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The Request

Woman Sitting On Park Bench by Stephanie Frey
 
The call came in on my cellphone while I was at work.  I didn't recognize the area code or the number, but I answered anyway, as I most often do. One never knows when it might be important. 

A soft-spoken female identified herself as Mary and said, "You don't know me personally, but I have something important to give to you.  Please meet me in the park today at five p.m.,  I'll be sitting on the bench near the road."

I paused for a moment, wondering who she was and what this could possibly be about.  Then I asked,  "How will I know it's you?  What do you look like?"

"I have dark hair and I'll be wearing a long white dress, that will be easy to spot," she said lightly.  Her friendly tone drew me in. I couldn't see much harm in showing up to check this out.

"Ok, I'll be there," I told her. The hours seemed to crawl by at work, and  I was so glad when closing time finally came.  I hurried down the hall to the elevator, then out the door and across the parking lot to my car.

"You sure are in a rush to escape today, got a hot date or something?" teased a coworker when I didn't participate in the usual end of day chatter before we went our separate ways.  I laughed and let that one go, not wanting to provide any information in case this turned out to be a prank call or some weird hoax.

Arriving at the park, I discovered that the parking lot was nearly deserted, as was the park itself.  I saw a lady who fit the description sitting on a bench near the road, just as she said she'd be.  From a distance she looked to be fairly young, maybe late thirties or early forties, and I wondered why she'd wear a long dress with full sleeves on such a hot Texas afternoon.  White dresses and dusty park benches didn't seem like such good combination, but maybe she wasn't concerned about that.

I approached her and she stood to greet me with a gentle handshake and a smile.  Her blue eyes sparkled with light, and I felt immediately comfortable as she motioned for me to join her on the bench.  Reaching into her pocket she produced a square white envelope inscribed with my first name in beautiful flowing script.  "We have a mutual acquaintance that has asked me to give this to you," she said, handing me the envelope. 

Ever curious, I asked "Why didn't he - or she - just give to me directly?"

At that a smile spread across her face and she almost chuckled, "Well, he doesn't live here, though he does stop through from time to time."  Hmmm, I thought, mentally inventorying the list of guys I know who live out of town.  No one came to mind who would go to this much trouble to give me a message.

I turned the envelope over to find a red wax seal that bore the imprint of two hands, one crossed over the other.  I'd never seen anything like it before, and certainly didn't know anyone that was prone to using fancy stationary and wax seals.  This must be something pretty interesting, I thought to myself as I started to open it.

Just then Mary stood and announced that she'd be leaving so I could read the content in privacy since her duty to make sure the letter had been delivered safely was complete.  Before she left, she put her hand gently on my shoulder and said, "Take some time before you respond to the letter, think it over, the choice you make is important."  Then she turned and headed down the path and disappeared into the trees.

I sat there for a minute, thinking that her comment certainly sounded ominous; this was all becoming rather strange.  Taking a deep breath, I broke the seal, opened the envelope, and carefully removed the folded piece of linen stationery.  Opening it, I found a handwritten note that began with the words... "I have a special assignment for you that could save someone's life...."

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I'm linking up with Msrupole's Theme Thursday 
where the prompt this week is "mysterious"

12 comments:

  1. Interesting little story. It leaves you wondering so much.

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    1. There are many possibilities with this one Annie, I wonder if everyone wrote their own conclusion how different they would be.

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  2. Oh I like this. Very well done and I'm guessing you are done. See we all will want to know what happened.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. Well, I am done with it for now at least, Sandee, I have an idea about where this story goes, but I want to leave room for other ideas that readers might have. :-) (Or maybe I am just lazy?!)

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  3. excellent...you hooked us, now we all want to know ... What's next?
    You have created a mystery within a mystery.

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    1. Thanks GS, there are indeed a couple issues here... who sent the message and what the assignment is. Any ideas?

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  4. I bet you fell in love with your own story! And I positively drooled over your new backdrop!

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    1. I did, I didn't really write this one, I started and it wrote itself. I have an idea what comes next, but even I wouldn't be certain until I began to write it out. That often happens with me, the words lead me, I don't lead them! This one has so man possibilities, both dark and light! Although the tone is positive, that could be deceptive!

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  5. I certainly would consider making this the beginning of a longer tale. It is very thought provoking.

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    1. Thank you Opal, it does have all the earmarks of an intro to a much bigger story, though that didn't start out as my intent. I may just have to follow on with it and see where it goes at some point!

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  6. What a wonderful story and mystery. I was thinking that Mary was an Angel with how she disappeared into the trees because it seems like someone in a white dress would take a while to disappear. And the seal seems to be a pair of hands praying like it is a seal from God brought to you by an Angel. But then again maybe it is just a seal from a Pastor of a Church asking for your help in saving the life of someone you know who knows someone in his church. Oh how much I love to read about mysteries and mysterious happenings that occur.

    Thanks for such a mysterious story for this weeks Theme Thursday. I hope you have a fantastic weekend trying to do what the letter asks.

    God bless.

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    1. I like your line of thinking Mrsrupole, that is the direction I see it going too, and exactly what my husband said when he read it, though he dislikes my tendency to leave things hanging in the air. He says a proper story must have a conclusion!! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)