The Amalgamated Realms Post House for Interdimensional Deliveries

Submitted into Contest #212 in response to: Set your story in a post office.... view prompt


Fantasy Fiction Science Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

"Welcome to The Amalgamated Realms Post House for Interdimensional Deliveries." I said with a forced smile. "How can I be of service today?"

My question was followed by a rambling of burps, spits and general nonsensical squishes. The customer, a Garafavulia from Dimension Xy23, squished his bulbous forehead together in what I assumed was a questioning expression. The Garafavulia flopped their transparent tentacle onto the counter with a wet impact. After a second, they let slip a small black envelope onto the counter.

"Of course. I completely understand." I lied. " Would you like Interdimensional Insurance placed upon the package? It covers lost, stolen, broken, burned, electrocuted, phased, autostereogrammed, and abstractified items. A full refund and potential time-slip renewal."

The Garafavulia sucked in one of its many eyes and conversed within itself until finally returning its focus on me.

"Blarggurchguf." And with an awkward thirty-eye wink it slithered away leaving the black envelope on the counter.

"Is that what I think it is?" Mike, which was short for Michael, which was short for Michaelangelo, asked from over my shoulder.

"Yeah." I said as I picked up the envelope. "Midnight Express Delivery." The thickl black envelope had thin diagonal lines of filigreed gold that only appeared at certain angles and a single silver mark on its sealed flap. It felt strangely warm and uncomfortably heavy in the hand.

"I've never gotten one before. What do I do with it?" I asked, stepping away from the counter. Mike followed beside me his incorporeal form shifting like sails in the wind.

"It needs to be delivered before midnight." Mike looked up at the wall of hanging clocks stationed behind the counter. Each clock, a different shape, size, and color, all ticking away in an endless march towards infinity. Every clock face had its hands, digital number, or sundial pointed in a different direction. I tried to not think too hard about the wildly swerving mess that was interdimensional time.

"I'm not a delivery person." I turned my focus away from the clocks. "Doesn't someone else have to do it?"

"Midnight Express Delivery is a sacred promise. One entrusted to the receiver of the letter and by the looks of it." Mike pointed at the silver mark stamped at the center of the envelope. "He paid for it and you accepted it. Hmm. An extra buck fifty for a letter. A bit pricey. Anyways you need to hurry. According to the timelines you're already three minutes late."

Mike placed his ghostly arm around my shoulders and guided me through the swinging doors below the clocks and into our Infinity Warehouse. An endless collection of doors, holes, and dimensional side steps, all spanning an eternal corridor. A construction, I was told, simply built by pointing two universes together like you would with two bathroom mirrors. Endless and slightly green.

I had seen the Infinity Warehouse on a handful of occasions (front desk people usually weren't allowed into the back) but despite having past experience with the weirdity of the space I was terrified.

A group of eighties rock'n roll raptors passed by talking about their latest gig. In the distance, behind a papier-mâché replica of the Himalayan Mountains, swimming through a sea of stars, was a pixelated school of kite-whales. There was a lot more to see but it was beyond my understanding and literary skills.

A sweetly-sick smell of raspberry cotton candy and funeral balm hung in the air. I loved it but it intimidated me nevertheless.

"Listen Sara-Jane." Mike said, holding my shoulders. "Keep walking, look forward and most importantly don't step sideways. Understood? Good. Now head for the Upside-Down Railway, don't get off till your thirty-fifth stop. Then take Lincoln St past the Murder Crows barbershop and, according to the silver mark, you should be there. Good luck." With that said Mike turned away and passed through the doors and back to the front counter.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and, of course, accidentally stepped sideways.

I first ended up in a black and white replica of 1920's New York. Very noir and filled to the brim with smoke despite me never seeing anyone smoking. It was hard to believe I was still in the Post House when I was standing in the shade of the famous Woolworth Building.

I knew I needed to get to the Upside-Down Railway so I adjusted my newly acquired fedora and knitted sweater and asked the first person I saw where I could find the Railway.

Jimmy "Gin" Tonic was a tall man too skinny for his herringbone suit. He bit a half a cigar in the corner of his mouth and kept taking off his cap to wipe back his sweaty hair.

"The Upside-Down Railway? You can find that closer to the cargo docks by the Eastside river but you don't want to be headed that way. Especially this time of day." Gin said, swiping his hair back for the third time.

"Why's that?" I asked.

