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The Postman Won't Ring Twice

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Conrad looked at the calendar on the kitchen wall and smiled. There, just between the legs of a vintage 29-mm Spigot Mortar, the date stood out in blocky bold letters.  Had he been a less traditional type, Conrad would have pumped his fist in the air.

Instead, he exclaimed: "It's May! The month for weddings—"

He stopped, twitched, and looked around a few times. Sighing, he pulled out a large handkerchief and mopped his brow with it. He should know better than to utter the W- word when Master Klaus was in the Schloss. The most propitious month for weddings also came with a large amount of drawbacks. Such as having to spend twice the usual time sifting through the Young Master's post to make sure all offending correspondence was 'mislaid.' If things went like last year, he was going to have plenty of work. Conrad folded his handkerchief and put it back in his pocket, then took out a folded piece of paper and a small pencil. The May correspondence had got so bad that he had resorted to a list to make sure nothing slipped between the cracks; some of the missives turned up regularly as clockwork. He unfolded the piece of paper and contemplated his handiwork from the previous year.

Item: a lavender-coloured, expensive-looking envelope, sealed with a rose crest and addressed in flowing cursive script to 'My Future Consort'. No return address. Filed under: 'address unknown, return to sender.'

Item: a squarish, rigid envelope, sealed with a boar crest and addressed in heavy Gothic characters to 'My Still Un-married Son.' Swiss stamp. Filed under: 'lost in the mail.'

Item: a cheap hand-made postcard, pockmarked with round water stains, bearing the sentence 'WEDDINGS ARE EXPENSIVE!'. Filed under: 'the postman spontaneously combusted.'


Conrad turned the page over with a sigh, and went on reading. Dealing with the von dem Eberbach correspondence had always been horrid, and e-mails, text messages and all those incomprehensible 'social media' barbarities were only making it worse.