Special Delivery

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten days.... view prompt

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Fiction

August 12, 4:03 pm:


Hello, your payment has been processed, and your shipment is on its way! You can track your order below.


Electronic details submitted by shipper, expected delivery date is August 18. 


August 13, 5:01 am:


Rodney loaded the last of the boxes and letters into the van, already feeling hot in the summer sun, which rose and set at unearthly hours. He put his water bottle to his lips, and when he finished drinking, there was a brown box right in front of him. Chuckling at his near mistake, Rodney put the package in the passenger’s seat, because he didn’t want to bother opening the back again. 


After some time on the road, the drive began to feel terribly long. Rodney would turn onto the Trans Canada highway, and then find that he had taken a wrong turn, and he was right where he started. Frustrated with himself, Rodney paid great attention to the next time he tried to turn onto the highway, saying every part of the procedure out loud. 


“Signal right. Now change lanes. Check the sign. Yes, this is the right road. Okay, now you’re on the highway. Okay! Drive straight and see, you’re on the Trans Cana- What?!?”


Rodney pulled over violently, still on the original road. With wild wide eyes, he scrambled out into the sweaty air and scanned his surroundings. After calming himself down, or at least calm enough to think, Rodney began to walk onto the highway. He managed to get a few hundred meters down the Trans Canada before another post person saw Rodney’s uniform and pulled over. 


“You good, bud?” The driver called to Rodney.


With a discombobulated expression, Rodney replied, “I swear I haven’t been drinking.” He said it almost as if he was trying to convince himself.


August 15, 11:09 am:


Your order is in transit! Expected delivery is August 18. 


Meanwhile, Rodney was taking a forced week off, and Melinda had brought his load to Medicine Hat, finding no difficulty getting on the Trans Canada, that which had caused her colleague so much pain. Melinda offloaded the boxes and letters, before remembering the box by the passenger’s seat. It was there waiting for her, but something else on top of it was also waiting for Melinda, which aroused a scream from her that would make the bald grow 4c hair. A rattlesnake gazed up boredly at her, looking like a mother bird sitting in her eggs. A long, coiled up mother bird, with a keratin maraca on its tail. 


Heeding her cry, Melinda’s coworkers came bounding out towards her. After seeing the cause of Melinda’s distress, they called animal control. The animal control team arrived in a jiffy, but took much longer to depart. 


“She refuses to leave! It’s like it’s attached or something,” was their diagnosis, “You’ll have to let her tag along.”


Upon viewing the horrified expressions of the post people, the animal control team leader added, “Don’t worry, her mouth’s been shut securely. Bye now!”


August 16, 7:00 pm


Martin had heard about the strange and live cargo he had in the back of his van, but refused to look for it, in fear that it was more than a joke. While offloading at the next post center, he discovered that there was indeed a very attached rattlesnake that had made acquaintances with one of the packages. Martin had been given special (to him they were absurd) instructions to ignore the creature and bring it in with the package. When Martin flung the box down, it’s friend suddenly broke free of her mouth restraint, gave an opened mouth frown to Martin (who froze) and slithered away. 


Martin was wise and ran, not only in the opposite direction, but in the direction of a phone, to call an animal service that was hopefully better than the last one. After everyone had evacuated, spooked by the idea of a musical snake, the animal services arrived. Not too long before they made it to the post building, it exploded. The building exploded for no reason, like it was flaming cola, and someone had dropped in some mints. 


August 18, 3:48 am:


Your order has been delayed. Please check later for an expected delivery date.


Upon the post-explosion investigation of the site, there was a box discovered, lounged in the midst of the wreckage. It was said to either be lucky or cursed, and Lena had the privilege of transporting it to it’s final post centre before reaching the owner. There was now a new joke being passed around the post workers, about this package that seemed to have an uncontrollable urge to use it’s powers to cause mass upheaval. Lena thought they were hilarious until she was given the task of handling it. She spent her entire trip praying and wide-eyed driving.


Nothing happened. The trip was smooth and without excitement, unless stopping to fuel up at a three-month new station counted. 


August 19, 1:22 am:


Nothing occurred all day, leaving some post-office workers disappointed, some relieved, and others tense, waiting for the calm to end before the storm. 


Your delivery is back on track! Expected delivery date is August 22.


August 21, 10:44 pm


Lena’s trip had been so successful that she was forced by her supervisor, and even some coworkers that she didn’t know, to be the one to give the package to its rightful owner. With some extra time on her hands, Lena decided that it wouldn’t be too bad to leave the box in the mailbox, for the recipient to be surprised by in the morning. 


As she drove and whistled cheerily, the steering wheel became annoyingly moist with something that couldn’t have been perspiration. Lena’s hands felt wet, but not sticky or hot, along with her feet. Some seconds later, the van turned to water, leaving Lena utterly bewildered and immeasurably wet. 


A horn honked at her for making her bathroom in the middle of the street, but Lena could not have cared less. Taking off her squelching boots and socks, Lena looked around for the package. Spotting it by the side of the road, she picked it up, and began to run to the owner’s house. Frustrated and freaked, Lena groped for the keys to the mailbox to get the dumb box out of her and her fellow workers’ posession forever. When she had nothing but a few meters left to sprint, she suddenly had to swim, as if the entire street was flooded. 


A young lady was walking towards the mailbox, and when Lena made it to her, the lady asked, “Are you delivering package 433202?”


“YES,” Lena responded without finesse, “What on earth is wrong with this thing?! We’ve had barely any rest for the past ten days!”


“Oh,” the lady said, “Well, maybe it’s because I picked the ‘No rest until it’s delivered’ option.”


“But you got your package later than you were supposed to because of this!”


“Oh. Well, I’ll give the website a bad review. Sorry for your troubles!”


Lena watched the lady strut back into her house with a new item. As soon as the lock clicked, Lena reported back to the post company, and there was great rejoicing. 


Your delivery has arrived, safe and sound!



January 01, 2021 20:32

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