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The _ost Office

22nd February, Story #53/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
17
The _ost Office
Photo by Elizabeth Kay on Unsplash

The building looked invisible. No passers by went inside. Their eyes slid off it as if it wasn't really there at all.

"Hello! Anybody there?"

My voice rang in the gloomy, cramped space. Silence answered.

There's a counter, a cashier's seat behind a screen, and a ledger. It's a post office, look; there's the scales for weighing parcels, and a case of stamps.

Nothing is locked. I lift the hatch, walk through, and prod the till. The coins are old. The notes too; they crumble at my touch.

The door beyond opens into a larger room with rows of lockers. Grey-green vines curl around some of them. A broken door swings, desolate.

At the back, drawers are stacked floor to ceiling. I open some. Letters spill out on to the floor, which is so thick with dust it's like a plush grey carpet. My feet hardly make a sound or a dent on it.

In the corner, a door with a "STAFF" sign. Another room like the first, and another, and another. Vines getting thicker, greener. One of the drawers overflows with bobby pins, another with keys. There are several bursting with lonely socks, and one with glass eyes rolling around.

A suspicion niggles. I know what this place is. It's the Lost Office.

More rooms, more lockers, more vines. A familiar cat with grey and ginger markings winds round my ankles. A dog snoozing in a basket raises his head to watch me. His tail thumps.

Next, a corridor lined with doors, each painted with a dense family tree.

Perhaps I won't need to examine each one, looking for a name. Maybe he'll come out to find me, like the cat.

My heart should be thudding, my eyes leaking and my breath ragged... but I feel hollow.

I hear his voice at last, echoing down the corridor. I'd forgotten it, which is unbelievable. He comes into focus as though stepping out of a mist, and his face creases in a smile at the sight of me.

I was worried my arms would go through him, like a ghost, but he feels realer and more solid than the last time I hugged him.

"Am I lost, too, then?"

"No, pet," he says. "We're both found, now."

++++++++++++

Word count (excluding note): 366

Submitted on 22nd February at 21:44

Quick Author's Note

Thank you for reading!

Pay no attention to the writer behind the curtain: I almost submitted this to the Misplaced challenge, but I didn't want it to be too obvious at the start that the MC is also lost.

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one makes a 53 day streak. You can find all of them in my Index post, which I do my best to update once or twice a week at least. It's also pinned to the top of my profile.

If you enjoyed this story, the best compliment you can give me is to share it, or read another. This one is a bit longer and just got runner up in the Misplaced challenge 😮

If you're joining me on this "story every day" madne adventure, please leave a link to yours in the comments! Whether you're on a creative bent like me, or if you have your own self-imposed criteria, I'd love to see what you come up with for today.

Thank you

Thank you again! I do my best to reciprocate all reads. Please do leave a comment and I'll pop over and read one of yours as soon as I can.

Short StoryMicrofiction
17

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

Reader insights

Outstanding

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Comments (14)

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  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Super clever and loved the animl reactions- spot on! 🤍

  • Phil Flannery2 months ago

    Spooky, interesting.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Fantastic microfiction!!! Love it!!!💕♥️♥️

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    This is a place I'd like to go to visit

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    This is simply gorgeous. One of my favourites of yours already. Well done. 👏

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    Gosh, that last line. Really choked me up. Great writing.

  • I saw the title and thought Lost Office. Then I started reading and was like "Ohhh Post Office" and kicked myself for being silly. Then kept on reading to realise it indeed was Lost Office and kicked myself for kicking myself, lol

  • We're never lost when we are lost together.

  • Gerard DiLeo2 months ago

    Goose-bumped.Nice.

  • Ashley Shiflett2 months ago

    So clever. You're a very talented writer! ❤️ Thank you so much for letting us read.

  • Brannan K.2 months ago

    This would have been perfect for the challenge, excellent and nostalgic read for 5hose who have "lost" someone.

  • Interesting.... Color me Intrigued

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Damn clever work! 👏

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