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Contemporary Funny Fiction

There’s a package outside with my name on it.

What would you like me to do?

I don’t know what number this is. I just dialed. I dialed until somebody picked up. You picked me. What would you like me to do?

Can you help me?

I’m sorry, but I’m not used to the phone. I don’t trust it. I don’t trust phones. Communication can be very tricky. I wouldn’t even be calling, but this is an unusual circumstance.

The package is just sitting there. Somebody should pick it up.

I can’t pick it up. I have been told--taught--told not to pick up strange packages. Strange boxes. Things that have my name on them, but that I have not asked for or ordered and this box applies. I did not order this box. I have no knowledge of this box.

It’s brown with no markings on it. No label--other than the one with my name and address on it. It’s rather large, but not so large that it would lead me to think there’s somebody inside it waiting to jump out at me. I would say a dog could fit in it, but it would have to be a dog of a reasonable size. Not a Saint Bernard and certainly not a German--

There are no holes in the box. That means if anything living is inside of it, I can’t assure you that it will be alive much longer, but unfortunately, even if that is the case, I cannot open the box. I can’t touch it or bring it inside. Even having it outside my house is bringing me a great deal of anxiety. When I was younger, my mother would have us recite the various things a terrorist could do to harm us, and one of those things involved leaving a package for us outside our homes. My sister loved mysterious packages, as a matter of fact. She was once left a package that turned out to be filled with severed fingers. We never learned who the fingers belonged to, but my sister never recovered from the experience. She’s currently residing somewhere in North Dakota, but I have no idea where or how I would reach her. Part of me wonders if this package might be from her, but I also know that she’d never want me to open anything I wasn’t expecting. I will say whoever sent it used very nice stamps. I appreciate someone who appreciates a good stamp, but even predators can be connoisseurs of the postal system in this country. You can never let your guard down. Not for one second.

Why yes, I would like to speak to the police, but I’m shaken right now. I’m disturbed by how this has unfolded. On a Friday of all days. Who would do something like this to someone on a Friday? This will ruin my entire weekend. I had no plans this weekend and now I won’t be able to make any plans. Not that I planned on making plans, but had I planned on it, that plan would be out the window by now. That is if I had windows. I had them all boarded up after the last hurricane warning. I wasn’t taking any chances. I rarely do.

The only reason I even know there’s a package outside is because my neighbor slipped a note under my door making me aware of it. I do not go outside except to chase away squirrels and collect my copy of the local birdwatcher periodical. I don’t watch for birds, but I believe that one day the planet will be overrun by them, and when that happens, I’d like to be prepared. My neighbor is the only person I trust to slip notes under my door, and even then, I burn all of them in my kitchen sink, because documentation is the surest way to get yourself thrown into a political prison of some kind. Those who are fearful of terrorists are often mistaken for terrorists, because in avoiding the things we fear, we begin to resemble them. That’s what my mother used to tell me and my sister as she was making us complete an obstacle course at four in the morning in the dead of winter.

Would you be able to come pick up this package, bring it back to wherever it is you live, take it into your safe room, unpack it while wearing many layers of clothing, and let me know if it doesn’t explode? I wouldn’t want you to harm yourself, but I can’t allow myself to be harmed, and so it only stands to reason that I would have to let you risk your own life to protect mine. That’s how a community works, correct?

Am I correct?

Right now my community is mainly made up of my neighbor (who I’ve never actually seen), my mother (deceased), my sister (missing), and you.

And whoever sent me this package.

It wasn’t you, was it?

Well, if it wasn’t you, then whoever sent it to me is also in my community, but that doesn’t mean I can trust them. Not everyone in your community can be trusted. Salem was a community, but there were witches running about, and so that was a corrupted community. You can’t always trust the people in your community, but I feel I can trust you, because you were the first person that picked up after I dialed a series of numbers while in a state of shock.

The Universe led me to you and you to me. Before my mother was whisked away by that pack of owls, she would have called that--

Fate.

Truth be told, I’ve been waiting quite awhile for someone to come along and protect me from dangers--both perceived and highly perceived. Perhaps this package was the Trojan Horse I’ve been searching for ever since I stumbled into this empty house to hide from the owls and made it my home. This might be what helps me to find that special person who can do all the things for me that I’m afraid to do for myself. Things like trying new foods and chewing new foods and walking downstairs into what I can only assume is a haunted basement filled with ghosts and rabid tarantulas.

After you come pick up this package, discover whether it’s lethal or not, and return it to me if it’s not (repackaged exactly as you found it), you could slip a note under the door with questions on it so that you could get to know me and I could tell you about me. Eventually, I’ll have some questions for you as well, but that won’t be for a very long time.

I suggest you hurry though, because if something is alive inside that box, it would have to be nearly out of air by now.

Goodness, I hope it’s not an owl.

I’d hate for you to have to open up this package and come face to face with something like that.

Just imagine how surprised you’d be.

I can’t.

I can’t even imagine it.

December 03, 2021 23:39

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8 comments

Jon Butters
18:00 Dec 09, 2021

My goodness. This, here, is just really wonderful. Several moments of "what the hell" and I mean that in the most enjoyable way. I want more, please. Also, and maybe don't tell me, but this is a mouse, yeah? It occurred to me this morning, this is definitely a mouse. Also, though, please let it not be and i want to see these owls that are lifting off whole adult people. This story is going to be with me awhile. I love it, and the structure was great.

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Kevin Broccoli
18:58 Dec 09, 2021

Oh I never thought it was a mouse. Just a strange individual with a skewed perception of reality, but if you read it as a mouse, that's wonderful. I never considered that.

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Jon Butters
20:02 Dec 09, 2021

I mean, it's your world. 🤷🤣 I like that idea too, that it's a person with a skewed view. Clearly, there a lot to go off of there, and I'd love to read more of your world. Keep up the good work!

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Kevin Broccoli
20:03 Dec 09, 2021

Thank you so much.

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Michael Regan
19:08 Dec 07, 2021

A very disturbing story, I thoroughly enjoyed it ;)

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Kevin Broccoli
19:28 Dec 07, 2021

Thank you Michael

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Cathryn V
20:07 Dec 10, 2021

Such a paranoid tortured individual! The story evoked empathy in this reader. And that’s what good writing does!

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Kevin Broccoli
22:17 Dec 10, 2021

Thank you Cathryn.

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