralph placed the letter in an envelope and ran to his car, a feeling of freedom filling his bones. He didn't even realize how fast he drove but five minutes later he was home, final goodbye along with divorce papers that would please her more then him. With one final deep breath Ralph got into his car and smiled the most honest smile he has given in years. It was time to make dreams a reality.

  21. Once upon a time a man got caught up in some bad dealings. He hustled the wrong people, the wrong people, the Scandinavian Mafia. The mafia sought out the cheater and sent him a letter full of fleas, so when he opened it, the fleas would cover his entire apartment. So he was forced to fill his apartment with bug poison, and live in a cardboard box outside his dwelling until the fleas were dead, making him go through a huge inconvenience.

  22. All my frustration was put into this letter. My irrational thoughts, my angry feelings. All the things that i fear would come to a point where i would need to take action. When this letter is delivered I don't know what to expect. Nothing will happen to me and I know that. Because this letter has no destination, and as far as anyone knows, it has no return address.

  23. i have been watching you closely, peering into your glass window, trying so hard to get as close to you as possible. you have only spoken to me once. you remember, don't you? That is the day i knew you were the love of my life. I was sitting right across the park as you walked your dog. you had the most beautiful long black hair. I was staring at you and suddenly we made eye contact. Your chestnut eyes were staring back into mine and the edges of your lips rose and formed a smile. Your beautiful lips round and rosy. I became intoxicated and already saw our future and the family we could have. Though my desire is strong, there is one thing or shall we say person in my way. The man that claims your heart, your husband, his name is Michael isn't it? I saw his name on your mailbox. I know you love me, anyone could see the passion in your eyes. He won't be an issue for long. He is going to be quite late my dear Lauren. I love you. I will see you soon... Love,Your Admirer

  24. Derik: " Hey Brian, are you receiving a lot of information through mail about colleges you signed up when you went to the College Fair in November? Just wondering." Brian: “Yeah! Every week I get about 10 to 15 flyers in my mailbox, sad face. Not to really bring down the ideas of collages helping seniors in High Schools, but I think it’s a little too much. Don’t you think?” Derik: “No doubt, but man, I thought I was the only one! I’m am kind of getting a little sour about these mails and especially all these additional emails. I am getting about 200 emails from different colleges form every state and some aren’t helpful.” Brian: “Well, unfortunately, you’re the only one. I have been receiving so much physical mail that sometimes I think of starting a collection of collage flyers from each state in the US. But hey, they are just trying to help us. In addition, I get even get more on my e-mails too. Informing me about open houses that are thousands of miles away from my home!” Derik: “Yeah well I think they are trying too much, plus have you notices none of the collages I get mail from aren’t from our state? Since you brought that up. They are all from out of states colleges and universities like in Nebraska or New York.” Brian: “ No, never thought of that, but come to think of it, yeah it's true!” Brian: “…maybe they just want more diversity on their campuses.” Derik: “Maybe but isn’t that a little too much?” Brian: “...

  25. Dave had spent years trying to go up the company ladder. But exactly two months ago, he made an irrational decision that would haunt him. He wasn’t one to cheat the system, and seldom did his mind stray from work. Since his first job his family had instilled the ethics of hard work. Yet he was stuck in the same place as he’d been two years ago. Maybe this was what everyone felt also. Dave tried to improve his life, tried to go out of his comfort zone at work, tried to earn a promotion when the opportunity arose; but he was falling flat everytime, and each time it hurt more. They always say the nice guy finishes last, and maybe he was beginning to believe it. The day he cracked was when he was the lowest. When he thought felt alone, he snuck into his boss’s office to tamper with the payroll. As weeks went by, guilt began to build up. He wasn’t one to do this, yet he had to keep it a secret until he found another job. He constantly assured himself nobody would notice. It was only a couple hundred more and wasn’t a big deal. But deep down he knew that it wouldn’t go unnoticed. He wasn’t reckless when he did it, and yet at work it felt like there was a constant set of eyes on him. The quietness had turned into an eerie silence, and his palms began to sweat when talking to coworkers. Reaching for the letter, he felt his heart begin to race. What would be placed inside this letter? He could only find out by opening it, but what worried them the most is what did they want.

  26. he was getting mail from the IRS

  27. My family is absolutely crazy. They try things that will get them hurt, and will push themselves to the limit just to see how far they will get. My nephew will send me letters about what he did that day in kindergarten. Most of the time I can't read the majority of his letters, but it is still sweet that he does that. For the past seven letters, he has made a masterpiece on the back of it. There is a reoccurring theme in the drawings. All of the drawings have a jungle animal on them. There has been a jaguar, a parrot, a frog, a sloth, a monkey, a snake, and a spider. The one that I received today was different. It was quite abnormal. It looked like a...

  28. To day was a normal day. I put the mail in the mail box for hours. At the last mail box, well not the last, there where ant in the box. They weren't last time I came thought. I went to the door to give them the mail by hand. By the time I got to the front door, there was a sign that said, "Please knock then go to the back door, this door is broken." I did so, when I got to the back door the back yard was very nice, except the chicken following me. I look at the chicken she was brown with a little white of the back. I knock on the back door, it oped before my second knock. The little boy told me, "Yes?" I told him about the ants in her mailbox, then I gave her the mail. I went back to side walk where cart was. I put on knee in it. I start to push my self faster and faster with the other leg. I always did this to makes thing fun and faster. When I got back to the post office, the lady was there complain that she didn't get her mail. I remember putting or giving the mail to everyone. She said, "All I found in my mailbox was ants!" I told her that I gave all the mail and I gave the mail to the person that answered the back door. Then she remembered that her son got the mail from me.