• addressed to: lola daniels
  • return address: none
  • postmarked: cairo, egypt; jan. 21
  • delivered: jan. 29

To whom it may concern,

I’ll keep this brief. Pardon the formalities.

This week of my time here has been... Eventful, shall we say. As I believe you’re well aware. And while I will attempt to delay the arrival of this letter to allow you breather, perhaps swift recovery, it has now become all the more imperative that we further our correspondence without any additional waste of resources. By resources, I primarily mean time.

You mentioned that this.. This phenomenon of our being here... According to you -- and I would perhaps be ill-advised to place confidence elsewhere, when at present there is no elsewhere -- these ‘shifts’ have been occurring for an estimated three years. Three years, and from the looks of it, none of you... There is no organization. No coordination, no preparation, no contingencies.. Sure as hell no perimeter of defense, let alone retaliation. As far as I can tell, we’re sitting ducks here waiting to survive each hunting season; and dare I say, it seems fairly plausible that such a form of ‘living’ might even be preferred, a perhaps generalized and thus reassuring mentality of victims in need of equal parts rescue and playing heroes. You puny humans make me sick.

I’m ranting. I apologize.

We have much to discuss. Calmly. I’m willing to concede that I might also be in need of a few specific favors -- two, specifically, for now.

Our prior correspondence has been.. Removed from existence. Or, from the various servers’ databases, at least. If you -- for any reason -- have copies stored externally, I would consider it a favor of immense proportion if you were to kindly destroy them.

I have taken into acute account what you suggested about how it may perhaps be doing my host a disservice by keeping him.. Sedated... No, no. Unaware. Blissfully unaware. At this juncture, however, I believe it to be of certain mutually beneficial interest. He cannot be made involved with or cognizant of -- be it in regard to these circumstances we so bizarrely face, or our potential dealings. It was a mistake to have begun our acquaintance through him. In my haste to.. Broaden my scope of data, I quite unnecessarily compromised my position. Our position -- his, too, yes. Mutual interest, as I said. Thus, confidentiality in these matters would be.. Appreciated. Required, if I may.

Assuming that the above request seems reasonable, the second favor is for the confidentiality to extend further.. Towards P.O. Box 1048, 173 West St., Rutland, VT 05701. I’ve left a key in your greenhouse, under a pot of Dionaea muscipula. Pardon the intrusions. A bit of an overall hassle, really. I don’t have much time left to secure better arrangements, and the contents of the P.O. box is rather... Well, let’s just say it should remain either where it is, or in your trusted possession and no one else’s.

Best Regards,
Joe Black