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(Extended version) Better told in Neurosapiens. But this was the foundation, so, I guess it's worth a read.

Unassuming and generic brown paper neatly wrapped around cardboard, simple and pristine: Death hidden inside.
The delivery of a plain papered brown box to Storm Industries' Bay City location raised multiple eyebrows. But that had been only many hours later after its arrival. The package was dropped off in the docks, which was then transferred to the corporate break room on the seventeenth floor. There in the break room it set for nearly three hours before the mailroom clerk actually noticed it.
The delivery sticker displayed the address of the Storm Industries West Coast International Branch, but nothing else. The clerk knew it had not been transported through the interoffice mailing system but found it odd that no return address, or any contact data, was visible anywhere on the package. The head clerk informed the floor manager, and in-turn, the entire floor grew curious and went to investigate. They stood around the package until each of them simultaneously received a text on their mobile devices. The message had informed them that a bomb was shipped to their building. A bomb that was scheduled to explode before five o’clock. Obviously panic set in and the floor manager called the Bay City Bomb Squad.
What amazed Bomb Squad Lieutenant Gail Danders is that they discovered that the damn package had been shipped from the southern east coast across a dozen state lines via the nation's mailing system, without proper postage. How could have the national shipping service make such a blunder? Unless, they were corrupted, or someone working for them had a vendetta against Storm Industries.
Honestly, with the company’s shady military history they could have made serious enemies with multiple nations. But Danders could not think of that now; she had to verify if a bomb truly was delivered, and if so, disarm it without generating casualties.

*

For almost three months I have been an outcast, an unknown, a nobody. For a whole semester I have been out of my element. I am not use to this nonsense and I am ready to call it a defeat. I no longer have a desire to be here for anything. In fact, I am on my way to the admissions and registration office to let them know I want out. But my roommate texted me 30 minutes ago saying I had a package. He told me it was from my folks.
I enter my dorm room and I see a large brown box. It is plain and unattractive. No imagination. My folks are not like me, they do not have creative minds. My father is a corporate big shot apparently. That only means that he makes a mess load of money but never has time to enjoy it. And my mother saves lives at New Prairie University Hospital. She is the emergency room Staff Director. The box actually reminded me of her scrubs.
The box is so large and plain it actually hurts my eyes. But I am grateful for the gesture, whatever they sent should make me feel better. Hopefully.
I tear away the ridiculous brown paper that was carelessly thrown over the even less enthusiastic cardboard box, making me wonder if they allowed my kid sister Fatima to wrap the box. As I complain to myself about the lack of effort or thought in the wrapping, I hardly notice that I feverishly tore the paper to shreds in anticipation. I open the box and my eyes water without my approval.
My high school letter jacket sits atop multiple art supplies, including the apron signed by NaiTisha Bobb. She is a famous modern painter of the midwest and I asked for it years ago. I had been told it was too expensive.
Underneath all the art supplies is a box of honey buns, package of lemon cookies, and some sports drinks. Next to the goodies are specialized microwave dinners. There is also notebooks, pens, two data drives, a laptop, and some tshirts representing logos from both my high school and church. At the last moment, before putting the box away into my closet, I notice a sheet of paper taped to the side of the box.
Shoving half a lemon cookie into my mouth I pull the sheet off. It is a letter from dad, and it reads:
I can only imagine how difficult things may be for you right now. I know that your mother and I have not been the most helpful with questions about your goals or been available to encourage you on your journey to achieve your dreams. What we do know is that we are incredibly proud of you.
You have taken all these new and frightening changes in stride, and you have done so well achieving everything on your own. You have proven how grown up you have become. We love you and cannot wait to see you for holiday break.
I just sit on my twin size mattress, tears falling. Guess I can finish my four years.


Submitted: September 01, 2022

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