The Watertower

Bacon. Jeans, a tshirt. A usual morning washed down with hot black coffee and the soul-crushing sense I've done this all before. Sometimes life gets you down like that, the monotony of routine and the crows on the pole against the blue sky only served to strengthen the sense of deja vu and the futility of bored repetition.

I turn from the window and look down towards the front door. It's easy to see it not far from the kitchen, not in my tiny apartment where it feels like you could cross the length of it in only three paces. Another postcard lays there so I stride over and pick it up. It's a little worn, a little faded, like all the rest as if it's taken a long time ago. That's the fashionable thing nowadays isn't it? Artificial aging, turning the new into the antique. I've never really seen the point.

The postcard is a picture of an old watertower, the angle is low so all you can see it a silhouette against a faded blue sky. You can just about make out a rusty ladder dropping down the back of the tower.

I turned the postcard over and began to read, after staring at the picture for a time.

Hello again David,

It started, written in the same childish handwriting Jake had never seemed to grow out of.

How are you doing?

I don't know why he asked that, he never left a return address, how could I respond?

I'm doing pretty well, works going okay, the usual. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know, stop you from getting bored, let you know your old pal Jake isn't laying dead in some gutter somewhere. Ha! That was a bit morbid wasn't it? Anyway, don't do anything stupid, I know you get crazy thoughts into your head sometimes - remember the water tower? Man, that was crazy. Anyway, I'm running out of time, so I'll leave you with this: watch out for those crows.

And that was it. Just like the others, the thirty or so stored in a shoebox under the bed, each with a cryptic message scribbled by a childish hand. I don't know why I kept them, maybe because I hadn't seen Jake in almost ten years and this was all I had left of him or because of the half-forgotten memories they always seemed to dredge up.

As I slipped the postcard into the box with the others, the crows on the pole watched and I smiled to myself, Jake always seemed to raise my spirits when they needed lifting.

The End

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