Malicious Missives in Morley


Morley, New Mexico

  Marci Dalton’s hands shook as she opened The Town Tattler.  Her eyes scanned the letter printed on page three.  The anxious woman quickly read the malicious missive; a sigh of relief escaped her lips.  Some other unfortunate soul was the victim of this week’s poisoned pen letter.


   Rolando D’Oro ripped the tabloid from its plastic sheath and perused the odium-filled editorial.  It took only a few lines to realize that his fear was unfounded.  His would-be blackmailer had not exposed Sr. D’Oro’s shady past, present and hopefully future.  The oily gigolo crumpled the paper and tossed it into the trashcan.  He would call the bastard and make a deal; he couldn’t afford to become the subject of an expository epistle in The Tattler.


   Eloise McDuff reread the editorial.  She was the subject of this week’s hateful missive and the editor’s ensuing diatribe.   Tears streamed down her lined and weary face.  The solitude and happiness she had found in Morley was lost.  Eloise opened the thick envelope which had also arrived in that day’s post and found an expanded version of the vicious epistle.  Unlike the letter in the tawdry paper, this one named names and included ugly details about her past.  Miss McDuff tossed the excrement into the fireplace and struck a match; soon the crumpled pages would be ashes, a fitting metaphor for her future.


   Eloise drained her Earl Grey, washed the fragile bone china cup and saucer and placed them on the drain board next to her grandmother’s silver teapot.  It was snowing.  She donned her Burberry and a paisley silk headscarf.  The resolute lady walked to the potting shed at the back of her garden.  She entered, took a seat on an overturned bucket and removed her grandfather’s WWI Smith and Wesson .44 New Century from her coat pocket.   The small woman sighed, placed the barrel in her mouth and with one swift squeeze Eloise McDuff ended her life.