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The Wonderful Box
By A. H. LaVigne
Friday, February 22, 2002
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
When he had first heard about it, he knew he wanted it, no…he didn’t just want it…he needed it.
Copyright © 2002 by Arthur H. Lavigne. All rights reserved
No part may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic
or mechanical means including information and retrieval systems without prior permission from the author in writing.
Rodger had sent out for it sometime ago and he had been impatiently waiting for what seemed like years for its arrival. When he had first heard about it, he knew he wanted it, no…he didn’t just want it…he needed it. He had excitedly checked his mailbox each day since the time he had ordered it, only to be more and more disappointed each passing day that it wasn’t there.
Today though would be different; today would be the day it finally would arrive; he could feel it down in his soul. Even his horoscope today said, “A message you have been waiting for will bring about a change in your life.”
Rodger stood by his bedroom window and looked out onto his street, anticapating the postman’s arrival. He had a perfect view of his mailbox that was just outside the front gate. Rodger looked back anxiously at the clock; it was 2:35pm, just one more minute till the postman’s usual arrival time. This was going to be it! He knew it was coming, that wonderful box that he had sent for so long ago.
Rodger leaned his face into the pane of the window looking for the appearance of the postman. His hot breath fogged up the window and it soon partially blocked his view. Rodger pulled a tissue out of his pocket and wiped it clean. He looked back at the clock; it was now 2:36pm and still no postman.
“Okay Rodger, don’t panic,” he said to himself, “So, he’s a little late today. Maybe he is chatting again with that babble mouth Carol down the street. You can wait Rodger, …You…can…wait.”
Rodger again leaned his face into the windowpane anticipating the arrival of the thing he knew he couldn’t be without. Ten minutes passed, then twenty, Rodger just stared out the window. The condensation caused from his breath had fogged up the window so much this time that droplets of water began to roll down onto the windowsill. He just stood there almost in a catatonic state looking through the sweaty glass at the outline of his mailbox.
“Something must have happen to the postman,” he said to himself, “someone could have mugged him in order to take away my package!”
Rodger put on his coat and then went out the check the mailbox. He tried to compose himself. “Maybe I somehow missed the delivery. Maybe the package came earlier today,” he reasoned. He opened the box and looked in, nothing but darkness.
“Okay Rodger, don’t panic,” he again said to himself, “he could have dropped it off at the wrong house.”
Rodger proceeded down his street looking into each mailbox he passed but not a box could be found in any of them. He searched the next three streets over for the postman but he couldn’t find any trace of him. He decided that he had better go back to his house and call the Post Office. They needed know that one of their letter carriers was missing and since he was carrying an extremely important package there could be foul play involved.
Rodger picked up the phone and dialed the Post Office’s number. He knew that number by heart. He had called that number twice a day, each day, for the last five days asking if his box had arrived. This time the phone just rang and rang. There was no answer. Rodger put the phone down in disbelief.
He looked back out of his bedroom window. “What could have happened? And why doesn’t anyone answer at the Post Office?” he thought to himself.
The January sun was just over the peaks of the houses that were across the street from Rodger’s when he spied a figure looking at him from a window in one of the houses. As soon as the figure noticed that Rodger was looking back they closed their curtains and pulled down the shade.
“That’s awfully suspicious,” whispered Rodger, “I have to check it out. They may have my box. Why else would they act so guilty?”
He left his house and then slowly and quietly approached his neighbor’s home. Rodger crept around the back of the house to a window in which he could view inside. There sitting on this person’s kitchen table was a box. It was the right shape and the right size. Rodger was sure this was the box, his box! This low life scumbag person had stolen his box! He went quickly up to the front door and rang the doorbell. A lady in her late sixties opened the door slightly. Just a brass chain lock kept the door from opening completely.
“Hello, oh you’re the nice young man from across the street, what can I do for you?” she said.
“I want my package back!” yelled Rodger.
“Don’t you use that tone with me young man!” scolded the lady.
“Fine,” said Rodger using a softer but still threatening tone, “ I want my damn package back, now.”
“I don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Now leave before I call the police!” said the lady but Rodger didn’t care.