"That's where the Moving Pictures Gang resides, and they don't let just any random stranger walk their territory. You gotta prove your worth if you don't want to get shot." Again, Gin took off his cap and rubbed his head.

"How do I do that?"

"You gotta solve a murder. That's how. Not any murder mind you. It's gotta be full of mystery, intrigue, a good twist and finally a showdown. Lucky for you I happen to be a detective and I happen to be on a case." Looking around at all the other people walking about it would seem everyone in the 1920s was a detective on the case.

"Whaddya say dollface? Up for an adventure?"

"Looks like I have no other choice. I'm in."

That's how I spent the next two weeks solving the biggest case of my career. A young hot thing down at the Golden Stage had been found in a dark alley. Died of a shot to the chest. Don't worry it was presented in a very PG-13 way.

From Gin's disheveled office to the misty tracks of the train yard and into the creaking depths of an abandoned cargo ship, Gin and I traveled until finally we ended up here.

"Go Dollface before it's too late." Gin held his bleeding shoulder with one hand the other pointing a gun at Phineas T. Frames, the notorious leader of the Moving Pictures Gang.

"No Gin. You can't go down for this. Everyone needs to know you were framed. You're innocent." As I spoke, I eyed my gun laying a few feet to my left. Knocked out of my hand during our sudden brawl with Frames. Behind me the doors to the Upside-Down Railway were beginning to close. Nestled in the inner pocket of my coat jacket was the black envelope.

"I can't allow you to leave." Frames took a limped step forward. A dark bloodstain grew on the thigh of his pants. "If people find out the truth. If they find out the cliched nature of my stories. How rigid the detective formula really is, then I'll be ruined. That cannot happen. I won't let it happen." Frame cocked his gun and aimed at Gin.

"No!" I yelled while leaping for my gun. I landed hard on my shoulder, splashing stale underground water in my face. A gunshot echoed down the long brickwork tunnel. Frame fell to the floor with a shallow breath. Smoke drifted from Gin's gun.

"Gin…" I began.

"I know Dollface. Now let's get you on the Railway." Gin walked over to me, knocked the brim of my fedora in a sort of older brother kind of way and guided me to the railways doors. "Well done detective. You solved the case. Good luck on your next adventure."

The Railway's doors closed, Gin nodded, and I continued my delivery.

"Next stop, a Daydreamer's Nightmare followed by East Avenue." The sound system called out.

I picked an empty spot on a blue-polyurethane bench between a yeti and a bowl of cereal.

Staring at the black envelope I was greeted with a mind's eye view of my directions. I may have stepped off the beaten path, but I could still make it in time if I took a shortcut.

Seven stops later, a brief walk through a booby-trapped pyramid, a soak in a tsunami filled hot tub and I was back on the Upside-Down Railway headed on the "B" line.

I was still three minutes past midnight but if I hurried, I could still make it. Though according to the silver mark, I had a new path to take it I wanted to make it before midnight. The mail sorting room.

The mail sorting room was a simple twelve-foot by ten-foot room filled with empty slots in the wall. Each slot was packed with different letters, packages and deliveries ready for final pickup. Simple design for a complicated place. The only issue I have now was figuring out how to get to the top.

Looking up at the wall slots was like standing at the bottom of Mount Everest. I hated it when I ended up the size of an ant. I sighed and started to climb.

Higher and higher I worked to pull myself up the wall slots. My arms ached, my chest burned, and my palms were raw. The air started to grow thin and I'm pretty sure at one point a cloud rushed by overhead. Must have been late for work.

At a relatively small mail slot I stopped for a breather. That's where I met Ms. Spindles. A black widow spider which she informed me she was indeed a true widow.

"Hello dear." Ms. Spindles said from the shifting shadows of a nearby fire. She was crouched down low and resting on a thick mousepad for comfort. The fire crackled in the embers of an old pencil and pink eraser. "What brings you to my little slice of life? I don't get many visitors here."

"I'm on a Midnight Express delivery for the Amalgamated Realms Post Hou--" The spider cut me off.

"Midnight Express? My oh my." Ms. Spindles checked her long thin arm which hosted a silver watch. "You're running late. Care for a lift?"

"Really? Oh, that would be wonderful. Are you sure it's not a bother?" I asked.

"None whatsoever. Besides, it's been a great deal of time since this old widow got out of the house." Her speech reminded me of my grandmother.

