mailbox, orange dot, Solender

13 Days of Horror: Michael J. Solender – Orange Dot


For the next 13 days to Halloween, Listen to the Voices will be hosting Halloween horrors to fright and delight you. Grab that caramel apple, stir your brew, turn on the lights if you must, for a new thriller every day by those who know darkness and write it well.

My first guest write is from one of my favorite writers, a man whose expanse of talent is dazing and modishly progressive. Haunted by a plethora of muses, his exceptional gift in the craft also reflects his dedication to circulate the written word of so many. Please welcome Michael J. Solender and his story, Orange Dot.

Suburbia. 4 a.m. Your morning paper delivery guy is out. He’s not alone.

Orange Dot

by Michael J.Solender

Ours is a typical suburban housing development with mailboxes affixed to sturdy posts, standing solitary sentry at the end of our drive. As I retrieved the mail the other day, I noticed a reflective green dot, about the size of a quarter, had been placed on the post just below the mailbox. Puzzled, I wondered for just a moment what its purpose might be and then promptly thought nothing more of it.

The following morning at an hour that is only experienced awakened once daily by less industrious types than my wife and me, I noted on our walk around the neighborhood that the paper delivery guy was stopping at each box with a green dot and slipping the morning journal inside the protective sleeve below.

“Ha the green dot tells the paper guy where to deliver – ingenious.” I exclaimed to my wife who kept her rhythm and focus on outpacing me as we came to a nasty hill.

“What’s the orange dot for then?” she quizzed.

Sure enough, I saw that about every 5th post had an orange reflective dot. I wondered if it was for some national journal or weekend delivery only.

“We don’t have an orange dot, I’m not exactly sure.” No sooner were the words out of my mouth than we were passed by a circular object resembling a large inner tube, racing past us only inches from the ground.

It was glowing bright orange and had a tiny periscope type proboscis extending from its front surface. A pulsing light fixed on the first post encountered with an orange dot on the mail post. The craft stopped for a moment and then within seconds, was hovering in front of the door of the house with the offending dot.

My wife and I were panicked beyond speechless and watched in abject terror as small, orange glowing snakes emerged from the craft by the dozen. They began silently burrowing into the door and under the window frames. The craft whisked on to the next home with an orange dot.

I had seen enough, I grabbed my wife’s elbow and we quickly walked in the other direction towards our house. For 5 minutes neither of us spoke.

“What should we do?” My wife was crying.

“What can we do, the police won’t believe it, and I saw it and I don’t believe it.”

“But what was it, what did we see?”

“Sweetie, I can’t explain it and don’t want to even try. Freaky things happen in this world. I say we forget it, don’t discuss with anyone and just go on about our business.” I was trying to be pragmatic.

I had enough drama in my life and didn’t need any more.

“Ok, that’s done then.” I said, “I’ll make some coffee.”

It was now 5:00 a.m. and we both needed a jolt of something.

“I’ll get the paper.” My wife volunteered.

I began grinding the beans and the aroma of my $30.00 per pound Geisha beans began to work their magic before I could even brew them. What the hell was taking her I thought, she’s been out there for five minutes.

I walked out onto the porch and saw my wife halfway down the drive. She was sobbing and her entire body was heaving convulsively. I raced up to her.

“What is it hon?”

She pointed at our mailbox and just below the green reflective dot I had noticed yesterday was another similarly shaped, but distinctly orange dot.

“Orange dot,” was all she could say.


Bio: Michael J. Solender canceled home delivery of his paper. But you can find him here: Not From Here, Are You?

24 thoughts on “13 Days of Horror: Michael J. Solender – Orange Dot”

  1. Very nice one M J, really enjoyed the story, and its the fairly simple things that you have been able to highlight, well done.


  2. Jeanette CheezumMikey, what's wrong with you? You're not supposed to stop there. I have hidden all the orange dots in the house and I'm calling the neighbors. Good stuff.


  3. Yeah. Okay. So now I had to run out to my mailbox and take off a red sticker somebody put there. I thought it was the electric company, but I'm not taking any chances. I don't get the newspaper. What the hell was that dot for?Thanks a lot, MichaelRavenne (ps. Great Story!)


  4. Nice one, Michael! All by suggestion, and I loved the saucerful of snakes.Great idea Erin, thanks for hosting this. The bats shimmer and disappear as I move my head up & down in front of my monitor… (yes, I have a neck problem…)Now, must get a scraper and go out to the mailbox.


  5. MJ ~ You had me at "abject terror" and then kept snaking the horror in Laura and Rob Petry's usually tame New Rochelle. I confess to putting the true*blue dot on Angel's post for just the kinda guy he is (and thinkin' it might tangle him into ponderin' a bit). I also sent copies of Christian in his pj's to your NC paper for a slow Sunday edition. You rock man, whether wry commentary or spinning a damn good tale. Erin rocks more – she threw this shindig and let you shine first eeeeerie light. ~ Absolutely*Kate


  6. I love the way you were able to contrive a situation whereby two middle-aged people could be standing out on their lawn in tearful terror pointing at a small orange sticker.The sense of impending doom was palpable.


  7. Mike! It's the simple things, like orange dots, that will be the end of the human race. Uf's and snakes are an odd combination and so…Lovecraft creepy. This is def one of my MJS favs. Way to kick off a horror event, Mike! ps. The pic chosen to go with the story is awesome. The site looks fantastic Erin.


  8. Michael, I love this tale because there is something so normal about it, the kind of fright that could actually happen. Well developed and great dialogue too.Thank you for sharing!Erin


  9. Creepy stuff, particularly the description of the orange snake things burrowing under doors. A great case for canceling all subscriptions, services, deliveries, etc., and just living like a hermit.Okay, I suppose the orange dots are worse than having to go outside in your pajamas and fetch the paper, making sure your neighbors don’t see you, trying to not be exposed to the elements, and also not lock yourself out of your house. That’s what I never liked about getting the paper delivered.


  10. Sooooooooo good, Michael. I love how you took something so simply ordinary and made it scary. Uh, but my question…what does a blue dot mean? I have one on my mailbox right next to the green one and I'm terribly frightened.


  11. I've always been suspicious of my paper boy. I bet he's got one of those things in his garage. Awesome story, Michael. Creepy as heck. A great start to what I'm sure will be a thrill filled 13 days.Big thanks to you, Erin


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