Josh paused as he sorted the last of his mail behind a black envelope. Thicker than the others, the greeting card bore no return address or mark aside from the name in silver script.
Mr. Miles O’Hannigan.
Two years since Josh moved into his place and he still got junk for the old potato; AARP magazines, a subscription renewal for model train clubs, mortgage scams. For the first few months, he piled it up in a basket by his door waiting for the coot to pick it up. When the basket filled, he dumped it all in the trash.
Josh closed the mailbox and turned back to his house. He stopped and re-weighed the black envelope in his hands. It was heavier than the average Hallmark; something must be inside. Judging by the heft, a wad of somethings. Glancing down the empty suburban street, he flipped over the letter. Only a dab of silver wax sealed off the contents. Sliding his finger under, he popped the seal off.
Silver filigree bordered the thick paper in the same ebony as the envelope. Only the words “My Condolences” filled the front. Josh thought of stuffing it back in, but in for a penny… His fingers ran along the thick edge and he yanked open the card.
A banshee wail erupted from a mechanism inside, exploding all of his capillaries. The spent card slipped from his fingers. Josh’s body crumpled, dead before it hit the ground.