Back when the world shut down in an effort to curb the spread of a certain virus, I found my creativity stunted. I felt afraid, defensive, worried, uncertain.
Like many others in the blogosphere, I did not feel like writing.
The idea for expressing some of my anxieties through a serial story came a few weeks later, as I (once again) chased down the funny, reserved, down-to-earth, white-haired and blue-eyed man who delivered the mail to our area. My mail man is not named Ron, but his appearance and manners are based on the one I know and have known for a few years.
Originally, my story idea revolved around the mail carrier knowing what everyone had shipped to his house and …going postal on everyone and stealing their stuff. Somewhere around the second or third installment, I wrote each segment from that new character’s perspective. At another point I don’t remember, I decided the different stories would follow a triangle pattern: the last would be from the same perspective and in the same location as the first, the second would match the second-to-last, etc.
Two problems arose: One, I didn’t know where to …end; where to arc and come back down. Two, everyone (including me) got attached to Ron.
How could I make Ron go ‘breaking bad?’
First, I thought to make him accidentally infect everyone. He did, in fact, do that. He coughed all over the postal sorting room, after all. Then, in walked Marty. Personally, I like Marty. I also do not like Marty. He’s a scumbag. Thanks to Marty and a later idea that Carol wouldn’t make it, we had our key to breaking Ron.
Thanks to recent developments in America, I had more danger to add…
So, Going Postal is the story of a happy, friendly mailman who was eventually convinced to aid Marty in his exploits -or, it’s possible that Marty knocked him off and is using Ron’s pickup truck and route to rob and plunder in The End of Times. You get to decide.
A final Easter Egg: I decided to never name Coronavirus in the stories.
“Going Postal, I”
“Going Postal, II”
“Going Postal, III”
“Going Postal, IV”
“Going Postal, V”
“Going Postal, VI”
“Going Postal, VII”
“Going Postal, VIII”
“Going Postal, IX”
“Going Postal, X”
“Going Postal, XI”
“Going Postal, XII”
“Going Postal, XIII”
“Going Postal, XIV”
©2020 Chelsea Owens
P.S. In real-life drama, my favorite mailman was recently let go. I’m hoping to call someone who knows something and tell him a final, “Thanks.”