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E. A. Irwin ~ Dark Fiction Bender

P. A. Matthews
Official site for Riley McCabe series

Dirt Beneath the Shamrocks

The Unopened Box

Posted on January 20, 2013 at 11:50 PM

 This week's word is "package."

 

 

 

The Unopened Box

 

 

by

 

E. A. Irwin

 

 

 

 

Barbara didn’t need the incessant ring of the doorbell adding another layer of nuisance to her already harried day. She gritted her teeth, and swallowed an obscenity after banging her hip on the edge of the foyer table she’d tried to avoid when rushing to the front door. A delivery boy, sporting a wide grin upon her opening the door, only heightened her need to scream.

 

“Wait a minute,” Barbara grabbed her handbag off the table and dug through it with clumsy fingers, “let me give you a tip.” She withdrew a crumpled bill, and jammed it in the boy’s hand in exchange for the package he held.

 

He slowly smoothed the dollar and offered her another grin. “Thanks, ma’am.”

 

“Sure.”

 

Barbara scowled at the offending table as she placed the package on it, and then limped toward the washer’s ongoing nagging buzzer. Why couldn’t that have been the repair man instead of some silly kid with an equally goofy smile? She ran her hands through her disheveled hair, and dashed from the foyer, the unopened box evaporating from her thoughts, as her attention honed in on the potential flood in the basement due to the overflowing washer.

 

She worked throughout the remainder of the day in a state of oblivion. How many chores could she finish in the few hours left before she met her husband for dinner? The telephone jangled a discordant tone, and threatened to splinter the last nerve in Barbara’s brain. Her cries echoed through the empty rooms. “Will this day never end?”

 

After a quick shower and donning a soft blue dress, Barbara made one last adjustment to her lipstick before hurrying out the door for her much anticipated anniversary dinner. She saw the parcel’s reflection in the foyer mirror, and realized she’d never opened it.

 

She tore off the paper. Dug inside the package, and extracted an exquisite cloisonné music box. Opening the card, Barbara read these words: “They are playing our song.” She sighed as she wound the key and listened to the tinkling love song.

 

Her sigh ended in a frown when she looked at her watch. Gathering her purse and coat, she slammed the front door, and ran to her car. As she opened the car door, an explosion rocked her home. She stared in disbelief as the front door shattered and her house blew apart in a violent shower of burning wood and blackened bricks. She’d wanted the day to end. But not this way. Not with her death.

 

* * *

 

To this day, the bomb remains an unsolved mystery.

 

A disconnection of dots.

 

A delivery from a dyslexic teen.

 

Received by an inattentive woman.

 

The intended victim—at the correct address—now under witness protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To read other Tuesday's Tales, just click on the icon:

 

 

 

Categories: Writing

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15 Comments

Reply Davee Jones
6:06 PM on January 28, 2013 
Barbara is lucky it didn't detonate immediately after winding!
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
6:33 PM on January 24, 2013 
Thank you, Iris. I'm glad you and the others liked the ending and didn't see it coming. I keep trying. :-)

Iris says...
holy macaroni, what a great ending ! didn't see that coming at all. well done. loved it!
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
6:32 PM on January 24, 2013 
Thanks for stopping by! And, thank you for letting me know you thought the writing good and that I can still suprise with an ending.

Tai says...
I did not see that coming! Wow, great writing.
Reply Iris
5:14 AM on January 23, 2013 
holy macaroni, what a great ending ! didn't see that coming at all. well done. loved it!
Reply Tai
10:18 PM on January 22, 2013 
I did not see that coming! Wow, great writing.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
6:39 PM on January 22, 2013 
Thank you, Lindsay. I keep trying to keep people guessing. ;-)

Lindsay says...
Now that's one hell of an ending to the story.
Reply Lindsay
5:33 PM on January 22, 2013 
Now that's one hell of an ending to the story.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
4:53 PM on January 22, 2013 
Thank you for stopping by, Sherry.

Not sure if I'll write more on this or not. This started out as a bit of flash, but who knows what will happen down the road since I don't throw things away.


Sherry Gloag says...
Well, wow! I hope you're going to give us more.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
4:51 PM on January 22, 2013 
Hello Maria and thank you for joining my site! I really appreciate it. I'll leave it up to you what really happened. Although I did write that the package was delivered by mistake to that addres. Who knows, though, right?


Maria Ferrer says...
Wow. Talk about an explosive hook. Is the hubby trying to kill her? the hubby's enemy? new girlfriend? I am intrigued.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
4:49 PM on January 22, 2013 
Welcome. Christina!

Unfortunately, this was just piece of flash fiction for today. But, I never put a story away and say I won't write again on it. Who knows, perhaps the delivery boy will find another unintended victim. lol


Christina Cole says...
Now that was interesting! Do we get to find out more?
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
4:47 PM on January 22, 2013 
Thank you for taking the time to visit and read! I'm pleased you like the little piece of flash. :-)


V.L. Locey says...
Well, that was certainly an explosive ending. Sorry, I had to do it.

Nicely written passage!
Reply Sherry Gloag
3:33 PM on January 22, 2013 
Well, wow! I hope you're going to give us more.
Reply Maria Ferrer
2:00 PM on January 22, 2013 
Wow. Talk about an explosive hook. Is the hubby trying to kill her? the hubby's enemy? new girlfriend? I am intrigued.
Reply Christina Cole
11:45 AM on January 22, 2013 
Now that was interesting! Do we get to find out more?
Reply V.L. Locey
7:45 AM on January 22, 2013 
Well, that was certainly an explosive ending. Sorry, I had to do it.

Nicely written passage!

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