The envelope in the locked desk was supposed to be all full of dragon. I had it carefully (professionally) folded and packed. It was a little expensive, sure, but worth the cost. Those people are trained in things like that. They have contingency plans and insurance, and psychology behind them. They have good flat surfaces and bone folders. They have room for that sort of thing. If I had tried to fold it myself, it would have invariably come out lumpy and not fit in the envelope. Also, it would probably have gone poorly for the dragon.

So in the end it all fit in the envelope. Lined with bubble wrap, it was snug and secure. You could barely see the rise and fall of its sleeping breath through the manila and strapping. I knew that when I took it to the post office counter, I could deny with a straight face that there was anything liquid, hazardous, fragile, or perishable. It was just, well… heavy. But I was prepared for that. It’s why I paid extra for the packing. And hence the electric pallet jack and the borrowed 4×4.

Things went awry in the driveway. I’m told most accidents happen close to home, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise, I guess. The package went down and the end tore. Before I even had a moment to consider whether I had tape in the junk drawer to mend it, the whole thing sprung apart like a nitrous-loaded jack-in-the-box. There were wings all over the place, a snout the size of a pony nostril-deep in the lawn, and the forsythia bush went roots-up under a fistful of claws. An armoured tail went up sea serpent style through the azaleas. And all I could do was blink and imagine what a mess this would have really made, had it happened between here and Ohio.

It flew off. Took a tremendous gasp of air and lurched into the sky, righting itself over the pitched roofs of the subdivision and beating the air until it was distant. It never even looked back at me.

And I wonder how things would have transpired had that envelope arrived safely at your doorstep. I imagine the red-faced and huffing mailman at your apartment, ringing the doorbell in anticipation of leaving behind this burden his route was cursed with, pulling the dolly behind him like a resistant dog. Your brows creased in confusion as you receive it and sit upon the stoop to rip the package open there and then, rather than try to lug it indoors. You’d wonder what the hell I’d mailed you this time, and what kind of trouble I’d gotten myself into.

I hope you would find the tear-here strip before you keyed the thing open, carefully unfold it according to the directions on top, and have enough meat in the fridge.

I wanted you to remember. That’s why I was going to send it to you. We were once such deftly folded magic – volatile and held together by sheer will and concentration and cellophane. Such a grand monster, you know? Fleeting, expensive, heavy. Well and good in flight, I suppose. A weight on the postman’s shoulders. Difficult in transit.

The envelope came through well enough to save. A souvenir not quite worth framing. A six dollar piece of paper with a ragged edge and a tar stain. You would never have believed me if I had told you what was in it, so I never did mention.