Red Letter Box

His hand reached up and slid the envelope through the gaping dark mouth but no teeth bit.

The first steps away from the pillar box saw him feeling like a man; strong and determined but then something weird happened. About 20 yards down the path, he stopped and turned. A sensation crept up from his toes and travelled up his legs before it whooshed through his whole body and he could actually hear the panic ringing in his ears.

What if the wrong person opened the letter? What if that person then found him? He hadn’t thought it through. He ran back to the pillar box and placed his hands on the cold metal. He noticed the red layers of paint flaking away from previous layers.

Tears stung behind his eyes as he fully realised he had been silly to post the letter. Why had he written it? Why did he have to go and post it?

An old man shuffled towards him with a handful of letters and placed them through the gap, he asked the boy ‘Alright lad?’

The boy nodded and looked away, all grown-up feelings had shattered around his feet into smitherings ‘I’m waiting for the postman; I have to get something back I don’t want to send.’ his small voice spoke to the gravel beneath his fingers.

‘He’s not due for over two hours I don’t think’ the man peered at the plaque below the mouth, ‘you’ve got a long wait!’

‘I don’t mind.’ he sat against the box and the cold seeped through the back of his jumper, as it did through his jeans from the pavement. He hoped no dogs had wee’d here recently but he seriously didn’t care. That letter, those words, were only inches from him and he was determined now that no-one would read them….