Fear of the Postman

By JHR

Chain Border

I have come to loathe and fear the postman. I know, within myself, that they are fine fellows given to ale, jokes and song when off-duty, yet steadfast and reliable when engaged in the Deliveration of Her Gracious and Royal Majesty's post. Nevertheless, it is with a sick heart that I lie huddled under blankets whenever the appointed time of the Deliveration hoves to. Sometimes, nothing may arrive at all. Perhaps that is worse, since there is no ending, no...consummation of the act. The clock marches away, one-legged in the direction of the future, yet I must perforce remain in the place where I am safe from the predations of Packages until I am sure I have escaped the malign eye of The One Who Sends. Then I must hurry about my business – this house has many windows and the tinfoil must be checked regularly to ensure that a Leakage has not occurred. Living is a constant battle against the forces of entropy, and it is vital that Order is kept to hold back the coming darkness. A place for everything and everything in its place.

Today, though, there was a Deliveration, which always brings Disorder.

I wrapped several of the blankets carefully around myself and shuffled carefully toward the doormat with the day's designated stick firmly grasped in my right hand. I have a different stick for each day. Apart from Sundays, where there is no Deliveration. I hand make them from carbon-fibre tubes. The handles are carefully constructed to be both non-conductive and Orgone Capacitors, so if there is a Leakage from the Package, it can be stored and then investigated in due course.

I poked at the Package carefully. There was no discharge, which is both a relief and a disappointment. I have kept detailed notes of suspected Leakages since 1968. The last one was in 1981, well before I had perfected the storage capacitors, so while my natural scientific curiosity remains unsated, I have also not been called upon to deal with anything. Untoward, for which I am thankful.

As is my wont, I ran the Package through the X-Ray machine before carrying it carefully to my workbench for dissection. As I suspected from the postmark, it contained another of the silver discs. I have yet to comprehend the function of these devices. I suspect that they must be some manner of data storage medium, but mere suspicions should not divert the sober-minded from the scientific method.

Removing the fastenings from the Package took the best part of an hour. There was both parcel tape (medium brown. Three inches across, by one foot and one and one eighth inches in length. The cuts at either end did not match any of the other samples I had on file, so I placed it in a new container and wrote it up in my log accordingly.) and staples. (Five. All three eighths of an inch along their long surfaces. The shorter sections were bent inwards. I tested some similar staples with a blue anodised Rexel I keep for the purpose and discovered that they had been closed with a force of some five pounds. This intelligence was also written up with due care.)

Once the opening was clear, I sniffed the inside of the Package carefully. It smelled of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs and too many right-wing meetings.

There was some manner of writing within the clear plastic container that housed the silver disc. After some difficulty with the font, I divined the words 'Soul Circuit.' That was a half-familiar name to me, and I made my way to my library with some excitement. It was as Wyndham had written, and as I had suspected – It was for the Robots. These discs, or perhaps this one in particular, were some form of token. Were they a type of currency? A unit of exchange in return for some as yet unknown product or service? Or perhaps food. I licked the surface of the disc cautiously, but since I am not a Robot, I gained little from the experience.

I was struck by an odd thought - perhaps these discs formed the part of the Host in whatever the Robots might consider to be a religious observance. Maybe I had, in fact, stumbled upon part of the Robot Devotional or Communion. I shall write up this concept in full later on. Now, however, I must sit for a little. Something has caused me to have a dizzy spell.

Legends Online