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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 27, 2018 07:01PM

The sun-drenched kitchen highlights the dust motes as they float eternally around the musty smell of neglected space. Mormon paces in and out of the kitchen in his familiar track. Another lonely day checking his stocks, hopefully making more and more money, and tracking his largest assets from his upper-class home. But the morning loneliness will be broken for him only when the mail comes.

This is when Lethe comes, and she is such a bright part of his day.

She is one of the few people who want to talk to Mormon or are willing to listen to him tell his stories. Alone, sequestered in his big City Creek Condominium life has a familiar ebb and flow only broken here and there by a handful of people and events. The letter carrier Lethe is one of these. Now she makes a special effort and for this he is eternally grateful. She doesn’t have to hand deliver anything anymore. There is staff here to do that, but she once had a letter from an admirer she insisted on hand delivering and the staff called, and he okayed it. Ever since then, when they first met and spoke, he has insisted that she be able to deliver his mail personally. It may be old fashioned to have an actual post person, but Mormon likes a lot of old fashioned things.

And it meant something to have someone try to penetrate the security he is now kept in.

It wasn’t always like this. When Mormon was younger people believed him and believed in him. In his younger days he was a captain, a preacher, a prophet and a symbol of liberty for people to rally around. Now he is a musical, a mythological character, and a joke. He represents polygamy more than liberty. He is more apt to inspire a laugh than respect.

Oh, people like him. He is one of the best people they know but they don’t want to see him anymore.

He understands. He puts his coffee mug of mostly drunk Postum in the sink for the cleaning people to attend to later. The light shining in on his expensive marble countertop reflects little bits of gold leaf he so admired picking it out just a handful of years ago. He turns toward the living areas and walks slowly past all the statuettes also leafed in gold of his son. A son he hasn’t thought of in years.

Nostalgia takes over. When Moroni, his son, was little life wasn’t so lonely. His wife died giving birth to his only child and Moroni was all he had. But now Moroni himself is an old man and traveling the world. As the symbol of what Mormon made Moroni is kept busy with all the business interests of their corporation. Mormon is much too old and enfeebled to do much more than track their successes and failures. Moroni is his golden boy and the only one he has.

Mormon’s reflections are interrupted by the sound of a bell that only admits people from the business, but he knows this isn’t one of them. This is Lethe.

He moves as quickly as he can to the ornate Walnut door that was made from a tree in his yard when he had a home on a street with a very large yard. It had been rotted out in the middle and died years before it was made into a door, but he had loved that tree and wanted a reminder of it in his new home. And now here it was being used to let in his friend the letter carrier.

Opening the door Mormon sees the uniform of a postal worker and greets it with a warm smile. Lethe is there. She greets him and asks him about his health. He assures her he is in fine health and she returns his smile.

“Not much today Mormon,” Lethe says but that is what she always says. He only gets mail from the few places he is allowed to get it from like headquarters. Thankfully there is something because if there wasn’t Lethe wouldn’t be here.

“How are you Lethe?”

“Oh, I’m doing great. My daughter is dating another woman and my son’s kids all think that they are transgendered.”
Mormon laughs. It is always a joke with her. And then she launches into a story about her arthritis and her husband’s health and all the other ails of her world. But eventually she ends with her usual question.

“So, Mormon, gonna give me one of those famous stories of yours today?”

He straightens up and declares that he will, and she will have visions of heaven as a result. As he talks he is cognizant of cameras and the heavy plush carpet and expensive pieces of art adorning the hallway to his home. He isn’t allowed to have Lethe enter his condominium apartment. They have been very clear about who can and can’t come into his home. He knows their reasons. He is very old and very famous and who knows who could use pictures and information about how and where he lives against the business?

But Lethe doesn’t mind standing outside his door. She is an admiring fan of Mormon from his younger days and she was lucky even to be able to hand deliver that fan mail from her son who was dying from childhood cancer. That same son is alive today she believes because of the miracle of being able to deliver that letter.

So, he understands and starts recounting the story of Korihor and his evil ways. Lethe loves this one. It is such a portentous story for these days of disrespect for the things Mormon stands for like liberty, authority, and divinity. Lethe loves it and hangs on his ever word. Not that he gets it right much anymore. His mind isn’t want it used to be, but Lethe takes joy in getting the story straight from Mormons mouth. She has also even said she would like to hear his son play his famous trumpet as well. What she doesn’t know is he isn’t very good, but he would never tell her that.

