The Package

It was a Thursday night, I think. Actually, it may have been a Friday for all I remember. Anyways, it was some time during the end of the week that a package my dad had ordered came. A delivery truck pulled up in front of my house and my Dad, being the social butterfly that he is, walked right on out to greet the guy. You know what’s strange, that’s the first delivery guy who was actually happy to see someone take notice of him. Typically every time that I try to make friends with someone who brings the mail, they ask about my parents and tell me to go back inside. Maybe it’s just because my dad is an adult.  Maybe its because I’m not a parent. There really is no telling.

Anyways, the package came later in the day, but my dad went right out to help the delivery guy carry it in. As usual, I was told to stand out of the way. It was huge! And long too. They placed it right next to the piano my grandma gave us when we were younger. My brothers and I have never touched an instrument with the intent on actually getting good at it, so its always just kinda sat there. They’re gone now– my brothers. They moved out because they’re both a lot older than me. Not me though, I’m the young one.

My dad thanked the delivery guy, who, gave my dad a friendly smile and went back out the door. I can’t remember much about what I had said that day, but I asked my dad why he went out to the truck, I mean, he could have just stood back and let the delivery guy get the dolly or whatever and bring it up himself. He explained that it was the right thing to do. He also mentioned that he and Mom were going out for the night for their Anniversary and had to ensure that it was brought in before they left. Funny thing is, I had no idea why my dad looked so nice or why I had been smelling perfume for the past half hour. I really don’t know how parents remember these sort of things. Actually, I think parents have their fair share of forgetting about important things like that too and that’s why they get mad at each other sometimes. Anyways, that isn’t what happened today.

They left together fifteen or thirty minutes later, again, it’s crazy hard to remember these things. It feels like it really has been a long time. I said goodbye to them and they left. I was about 13 at the time and I only recently had been allowed to stay home alone without supervision. That’s why I think my parents really started to go out more– because they could.

I looked around the house bathed in the evening light. I loved the way that damn house would glow when it was afternoons. Afternoons were my favorite time of day, but that doesn’t really matter anymore. The box had cast a long dark shadow that didn’t really make sense to me, but instead of going up to it and inspecting it, I just decided that the thing was playing tricks on my eyes and left it at that. I went down the hallway and into my room to play my favorite video game at the time. I really don’t remember what I saw in those things. I don’t really play them anymore.

I thought ten minutes had passed before I heard the sound of the piano. It sounded like– I dunno, maybe like when some guy is in a bar fight with another guy and just chucks him onto the player piano and the guy playing the piano is like Aw hell nah and jumps in and starts fighting too. But that wasn’t exactly the way it sounded. Hours had passed, I remember that because I thought that they hadn’t and looked at the clock and was surprised.

I rushed out of my room with my golf club– I don’t really own a bat, but I did happen to find a golf club in a garage sale once– and ran straight for the piano. I didn’t say a word the way I used to when I was a little kid because I now know to be stealthy and all. I expected to see my dog running with me, but he was nowhere to be seen. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I had a shepherd dog back then named Kiki.

Anyways, so I rushed in and didn’t see anyone. The big box had been moved from its leaning position to an upright one. I figured that the person who made the piano noise must’ve been hiding. I distinctly remember thinking, Fine, have it your way, and kept the lights off. I sneakily went around looking around corners and under furniture and stuff, but I couldn’t find anyone. After a while, I decided that it was time to turn the lights on, so I did. The box had moved!

I’ll admit, that really caught me off guard for a bit. How did it move on its own?! My breaths quickened and I took a couple steps back before I bumped into the wall. Then, just as I was about to rush forward and start wailing on the box, Kiki came outta nowhere and began sniffing me and jumping around playfully. I told her I didn’t want to play and she turned her attention to the box, instead. Now that I was seeing it upright, it was actually a lot bigger than I thought. It was exactly my size or maybe a little taller.

I inspected all around but didn’t see anything or anyone. I decided that it must be ghosts. I still believed in ghosts when I was that age. I called Kiki to come with me to my room but she wouldn’t budge. She was sniffing the box intensely with her tail wagging. I was tempted to open it, but I remember what happened last time I did that with my dad’s packaging. He was really mad for some reason and I learned at an earlier age that I didn’t like to be yelled at. Besides, I was feeling really spooked and wanted to go back to my room. If Kiki wanted to be brave and guard the rest of the house, that was fine by me. I wasn’t about to run over, break my back picking her up and risk getting flanked by ghosts hiding around the corners.

I bolted back to my room and closed the door behind me. I didn’t bother turning off the lights in the rest of the house. If there were burglars, they’d know someone was home. I waited in my room until I got bored and started playing my video game again. I was an addict, I know.

Suddenly, I heard a muffled yelp. Kiki! I couldn’t sit by while some dumb-ass ghost kicked my dog to death so I swung open my door and ran with the golf club. Once again, all the lights in the house were off and I knew that there had to be someone in there. Unlike last time, this time I screamed. I mustered all of the rage within me and transformed it into bravery. I came into my living room swinging like an ax murderer, bashing anything that even slightly resembled a person. Then, I ran around searching frantically for Kiki. She was nowhere to be found. I also didn’t find any burglar either.

When my anger subsided, fear took its place. The house was dark and empty, and I had no idea what the hell just happened to my dog. I took a moment to catch my breath before I noticed it. Funny how something about your same height can appear and disappear. The box was standing upright in the middle of my living room, next to the small coffee table my mom put there a week ago. It seemed taller now like it had grown when I was away.

I froze and stared just for a moment, deciding what I should do. I was all tuckered out from my little tantrum and the box looked just too intimidating. I took a step backward, then another, and another until I tripped over something small and rectangular. It was another package about the size of my dog. By the time I looked back to where the box had been, it was gone. However, I found it as it came crashing over me from behind.

I tried to pry myself free, but the box felt like solid wood instead of cardboard. I screamed and yelled, punched and squirmed until I felt too exhausted to continue and my hands were bloody. It was hopeless.

That is until I heard the front door open. I began to scream again until my voice was hoarse. I tried to get them to help me, to tell them that I was in the box, but they weren’t there. No, instead, the damn delivery man came up to the box.

“Don’t worry, kid. You’ll really thank us later for this.” I could see through a tiny seem in the box that he was smiling as he picked up the box, threw it over his shoulder, picked up the smaller box and carried us out the door and to the delivery van.

I don’t know when I’ll be thanking him, but I don’t think it’ll be soon. After the van ride, I must have been put into some other kind of vehicle I’d never seen or heard of before. There was a difference in pressure, and I could tell that I wasn’t on Earth anymore. The voices outside the box tell me that at the speed we’re traveling, the people on Earth I knew have already grown old and died. I don’t know how long it’s been for them, but for me, it’s been days.

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