Postbox Theory – Sunday Photo Fiction

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a younger generation trying to reconcile older methods, begins after the photo.

Genre: Speculative Fiction/Humor

Photo by: Alastair Forbes

Postbox Theory

While waiting for the tram, Linda finally decided to ask the question. “Hey Jules, what is that?”

“What’s what?”

Linda pointed across the street. “That thing over there, looks like a phallic symbol.”

“Oh that,” groaned Juliette. “It’s a postbox, you git.”

“What? Like a cellphone tower?”

“No, silly. It’s for sending mail.”

Linda’s face screwed with confusion. “What do you need it for? You just hit ‘send’ and the mail’s off.”

Juliette sighed. “No, it’s for written mail.”

“Right. You write a message and you press ‘send’ on your phone,” grimaced Linda.

Juliette rolled her eyes. “I mean mail written with pen and ink. You glue a stamp on and stuff it all in the postbox. That’s the theory anyway.”

“Oh! I saw my mum doin’ that when I was little. I thought she was makin’ modern art. Is it really true?” said Linda, incredulous.

“Pretty sure. It’s all bloody stupid if you ask me.”

“Yeah. Antiquated. Why bother keeping postboxes?”

Juliette paused to send a Twitter message. “Dunno. Maybe for tourists. I saw some Americans taking pics of one.”

Just then, Fariz the Fanatic, strode into the crowded tram stop across the street. He pulled open his olive jacket to reveal a suicide vest loaded with C4 explosive. Triumphantly, he held up the trigger and shouted, “Allahu Akbar!”


Juliette blinked away afterimages. A searing particle beam had lashed out from the re-purposed postbox, and removed the head and trigger hand of the suicide bomber. “Oh, that was smashing!” she said.

“Brilliant!” enthused Linda. “So that’s what they’re for, Jules. I knew your whole ‘postbox theory’ was rubbish!”
Each week, Alastair Forbes, photographer extraordinaire, posts one of his original photos as a flash fiction prompt. Lucky writers like myself then write fiction or poetry based upon the photo. Look here for more stories about the photo at the start of the post:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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26 Responses to Postbox Theory – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Great piece. Fantastic post box.
    (Google ‘Manchester bomb post box’ for images of the only thing standing following the 1996 IRA bomb.)


  2. Indira says:

    Brilliant . Fantastic post.


  3. I didn’t expect that one. Repurposing…


  4. Lyn says:

    And another modern day theory bites the dust! This man is a bottomless pit of wit and wisdom.
    I love the repurposing…definitely caught me off guard. Great job Eric 😀
    P/S I just posted a letter today actually.


    • Al says:

      I agree with you Lyn 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Thank you, thank you. 🙂 Those postboxes look like little gun turrets (or perhaps Daleks). It seems they’d work well in this role. Glad I could give you a surprise. I love doing that if I can. I haven’t posted a letter in years. It seems odd because before that was the only way to send one. My how things have changed. Thanks so much for the visit, Lyn!


  5. Al says:

    I love this story. I still post letters regularly. I was surprised – again – by your ending. You have an awesome sense of humour 🙂


  6. List of X says:

    That must be the real reason why everyone switched to e-mail 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I think you’re right! Sending by postbox can be a very dangerous operation. 😉


      • List of X says:

        And what if this postbox follows the same procedures as the TSA and thinks that scissors and water bottles are dangerous items?


      • EagleAye says:

        Well, that’s why they didn’t program it to think that. Procedures are different out on the street as opposed to an airliner in flight. Someone could walk past with a bag of fertilizer on his shoulder and exit the area unscathed. However, a guy blasting away at civilians with a hunting rifle leaves no room for ambiguity.


  7. It’s a TARDIS! 🙂 On a more serious note, I actually did post something by physical mail the other day. Rare but true. I don’t know about the US, but the NZ postal system is in a death spiral just now (less mail, put prices up that deter people from posting = still less mail, so put prices up again…)


    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! You know, I forgot but when I updated my passport I had to send it through the mail. I had to send the old one with my renewal form. You know the times have changed because I was nervous that it would get there. It used to be people were nervous their email would get there.

      Businesses have come a long way from Henry Ford’s wisdom. They offer fewer and fewer services and demand higher prices. Profit NOW and forget tomorrow is the modus operandi of the current business model. With fewer and fewer people with money in their pocket, business ignores this minor detail and so insists on charging more, insuring fewer customers. It’s so strange to watch it happening. You don’t need an MBA to figure this one out, yet the death spiral continues.


  8. Cute story! I really liked it! I laughed….. 🙂


  9. yarnspinnerr says:

    I echo Indira ji – Brilliant.


  10. I repurpose stuff, but not a postal box yet. Great story. As a historian, of course, I love the old-fashioned practice of writing and saving letters. What will future generations have to know us by?


    • EagleAye says:

      I think future generations will know us by our letters quite well. They’ll see them and be able to read them…in .pdf format, sent by email… 😉

      Thanks for the visit! 🙂


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