Joni Braham

Title: A Letter A dilemma and an Uncertain Future Moving Forward

Medium: Creative Writing, fiction


Dear ? To whom it may concern

An address albeit a post office box, but no name!!!
Are you a trickster, a charlatan, practical joker or someone with a real humane need. I’m not sure and I’m hoping it’s the latter although in the back of my mind I keep hearing my mother’s words ‘Never never accept gifts from a stranger’.

I’m not sure if you were watching me, if you actually know me somehow, if you liked the look of my beat up Holden Commodore or if it was just random. All of the options above fill me with a sense of dread and none of those are an excuse for what you did.

I practically fell out of the shopping centre looking like a shopping bag Christmas tree, making an almost super human attempt to walk to the car. Spurred on by the thought of a cup of tea (real tea mind…no tea bags) and a jam donut. The jam donut apparently is the equivalent of a brisk walk for 48 minutes. But I digress.

It was then I saw it. Your note on my windshield! I noticed it was not that alarming yellow of a parking fine. Without relief, I realised that it was likely… …
Sorry I smashed into your car. Everyone thinks I am leaving my name and address. Forgive me’.


Well first things first. I unraveled the bags from my fingers and loaded the shopping into the car. I love my car. It’s paid for. It has wind up windows. It has very few expensive computerised components. It has a coat hanger aerial that is fashioned into a map of Australia and a crocheted rug from the op shop on the back seat. Its old but it goes. It only has ‘bomb’ insurance and whatever had been done to it, I was going to have to pay for. Gingerly I did a quick three sixty to see what the damage was. I was elated enough to do a little mind dance when there was none.

At this stage reading your note seemed like a good idea.

Even as my hand went to it on the windshield, knowing the note wasn’t a fine and wasn’t a smash, I decided instead that someone I knew had seen my car. That was a comforting thought as maybe we could go home to my place, and have tea and a shared jam donut (only a 24 minutes brisk walk for half a donut!).

Surprisingly the note was in an envelope, the kind that comes with one of those small thank you cards. It was written on a “For You” card that had been recycled with clumsy attempts at rubbing out the previous message. Who originally got the card and why (maybe it was you) flashed across my thoughts as I started reading…

I have left you a present in a special spot. You will know it when you get close to it as it has a red tag on it that says’ For You’ and the word’ Surprise’ on the back.
Go back to the Loading Dock door near the tap. The present is next to the tap.


At that point you had given me a dilemma. Cut and run. Go home. Unpack the shopping. Eat the donut and forget the 48 minute walk.


Let curiosity get the better of me.

As I walked over to the tap the sound of my rather worn out shoes seemed to be saying over and over ‘Never never accept gifts from a stranger’. ‘Never never accept gifts from a stranger’.

As you are fully aware, the red tag was tied around the neck of a dog that in turn was tied to the tap near the Loading Dock. A water dish was on the ground, a small bag of dog biscuits was tied to the dog’s neck, and an additional note that said

‘Do not leave me here. ’ ARE YOU KIDDING ME!