“Call the police, I dare you! They’ll find out who the real thief is!” shouted Rodger.
The woman tried to close the door on him but he stopped her and pushed hard on the door until the brass chain lock snapped. The door flew open and Rodger fell in the home’s entranceway.
The Lady ran into the living room, picked up the phone and dialed 911.
Rodger tried to quickly find the kitchen where he saw the box but the hallways slightly disoriented him so he got a little lost before he finally found himself in the kitchen and the “holy grail”: the box on the table.
“Yes, at last!” Rodger exclaimed.
Meanwhile, the lady came back into the kitchen holding an old rusty gun and pointed it towards Rodger.
“Don’t move! I’ve called the police, and they will be here any second.” she said in a trembling voice.
Rodger looked back at the gun; it obviously hadn’t been used in years. There was no way no earth that thing could fire. Ignoring the woman he grabbed the opened box and then looked inside. It was filled with smaller boxes of pills and vitamins. He then looked at the address label. This was not his box.
“I warned you not to move,” said the lady as she tried to pull the rusted trigger.
“Listen, I’m so sorry,” said Rodger, “I thought you had taken my package.” He could now hear sirens in the distance getting closer. He looked back at the box on the table, "When did this get delivered to you?” he asked.
“What?” she replied still holding the gun towards him.
“I need to know what time did the postman come today?” asked Rodger.
“You're crazy! No postman at all came today, it was delivered yesterday,” she said.
This confirmed Rodgers fears, “I need to get to the Post Office,” he said out loud to himself and headed back towards the front door.
As he was exited the door he saw two police cars in front of the house with their lights flashing with two cops with guns drawn were crouching behind them.
“Put your hands up and walk slowly forward,” yelled one of the officers
“You don’t understand it’s vitally important that I to get to the Post Office,” replied Rodger.
“There’s no one at the Post Office! Now keep your hands where I can see them,” said another officer.
In the entranceway behind Rodger the old Lady was still holding her gun. Though the door she could see Rodger with his hand in the air and the police. “Thank Goodness, it’s over,” she said as she dropped her late husbands old rusty revolver to the floor. As the gun hit the entranceway floor it discharged.
“Shots fired! Shots fired!” yelled one of the officers as they ducked behind the car and started to returned fire.
Rodger dived into the bushes and crawled behind the house into the back yard and down the next street.
“Could it have really gone that far?” he asked himself as he quickly ran for the Post Office.
The small local Post Office was only a few blocks from Rodger’s house so it didn’t take him very long to get there even if he was walking. But Rodger wasn’t walking he was running as fast as his legs could carry him. There was no telling what had happened to the people at the Post Office and more importantly to his crucially essential package.
When Rodger arrived he pulled at the entrance’s glass door but it was locked. He peered inside the darken windows. No one was there; the place was empty. He could see the outline of boxes on a shelf behind the counter. There was a package! It was the right size and it was the right shape. That was it! That had to be his box! The sound of sirens could now be heard and they were quickly getting closer. Rodger went back to the entrance and started kicking at the door. The glass soon cracked, and then shattered. An alarm bell sounded. Rodger entered through the broken door and approached the counter. There was a box, must be his box, the thing that he couldn’t live without! He reached for the box; his eyes began to water with tears of happiness.
“At last, my life is complete!” whispered Rodger to himself.
“Freeze!” shouted a voice from behind, “don’t make a single move or i'll shoot!”
Rodger didn’t hear the voice; all he could see was the wonderful box just inches in front of him. He reached his hands out for the box.
Two shots were fired and Rodger dropped to the floor. He touched his chest and there was blood on his fingers. In his last moments of life he looked up at the box and reached out for it. A single finger touched the package, and then Rodger smiled.
The Monday morning early newspaper headline read:
POLICE SHOOT MAN WHILE VANDLIZING POST OFFICE SUNDAY EVENING
That afternoon a package arrived in Rodger’s mailbox with a single bloodstained fingerprint on the side.
Site: The Incredibly Boring Life of Peter Black
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|Reviewed by Melly
|Wonderful twist! Love the satirical value. :o)|
|Reviewed by Jo Janoski
|What a story! Good one! I love the ending.|