The messages arrive every month, but never at the same time. One could be a letter, second class, with no return address. Another might be a telephone call, delivered in a different voice–sepulchral or bright, male or female–each time. There have been notes slipped under doors and emails from unknown senders, papers tacked to your corkboards and faxes sliding drily out of your machine.

They have borne everything from a flowing hand to crude backwards letters to magazine cutouts to morse code. some can be read in a minute, while others would take hours to decode, if that was necessary.

It’s not.

The form may vary, but the content is always the same.

A single phrase: “She is alive.”