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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A man checks his mailbox one morning to find a package that will change his life forever and leave him with a horrible decision to make

I went out that morning to check the mail, having no time after a business meeting the night before. the morning dew dampened my old brown house slippers and the edge of my flannel pajama pant legs. the sun was just rising above the treetops, casting an array of oranges and pinks just above the tree line. 

The first thing I noticed was how my mailbox's wooden 2x4 pole was sitting crooked and there was a giant dent in the blue metal side. I sighed and muttered to myself. "That was a new one too... damn kids must have taken it out." I pulled down the flap and brought out a rather large tan colored envelope; too large to be a bill and I didn't remember ordering anything recently. Maybe a package from a friend or something from work? 

I quickly made my way back inside and put on a pot of coffee before sitting down at the kitchen table, taking a closer look at the envelope. My name and address was on it in big bold lettering but no return address. I rubbed the back of my head, ruffling my already messy hair, thinking it was odd that there was no return address. I had thought mail carriers wouldn't send out mail without one, but I could be wrong. I picked up my letter opener and cut open the envelope, pulling out a single piece of paper with the words "WE KNOW" written in big font right in the middle of the page. 

My first reaction was "who is we and what do they know?" 

Of course that was my first reaction. I get a strange package in the mail, in a rather large envelope for that matter, only for it to have only two words on a single sheet of paper. It had to be some sort of joke, right? The entire thing seemed so bizarre. 

A knock at the front door brought me out of my thoughts. I laid the paper down and got up to respond but by the time I got to the door no one was there. I stepped outside hoping to catch a glimpse of whoever knocked but instead I ended up kicking a small box that had been laid on my porch. I picked it up to find a watch inside. It wasn't anything fancy, just one of those cheap watches you could find at any store that sold accessories. The odd thing was its time was stopped at exactly "5:30PM". 

"Strange..." I muttered to myself, closing the door and thinking this must be some sort of prank from the neighborhood children. I put the watch back in its box, tossed it on the kitchen table next to the letter, and poured myself a thermos full of coffee before getting ready for work. As I was pulling my car out of the driveway I noticed something sticking out of my mailbox. I parked my vehicle and checked to find another envelope, this one heavier than the first. I shook my head, getting tired of this little game. I opened the package to find another paper, a photo and an old newspaper clipping. 

1. Go to the train station. 

2. That watch you received, wait until that time. 

3. Look for the man in this photo and kill him. 

We know your secret and if you don't follow our instructions it will be leaked to the police. 

I looked a the newspaper clipping and could feel my blood run cold as I stared at the headline. "MAN KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT"

I stared at it, my hands shaking and my face paling. That was what they knew. Years ago I had committed a hit-and-run that resulted in the death on an old man. I felt horrible about what I had done but I was so young, only sixteen at the time. I had panicked and fled the scene not knowing what else to do. 

I swallowed and looked at the photo that was included. It was of a man in his mid thirties, buzzcut black hair, blue eyes, wearing a white button up shirt and blue jeans. He was smiling in the photo with his arm around a beautiful woman, who I presumed was his wife or girlfriend. I studied that photo, going over every detail and feature of the man until his image was burned into my mind. 

What was I going to do? Risk getting arrested for a crime that I had committed years ago, or ruin the life of this man and all that knew him? All for what? Just to keep my secret? 

With trembling hands, I brought out my cell phone and dialed the number for my work. When a familiar female voice answered the phone I said. "Hey, I-I won't be in today. Or maybe any other day after this." 

Submitted: June 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 The Shameless Writer. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Wow!! What a great little piece. Got straight to the tension so quickly. I really want to know what happens next...but never will i suppose is the point. LOL
One suggestion to make it even sharper would be not even to include the explaination for the newspeper clipping. We can guess the situation just from his horror on seeing it. (Thats just a suggestion you can take or leave. Personally i like as much left to the imagination which is why i liked your story so much)

Sat, June 12th, 2021 12:46pm

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