STORY – Bill collectors

story of unpaid bills that devour a man who is going brokeThe mail arrived, hitting the tiled floor below the mail slot, giving off sounds like slaps on still water. Envelopes, junk mail and threat after threat hit, slid, then settled. And began glowing faintly. A pale red glow, like nuclear contaminates.

Lately Luc’s mail had gone from worse to very bad to deadly. A while back he had become an unwilling victim of the World’s Failing Finances and anything that fell through the mail slot these days throbbed ugly on the floor tiles. Bills numberless and aggressive. Endless overdue official documents. Lawyers with impressive letterhead threatening to send thick-shouldered males to repossess his remaining bits and pieces.

Each day the mail’s thick, competing threats elbowed one another for positioning, trying to get through the slot first, as they plopped inside his house like separate fetid diseases.

From around a corner, he peered down the corridor, trembling as the glowered mail on the floor. He had nothing left to feed it. Three months ago he had cashed in some retirement funds years before his retirement was due. Yet still the mortgage payment remained way overdue, the elastic of all his underwear had worn out and showed through the material, all the labels of his clothes were blank of any words or logo due to endless washing and not being replaced by anything new.

As he made a step toward the pile of mail, its glow intensified. Since last week the bills had taken to giving him paper cuts, like taking nips out of his hands as he reached for them, like unhappy domestic pets. A few days ago he swore he had seen some little sharp teeth around the edge of certain letter flaps.

Closer, he reached toward the pile of letters. Three bills hiding under a supermarket brochure leaped and grabbed his hand, wrapping round. He pulled back but they would not let go, forcing his hand to the floor. Other envelopes from vicious lawyers and sneering companies and blasé utilities and determined tax officials wrapped themselves around his arms, moving higher, toward his face. They went for at him.

Struggling, Luc called out, but his wife had taken the kids to stay with her parents and had begun divorce proceedings because he hadn’t held up his end of the bargain financially. As a failed provider, no one was around to pay attention to his screams. Another bill and then another wrapped around his left ankle and gave a jerk. He wobbled, then tumbled onto his back, with a yelp, like his dog Leon, which he’d had to get rid of because the dog food cost too much.

The envelopes of bills unglued of their own volition and seemed to release some liquid dissolving agent from its edges. Feeling deep burning sensations, Luc whipped out his mobile phone to call for help but his service had been cut off due to lack of payments.

He struggled but the bills held fast. They sucked, they dragged, they frantically covered him top to bottom. All the sheet were sliding out of all the envelopes and in a multitude adhered to his face and eyes and right into his mouth, muffling his cries. Then into his nose. Endless swirls of rustling paper struggled with the debtor now squirming on the tiled floor.

Bit by bit there was less and less of Luc, who tried to scream pass the bills that firmly covered his mouth, who tried to breath through the bills covering his nose, who tried to continue struggling but the bottomless debt of the bills took total and utter possession of him.

In end all the police officers and investigators and bill collectors would find were a neat pile of overdue bills by the front door placidly waiting to be paid, bland, implacable, yet satisfied.

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4 Responses to “STORY – Bill collectors”

  1. Great Story, hey I found this post while surfing for lyric updates. Thanks for sharing I’ll tell my friends about this too.

  2. leemans says:

    telling story

  3. Steve Green says:

    This looks like one for the twilight zone, when the money doesn’t stretch far enough, the bills start getting nasty. Good story.

  4. The Twilight Zone meets the recession. A cool premise. I like the idea of “deadly mail.” Interesting image.

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