Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1994608-The-Parcel-chapter-2
by Alison
Rated: 13+ · Other · Family · #1994608
A writing prompt led to the original which was favourably reviewed with sequel requests.
THE PARCEL Chapter 2

It lay on the scrubbed pine table top, contrasting oddly with the bleached wood, seeming ultimately grubby in comparison. My initial deep revulsion turned to intense curiosity; turning to the packaging again for an answer as to where it came from. Any answer.

‘Kitchen Knives’ the cardboard box proclaimed on the outside. However, it had been cut down to a much smaller size than the original contents had necessitated. One side finished with ‘Kni…’ and the other started with ‘…chen’.

Inside, it was just a normal card box. The re-sizing had been done carefully with clear tape, laid along every new joint and cut cleanly level with the edges. A perfectionist, then.

To stop any damage, there were several sheets of thin brown paper crumpled into the space. Taken out, smoothed out, they gave no clue to origin, no watermark, printing or doodling on any surface. Careful then.

The name on the outer wrapping also gave no clue. It was mine, definitely; even spelled correctly which was a bonus – or was it in this instance? Written in a thick black indelible pen, the underlining not done with a ruler but undeniably neat, it did not have any real anomalies of characterful handwriting. When I write my name it always has a flourish on the end letter, but this was completely flourish-less. Precise then.

Unfortunately my analysis of the outer wrapping was seriously hampered by the shredding it had endured at the hands of two enthusiastic and impatient males; my family who had lost patience with me and wanted to see what the box contained. They had no idea that there may have been a clue in the tough brown paper which had encased the gruesome gift. Unlucky then.

I turned my attention to the contents which still besmirched the end of our table. It was a strange wizened brown colour, similar to a very old piece of crushed leather. The wrinkles in it were sullied with dirt of some kind, as if it had been dug up or kept in a dirty place. I shuddered at the sight of the missing end, it looked mangled as if something had eaten a portion before sickening of it, leaving a tattered piece half hanging but still attached by a strip.The nail was thick and horny, a disgusting black claw which explained the rattle in the box.

Neither of my less-than-enthusiastic males now wanted anything to do with it. They were all for burning it, letting the cats eat it or throwing it away in the rubbish. The last had me nearly in hysterics imagining the consequences if it appeared anywhere and could be traced back to us…We could have our precious garden dug up by hordes of inquisitive people.

Loathe to touch it with anything other than the longest tongs I could find, there was only one thing for it:

‘Is that the Police Station? Yes? Well, I would like to report receiving a mummified finger in the post…’

502 words
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