"Hop on the ol' thorax and let's get you to your destination." Ms. Spindles got to her feet, stretched her legs, to which her joints creaked, and helped me on her back. Riding spider-back was a lot easier than trying to grip a rough, mailroom-white wall. Plus, we had made great time. On our journey further up the wall we came across a few other weary travelers who had decided to join us. We now had a little caravan of misfits. It consisted of Ms. Spindles and I, a set of twin dalmatians, a floating jellyfish and what can only be described as an adolescent blackhole that knew way too much about Marvel movies who went by the name of Kevin.

“That’s when I knew. I knew he was the next big bad. It had to be--” I interjected Kevin before he could spoil anything for me.

“This looks like my stop. Ms. Spindles thank you for helping me. I appreciate everything you’ve done. If there is anything I can do for you.” I jumped from her thorax and onto a wild patch of bluegrass.

“Have the cleaning guy take a break every once in a while. He does such a good job that its making grocery shopping a nightmare. All the dead flies get vacuumed up before I can ever get to them.” She took my hand in hers and gave me a fanged smile. “But most of all. Be careful and try not to do any more Midnight Express deliveries.

“Of course. I’ll do my best. Kevin, keep on keeping on.” I waved them goodbye and turned to my destination.

The silky-black envelope reassured me that we had finally made it. Before my eyes was a long stretch of rolling green hills, lush blue skies, and rows upon rows of apple trees. There was a subtle hint of sea salt in the air and a warm orange sun sat among the clouds. Not far from where I stood was a cozy farmhouse with a wrap around porch and a metal rooster ornament that creaked against the wind.

Sitting in a polished wood rocking chair was a Garafavulia, wrapped in a quilt blanket, tentacles and all. It watched out at the wind-blown grass and gave me a polite burp as I stepped up onto the porch. I handed over the envelope and watched as it opened it.

This was the moment I had worked for so long. The conclusion to my very first Midnight Express delivery. I thought about all the friends I made along the way, all the places I had been and the things I had seen. They were finally going to come together and become one at this moment.

“Happy Birthday Grandma! Love, Gurgeshkingup.” The black envelope said and the Garafavulia let out a gentle tear from one of its many eyes. It gurgled a thank you and before I knew it I had sidestepped my way back to the front office.

“How did it go?” Mike asked me.

“Umm. Fine, I guess. Took a bit of a weird detour but I managed to deliver it in time.” I let out a sigh of relief. I was done.

“That’s good to hear cuz it looks like you got another one coming.” Mike motioned with his head onto the counter and there was another black envelope.

“Nope that’s it! I’m taking my break. Someone else can do it.” I took off my name tag, set it down on the counter and went to eat my tuna fish sandwich.

August 21, 2023 18:23

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Karen Corr
12:54 Aug 31, 2023

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Nor intergalactic drama either, it seems. Hats off to your protagonist! I enjoyed reading your sci-fi.


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KD Weinert
04:55 Aug 31, 2023

I'm awed by your imagination! This was so fun. Vid Weeks commented it had hints of Douglas Adams. I agree, and I'd throw in a touch of Alice in Wonderland too. I was hooked from the very start with the "Garafavulia from Dimension Xy23." The detour into the noir section surprised me, and I worried that we'd gone down a rabbit hole (see what I did there?) but you pulled it together deftly with an exciting and hilarious conclusion and pushed the narrative forward. There are so many funny bits, like sitting between a yeti and a bowl of cereal...


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Myranda Marie
18:40 Aug 30, 2023

I so admire your talent for creating otherworldly characters and scenarios....being an old lady, I especially appreciated the 80's rock and roll raptors ! well done !


Kyler Lopez
19:00 Aug 30, 2023

Haha thank you! I'm a fan of rock and roll so I had to include something :)


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Tom Skye
18:37 Aug 30, 2023

Great twist on the post office theme. Superb imagination. I had all sorts of weird stuff to picture against the backdrop of the typical drab post office I had in my head prior. It was very fun to read. Nice job


Kyler Lopez
18:59 Aug 30, 2023

Thank you so much for reading it! I'm glad you enjoyed the story :)


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Void Priestess
13:59 Oct 14, 2023

I love this, super funny, super chaotic. I really liked the description of the warehouse.


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Vid Weeks
22:26 Aug 30, 2023

A hint of douglas adams. I enjoyed it.


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