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The Mammoth Cheeseby Sheri Holman
It was a long walk to the end of the driveway. Margaret Prickett saw the sun glint off Mr. Kelly?s U.S. Post Office truck, nearly airborne from the pink and blue balloons tied to his sideview mirrors in cheerful disregard of government regulation. He loved kids, probably because he had none of his own, and kids loved him. When her daughter, Polly, was a little girl, she used to leave wax-paper cups of Pepsi inside the mailbox, the red flag raised so that he wouldn?t drive past thirsty. And though by the time he opened the little black oven the cola was flat and fatty with melted wax, in gratitude he would always leave her a rubber band. It was a splendid economy.
Mr. Kelly only got out of his truck when there was something to sign for, yet to Margaret?s eyes, he stepped out seemingly empty-handed. She waved to him, a big hearty arm?sweep, as if to say, Great to see you. Got something good? He waved back, a small, unenthusiastic little shake from the wrist that could only mean registered letter.
Sure enough, she spotted it on his clipboard, the little square of serious pale green. She stopped about fifty yards away from him, suddenly overwhelmed by the mid-afternoon heat of the day. Maybe she could just turn around and calmly walk back to the cheese house, lock herself in, and make August deal with Mr. Kelly. Maybe she could just stand there until he disappeared like the mirage he looked to be in the heat, a postal specter no more valid than a canceled stamp.
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