March 16, 1917


We shift as worlds change.

There are plots of land in Cross, hidden deep in the woods, that are never put up for sale, never leased out, no matter how enticing money might seem.

And that is because not everything that looks empty is empty.

On Gordon Road, a narrow and twisting route that cuts from North Road to East Road, you will find mailboxes and dirt drives.

But you will find neither people nor houses.

Still, the mailmen will deliver the occasional letter or flyer, the odd package that comes from towns and cities they have never seen or heard of before.

But deliver them they do.

Occasionally, there is even mail going out. This mail is usually, although not always, marked with the correct date. Some of the mail even has addresses that make sense.

Others do not. Nor do they even have the proper stamps.

Once, on March 16, 1917, postman Charles Roche found a large manuscript case would not fit into the mailbox, so he took a risk, and followed the dirt drive up and in.

Later, Charles stated that the drive went much farther than it should have, at least a mile. When he reached the end, there was a large wooden structure and a small boy near it. The child wore a bag stuffed with papers and looked at Charles with a surprise that matched his own.

When the boy saw the case, he nodded with satisfaction, ruffled through his bag and retrieved three letters postmarked for Cross.

Without a word, the boy and Charles exchanged their mail, and then Charles turned and hastily made his exit.

It took him less than a hundred steps to reach Gordon Road.

Mail continues to be delivered, but large parcels are left by the mailboxes.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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