Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1992455-The-parcel
by Alison
Rated: E · Short Story · Mystery · #1992455
I used another writing prompt which intrigued me
It was wrapped in brown paper.  No address.  Just my name.  A box of...what?  Not large, about big enough for child's shoes.  Had I ordered something over the Internet then forgotten what it was?  Mental check; no memory of anticipation, need or replacement. 

Picked up, it was suspiciously light.  Not light enough to be empty, but too light to hold anything of substance.  Perhaps it was full of those irritating little white shapes which leaped out when the lid was opened.  I had plenty of experience of those.

Shaken, it rattled.  Not a knocking noise, nor a swoosh, but a definite dull rattle.  Not metallic, nor squidgey; a dull rattle.  Not a tinkle nor a rustle.

I wanted to open it, but the anticipation and guessing was almost better than the reality.  How often had I ripped the paper off and split tape with a finger nail to find that the contents should have remained just that - contents? 

I remembered the cast iron casserole dish free gift which was just about big enough for a doll's picnic or cooking a mouse pie in...  Anticipation needed to be preserved.

Put on the sideboard, the parcel became an object of intense interest. 

'Go on, open it, you will never guess what it is until you do.' Was the edict from my husband; never a patient person.

'Whatever...I haven't ordered anything, not interested.'  From my teenage son with typical ego-centrical logic.

Every time I walked past, I picked it up and shook it.  I had ideas - perhaps some long-lost aunt had decided to send me a favourite piece of jewellery as a keepsake?  No, not metallic enough and surely a piece of jewellery would be packed tightly to minimise damage?

Two weeks later, I returned from work to find that the parcel had been opened.  What a disappointment.  My two boys' patience had run out.  The box was sitting on the dresser, devoid of the outer paper wrapping, de-nuded for me to see the container, a recycled cardboard box stating that there was a 'New and improved pair of kitchen knives' inside.

What was in the box was worse.  Kitchen knives should have warned me, but I am so used to recycled packaging it never occurred to me...

Inside the box was...

A dried out, severed human fingertip.

385 words

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