At the end of his story Lethe hands him his one and only letter today. It is from his son Moroni! The joy and pleasure he feels at getting a real letter and not an email, text, or phone from Moroni courses through him. What an important letter it is! He opens it with haste and then feels funny. Something isn’t right.

He begins to totter. His arm aches and pulses with pain. Dropping to one knee he tries to inhale an extra breath and fails. Things are starting to blur in his vision. He can hear Lethe’s cries and feel her hands attempting to help him. Nothing can stop his descent to that plush carpet. He lies down. In the back of his mind he can hear a voice. Oh, no he thinks. It is Rusty.

Mormon had been having nightmares for years. They were occasional and have only been increasing in frequency in the last couple of years. The dreams aren’t the same except for one thing – Rusty. There is this clown dressed as a doctor who appears in his dreams of promised lands and lands of milk and honey. That is also a similar theme – more than just pleasant dreams. These dreams always have elements of joy in them like being reunited with his wife who bore Moroni or of one of the many wives he used to have after her in his polygamist days.
In these dreams he feels so much joy and happiness. Then in the middle of them Rusty appears. He always has those surgeon scrubs on and those piercing evil eyes. He is a clown who isn’t funny and all that clown makeup can’t make up for the evil in his voice as he declares himself.

“Mormon, here I am Rusty, Rusty the Clown come to take your life away.”

And now there is that voice again but from behind the darkness that is becoming his vision. Rusty is laughing now and it is like a loop of sound. Repeatedly laughing. Not loud laughter but the piercing slow soft-spoken laughter of a man enjoying something other than mirth.

Lethe doesn’t know what to do. Mormon is lying on the floor in his doorway convulsing. She screams to the cameras help and yet doesn’t see anyone coming. On her knees she watches Mormon die in his doorway next to his beloved door. And on his chest is the letter he just received. She knew it was from Moroni. The leader of the business was such a charismatic and photogenic men. She had never met him, but everyone knew him. He had singlehandedly promoted the business to world renown. He had known just where to go to find the gold that the business was so famous for and was used to promote his father’s stories to acclaim.

But she could see what was written in that short letter as she watched Mormon dying not knowing what to do to help him. He was an important person even if his glory days of story fame had passed. She didn’t know if she could touch him and here he lay obviously dying. She had been a fan of his her whole life and she was the only one with him as he lay dying.

And she had read what was in the letter. It had seemed to give Mormon such joy to receive it, but he didn’t know what it contained and only who it was from. It was a letter from Moroni telling his father that he was putting Mormon into a care facility. A place where people go to die.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2018 07:02PM by Elder Berry.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: November 27, 2018 07:59PM

good one Elder ~

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Posted by: cinda ( )
Date: November 27, 2018 08:29PM

Enjoyable read, EB. Even for this nevermo :)

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 27, 2018 09:32PM

Nice. Very nice. I like the way your mind works as much as I like your jelly. It's like Mormon is in the vault with all the other church relics hidden away.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: November 27, 2018 11:47PM

I like it! Thanks for posting it. And thanks even more for writing it.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: November 28, 2018 01:31AM

I interpreted this as an allegory for what is happening to the Mormon church.

Like Done & Done said, Mormon is in the vault not for his protection, but to keep him from maybe saying the wrong things to the wrong people. He was supposed to have it all--a Golden Boy son--even the views outside his million-dollar City Creek condo--but he was a prisoner in his own castle, isolated from the world.

I loved this story!

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Posted by: Kathleen ( )
Date: November 28, 2018 03:06AM

Mother Who Knows Wrote:
> I interpreted this as an allegory for what is
> happening to the Mormon church.

That’s how I saw it, too.

EB, I liked how you portrayed Mormon as hanging on to and reciting his same old stories. I’m certain mormonism will go its grave never denying the big joke. A great peak into a very likely future, EB.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 28, 2018 05:29PM

Thanks everyone. It was based upon a short film that I saw in my youth called, "The Mailbox." Lethe was the main character.

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