The Briefcase

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“The briefcase” is a short story by Rebecca Makal .the setting of this story is unknown as are the name of the characters. After escaping from prison the protagonist of the story sees another man being taken prisoner in his place. The protagonist finds the man’s briefcase and in desperation decides to adopt the man’s identity by using the content of the briefcase to learn more about him. Ultimately this story is about desperation and guilt. The story begins with the protagonist who was a prisoner at the time escaping from prison because his wrist had gotten too skinny for his cuffs. The protagonist it seems use to be a chef who was arrested because of his politics beliefs who was arrested after his night restaurant got raided and burned down. After finally escaping his cuffs the chef watched as soldiers arrested a man on the street making him strip and drop his briefcase. After the solders left with the man the chef takes the man’s things and decided to adopt a new identity by using the information in the briefcase to learn more about him. After searching through the briefcase the chef finds a business card and an id. From this he found out that the man was a physics professor. The chef then moved cities away and was now using the professor’s name and also grew his beard out to look more like the professor. He then used the professor’s address book to write a letter to all the professor’s friends and students informing them that the professor was alright but he needed some money. After a year money came less often, and even old friends who used to write monthly now sent only rare, apologetic notes and a few small bills. In the end of the story the chef goes to the post office as usual to check the mail but there was no mail only the professor’s wife who then began questioning him. The chef couldn’t bring himself to answer the questions he only wrapped his arms around the crying wife whispering “Let me go home with you. I’ll be a father to your son, and I’ll warm...
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