Behind the Scenes: Return to Sender



I am done now. I have lived and I am ready. Dad, Mikey don’t be sad. I want this.


Behind the Scenes: "Return To Sender"


“Oh god! Oh god!” Lyle gasped beneath his rampant breath as he ran through the tall dry grass, sprinting with all his might from the men who had just shot and killed a man near the old abandoned mine shaft.

He could feel them gaining on him, the air encompassing his body felt cold with the hands of death and he could feel it reaching for him. He took a quick glance over his shoulder when he miss stepped and slammed down into the dirt with full force – the camcorder still safe in his hand. Spitting the dirt from his mouth, he quickly stumbled up and spun around but the fields were silent. He strained his eyes through the darkness towards the old shaft where their cars began quickly leaving. The first string of bullets tore a line in the ground beside him threw small plumes of dust into the air as they hit, and he immediately began to sprint again. “Oh shit, oh shit!” he exclaimed beneath his breath as he pressed for the trees where his Cortina stood in the shadows of the tall pine trees lining the quiet road leading towards the mine.


In the car, he put the camcorder on the passenger seat beside him and quickly spun out from the dirt and onto the tar. With his tires screeching as the black Cortina shot forward, he kept vigil on the rear-view mirror as their cars began leaving the old dirt path a few kilometres behind him.
The black SUV that tore through the field like a demon of the night to his side didn’t register until the glare of its headlights hit his dashboard and he swung the steering wheel just in time to avoid it from ploughing into the front of his car. The SUV skid up onto the tar beside him, the window rolling down as the man I the dark suit lowered the assault rifle against the door.

“Oh sh…” The word barely left his lips when he slammed on the brakes and swung the car to the side, swinging in behind them before veering off the road across the grass of the middle island that split the lanes. The SUV followed course as Lyle shot across the lane and took the first road right, his foot flat on the pedal as bullets roared from the rifle, clattering against the tar just inches from the wheels before the Cortina spun the bend and veered off down the dark road. By 145 kilometres per hour, the lights of the SUV were small white dots in the distance after having to first swing around to follow after him.


The road was silent and dark and he turned the lights off, slowly gearing down to avoid using his breaks in fear that they would spot the red lights. Once he slowed enough, he carefully began applying the hand brake to roll off the tar and onto the dirt, gravel and grass lining the vast stretch of road. Carefully, he steered towards the small path that led into the field through an old barbed wire fence and continued to roll down into the darkness until he felt far enough from the road to stop.
With the camcorder in his hand, he got out and stayed low against the body of the car until he reached the boot where he knelt down. He was breathing heavily, his body cold and his heart beat slammed against his chest and temples. Carefully, he slowly got up to peer just enough through the grass to see the road, the lights of the SUV now nearing closer, its tires roaring on the road.

He held his breath as they tore past the path he used to exit and watched as its brake lights faded into the distance. With a sigh of relief he collapsed onto the ground as the deadly silence of the night resumed around the dark fields. He got back into the car staring at the camcorder on his lap, feeling that the thirty two minute long footage he just recorded after the shooting would be sufficient should anything happen to him. Turning the ignition, he began to make his way out of the fields as the orange rays of dawn broke on the horizon.


While the day progressed around him, Lyle Harper remained in the shadows and off the grid in fear of everyone around him. But by 3pm that afternoon he knew he had to make contact with someone before he too would end up dead in the forgotten mine shaft. He switched his cellular on, sunk deep in his seat at the far side of the construction crew responsible for the building of new lecture halls and facilities for the local college.


“Michael?” his father’s voice came through.

“Dad! Dad, I’m in some serious trouble!”

“Where are you?”

“I need to see you. Where are you?”

“In my office. Where are you Lyle?”

“It doesn’t matter right now, I just need to speak to you. It’s very important. Where can we meet?”

“The old shed off route 11.”

“How do you know about that?”

“I have eyes and ears everywhere. It’s private and safe, we can meet there to talk about the trouble you are in.”


“Take it easy now, and we’ll see what we can do about keeping you safe.”

Lyle closed his eyes, leaning his head back on the rest as he gasped.

“Are you there Lyle?”
“Yes. Yes I’m here…”
“Ok, see you in an hour.”

Lyle shut the flap of his cellular and dropped his head against the steering wheel in defeat.


As the Cortina rolled along the path towards the two abandoned sheds, Lyle felt everything within him sink to dread as he parked the car a few feet from the town car that stood facing the shed.
He got out and looked up at the dilapidated sheds before walking towards the town car only to find that no one occupied it. Apprehensively, Lyle Harper turned to the shed and slowly made his way to the door.



Sitting at his desk with a tall Scotch in his hands, Frank Harper fought back the tears as he re-read the suicide note his son had written prior to hanging himself in an old mining storage facility. The house was silent and the sadness cluttered every action he made whether conscious or not.

I am done now. I have lived and I am ready to meet God. Dad, Mikey don’t be sad. I want this. It’s my time. 

I did this because I want to be happy and free of this world. Forgive me for being so selfish. I love you. Lyle.


A knock tapped on the door and he looked up, his eyes blood shot and swollen from the lack of sleep he’d endured since they found his sons body a week before. After all the terrible fights they had between them and the disgrace he felt Lyle had placed on the family name he could not allow himself to cry freely and mourn his son because he knew that the time lost between them had now forever been stolen from them. He wanted just one more chance to speak to his son and take back everything that had been broken between them and the thought of that now being impossible angered him severely because he had always thought he would have the chance once his political career was over.
A knock tapped at the door and his trusted right hand Max Keagen entered cautiously.

“I’m sorry sir, but there’s someone from the courier service here.”
“So what?”
“They have a parcel addressed to Michael, with very strict instructions…”
“So sign it and leave me alone!” he urged, eager to wallow in his grief until it killed him too.

“I’m sorry sir…I didn’t explain accurately. You see Mr. Harper the parcel was sent from Lyle.”



Soul Break — Behind the scenes “Return to Sender” Copyright 2016 Lynel Coetzer


Soul Break Part One is the first in a fiction novel series that is currently available in both PRINT and Digital format from any of the following retailers:
*Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, *, MegaBooks, GoodReads, Powell’s City of Books, Book Bongo, AbeBooks, Kindle and more. (*Preferred suppliers)

For full synopsis on the first in the series, other downloadable ‘Behind the Scenes’ and more visit:

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