Good morningfternooning! Welcome to the daily Twitter story. Today's story idea comes from @MacPhail, who tweeted:
There was a strange letter from the state prison delivered to our apt building yesterday addressed to Ms. ?. Who sent it? Why?
Okay, @MacPhail, here you go.
First light, best light. Sally ?, late of the Cabo Verde opera circuit, slid her key into the mailbox and extracted a sheaf of envelopes and flyers. Not for the first time, she experienced a spasm of random jealousy over the mailman, who with one turn of his master key could unhinge the jaw of the mailbox mechanism and deposit a building's worth of mail in a few efficient strokes. Sometimes she considered sneaking up behind the mailman and braining him just as the mailboxes all swung open, then stealing his bag of mail and opening every single letter in a huge heap of torn paper and irrelevant utility bills. This thought never failed to turn her on.
At the kitchen counter she spread the mail out in a satisfying fan. One envelope, scuffed and torn, caught her attention:
New Mexico State Correctional Facility
read the return address. She checked to make sure that the letter was addressed to her. Do I know anyone from a prison? she wondered. Well, people aren't from prisons, they go to prisons. Do I know anyone who went to prison? Sally cast around in her mind a bit more but couldn't think of anyone (all her friends were back in Cabo Verde).
She tore the envelope open with a polished thumbnail and drew it out.
Dear Ms. ?,
We just wanted to tell you how grateful we all are for your music. Your box set of Cabo Verde greats, including your morna version of Carmen, keeps us all pumped in the weight room but left adrift on a sea of melancholy. It's like we're floating gently out from shore in a raft, with the sun warming our bodies and the salt dancing in our nostrils. As opposed to being in the weight room, which smells like sweat.
We would also like to know how to pronounce your last name. Do you say "question mark," or just make a questiony-sounding grunt? Fights are breaking out in the yard.
Many of us are also wondering if you would like to pay us a visit and sing for us. Also if you could smuggle in some cocaine.
The D Block
Sally turned the paper over and fetched a pen.
Respect! Here's what I'm gonna do. I'll carve a life size sculpture of myself out of pressed cocaine and stick an mp3 player in there with my greatest hits loaded onto it. You and the rest of the boys can enjoy a nice concert, and afterwards you can chop me up into baggies and sell me in the yard. Sound good?
The pronunciation of my name is a mystery to me. I think I was born a typo.
With that, she planted a careful kiss over her signature and folded the paper in half. Gotta get a stamp now, she thought.
"Why does nothing interesting ever happen to me?" she asked Rodney, her pet Komodo dragon that wrote all her songs. But Rodney was too busy with the accounts to answer.
If you have a daily Twitter story idea and would like to see your glorious notion translated into half-baked prose, tweet it to me @palinode.