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The Delivery - the sixth part of our serial

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

We are taking turns writing a story. The prompt we took was:

"Flowers came to my house every other Monday exactly at 1 o’clock"

We are each writing a piece and getting very excited about where it will end up. Only one more part to come after this one from Sinem.

Part Six

By Sinem Erenturk

Post-it Notes

Two months later

The Roman numerals around the face of the big clock on the kitchen wall are static, but the hands are not. They turn, and turn and push the time forward and here I am, sitting on my beloved old rocking chair that I moved downstairs in front of the clock. It is as if I’m living just to fill in the two-week gap between one 1 o’clock and another 1 o’clock... Alas, there have been no calla lilies for over a month now and instead of enjoying even a tiny bit of relief, here I am sitting hand in hand with my anxiety. Where are you bloody white calla lilies?

All around the clock is a ring of pale yellow Post-It notes, which got me nowhere despite all the effort I put in. It’s almost like a hobby for me now, going over the clues I noted on these tiny, square papers with the sticky strip on top that holds them on my light green kitchen wall. They are a combination of sketches, some keywords in bubble letters, screenshots and many written notes in between - a sketch of my ex-husband with a miniature question mark and a big red cross at the top, and to the right is one of the bulky delivery man in his donkey jacket and black beanie. My eyes are like the hands of a clock moving around the ring, to the graphic writing of ‘Bertie’s Blooms’, the flower shop. Then the name on the empty envelope, then a sketch of Roberta saying ‘who sent you?’ in a speech bubble. You know the detective lady or not, who knows? Now, my eyes are in the 6 o’clock position where they meet with a screenshot of the chat with the bloody website chatbot and I have no idea why I put this on, maybe just to remind myself they are not as useful as planned. My eyes move on to the 7 o’clock position, where there is a sketch of the small, coffin-shaped, charcoal-grey chocolate box and another CCTV screenshot of a very blurry number plate on the mysterious car, then comes the dog smoking a pipe -what’s it doing here? I think I just like it.

Finally, according to the circular nature of time, my tired eyes are now back to where they started, and there is the sketch of the woman with long, blonde hair and a birthmark on her neck. Why did they invent the clock in a round circle shape instead of something linear, like a ruler to measure time? Perhaps it’s this way to remind us that no matter how hard you try, the place where you end up will always be where you start…

I’m proud of my Post-It clues. They are like my babies, created with care, some of them thanks to my evening classes in sketching. I look at them from the light-brown rocking chair that I inherited from my grandmother. Its fluffy pillow embraces me with love. The sketch of good old Bertie is on the top of the Post-Its like she’s looking at the clues with me. It’s good not to be alone.

My eyes slowly get heavier and heavier. Then I notice it’s 1 o’clock. Will the doorbell ring again? No, it won’t. There are no flowers wrapped in black ribbons anymore, so why do I wait for them still, instead of carrying on with my life?

It’s ten past one when the doorbell rings. The doorbell rings! I leave the comfort of my chair to open the door, only to see that it’s Martha.

“Sixteen missed calls, I’m checking up on you, dear. I’m worried about you,” she says while tidying up days and days of mugs and coffee rings. “You don’t need to do that Martha. I’ll take care of them later. Sorry, the house is a mess, I stopped the cleaner. She was distracting me from my search for the senders of the flowers.”

“Kristen, listen, it is serious now. The publisher requested a meeting with me and they are saying that if they don’t get the first draft in one month, they are going to end your agreement. And they can.” I can see she’s serious but say nothing. I can’t move on until I solve this mystery. It’s on my mind day and night.

“Kristen, sometimes you can’t solve things in the way you like to or in the time you want to. You just need to allow time and see what happens. The flowers are not coming anymore. Take comfort and a break from your search. When you’re ready, you can give it another go! You can’t let the publisher down, not after they’ve shown you so much commitment.”

“Their commitment comes from my 5 consecutive big hits Martha! How can I write when I keep receiving these bloody flowers sent from nowhere? All my energy is going on trying to connect the dots. What if my life is under threat? What if I’m a target for some mad person? Just because the flowers stopped coming, I can’t pretend nothing happened!” I say, and then the doorbell rings again. We look at each other in silence. Is it? No, it shouldn’t be. But what if? I go to open the door while Martha watches.

“Hello Mr. R!”

“Thank you for the bread.”

“Oh, you tried it for the first time? Good.”

“I’m alright, thanks for checking”

Martha hears me talking to Mr R. Then I go back to Martha and try to make her understand. “See, every time the doorbell rings, my heart misses a beat. How can I move on?”

I don’t like admitting it to Martha, but I know she is right. I fill the kettle and turn it on. We listen to it rumbling for a while, then I say;

“Three months would do, the blank page is waiting for me…”

9 months later

“The Mystery of Calla Lilies” book signing day

“Although I thought I figured out a lot of what’s going on, the tension still builds up in such a great way and then comes the shock. I wasn’t expecting that awful truth at the end at all!” one reader says while I sign her book.

“I’ve read all your previous books and found them all excellent and I knew this wouldn’t be an exception! Whilst the suspense rose, I could see the trap that was being laid, but then nothing developed as I was expecting! I couldn’t put it down! Thank you!” another reader tells with excitement.

Martha and I look at each other. She is standing with her Prosecco in her hand surrounded by people. We both nod our heads, confidingly.

I get home, kick off my shoes and flop onto the couch. My feet feel numb and I almost can’t feel my right hand, but I’m not complaining. Now it’s time to rest, my body is so heavy that I’m not planning to leave my couch until tomorrow and snuggle in. Then my phone rings. I slowly get up and take the call.

“Is this Kristen Dunnel?”

“Yes, speaking.”

“Ms Dunnel, I’m Detective Sergeant Tony Burton. We’d like to talk to you about your case. We got some new information from the CCTV recordings using a new technology. Could you please come to the station on Monday?”

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