Nest: Letter Nine
Dear Mr McDonough,
As the registered inhabitant of 26 Church Road, Idmiston, you are required by your leasehold agreement to return any and all materials originating from the land belonging to the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The Ministry of Defense (MoD) takes this obligation very seriously, as it protects not only the safety of our nation as a whole, but the well-being of the people living in the surrounding villages in Wiltshire. The Ministry therefore expects you, Mr McDonough, to treat this obligation equally as seriously.
It is thus with regret that this correspondence is being sent to your address, as the Dstl is insistent that certain organic materials taken from their site onto your property have not been duly returned. How are these materials arrived in your possession is certainly of interest to the Ministry and we hope to receive a full response detailing this in due course. Whether or not they were taken by yourself, a party known or unknown to you, or you found them on your property by other means, the Dstl has a right to their safe return.
A creature under the care and jurisdiction of the Dstl is believed to have absconded to your property and roosted there. The creature has since been returned, however further research has shown certain materials resembling eggs were deposited within the bounds of your home. These ‘eggs’ are under the ownership of the Ministry of Defense and any information pertaining to them, their contents or their parentage is protected under the Official Secrets Act 1989, and thus we will not be able to provide any further information regarding them.
Needless to say, this is a pressing matter, and the staff at the Dstl are keen to return to the status quo of their research and you, Mr McDonough, are no doubt keen to return to your ordinary life without further bombardment of letters of this nature. Therefore take this letter as notice that if the aforementioned materials are not returned by the end of the month, employees from the MoD will be sent to your property to secure their safe return, as detailed under your leasehold agreement.
If you have any questions regarding these measures, feel free to get in contact via the return address overleaf. Please also use the provided address to send a report of the methods through which the ‘eggs’ came into your possession.
One final note on the handling of these materials: do not, under any circumstances, handle the ‘eggs’ without before taking the following safety precautions.
Wear protective gloves made from a disinfected material when touching the ‘eggs’.
Do not bring the ‘eggs’ into contact with any other organic material.
Do not smell the ‘eggs’ or bring them close to your face or the face of others.
Do not heat the ‘eggs’ above 21 degrees Celsius.
If you or someone you know has acted against the advice provided above, write immediately to the MoD or, better still, bring yourself or that individual to the Dstl as soon as possible.
We anticipate your communications and the return of the Dstl’s materials posthaste.
by Alex Horn
Nest is our epistolary project, written collaboratively by students and staff and published every fortnight right here on Falwriting. You can find out more about Nest here, and read Letter Eight here.
You can also listen to our previous Nest podcasts here.