The Package - Week #49 of Finish the Story

in finishthestory •  8 months ago  (edited)

The Package

by @gaby-crb

Condensation clung to the window, occasionally releasing a surge that cleared a path making the outside world visible. The cold white light refracted in the tiny water droplets. It was pretty, Shannon thought, as her breath spread across the cold window.

She checked her phone, the bright screen dazzling her. Her eyes darted to the mirror. The baby didn’t stir, still sound asleep in his comfortable car seat. She checked the time, the numbers read 23:46. There was no message.

She slipped it back into her coat pocket, wrapping her fingers around each other in an attempt to bring them back to life.

The CD stopped playing, the story finished. She pressed replay. The kid would no doubt wake up if it went silent. The story started up from the beginning. It was one she had listened to herself as a child. The narrator had a soothing voice, Shannon felt calm despite her predicament.

She checked her phone again. Still no message. Her eyes darted back to the boy, his blond hair showing underneath his fluffy hat. His cheeks pink. His blue eyes hidden beneath heavy eyelids.

A gloved hand rapped against the window. Shannon jumped, she quickly rolled down the window.

A clean shaven man ducked his head down to look at her.

“You have the package?”

His eyes glanced around the car, resting a few moments on the sleeping boy before returning to her face.

She nodded, her heart hammering in her chest. This was the first time she had done something like this.

She removed the key from the ignition and opened her door, the man stepped out of the way. She was not surprised to measure up as shorter than him. She fumbled with the key in her hand. She found it hard to swallow.

“How many times do I have to do this?”

Her voice shook. She wrapped her arms around herself, giving her hands something to grip onto.

“Until you’ve paid what you owe.”

His voice clawed at her insides. He stepped closer, a hungry look in his eye.

Shannon shivered. She was mentally kicking herself for getting into debt. But there was only one thing she could do now.


My Entry:

She walked slowly toward the back of the car, every step she took approached the time of delivery, Shannon wished immensely to be anywhere else. She clumsily searched through the bunch of keys for the one that can open the trunk of the car and placed it in the hole.

"Please help me."

Shannon had opened the trunk of his car hundreds of times, but this time he couldn't open it, he couldn't deliver the package, at least not so directly.

"Get out of the way!"

The man looked across the street to make sure there were no witnesses, turned the key and opened the trunk abruptly. After looking inside he took his thumb and index fingers to his mouth and whistled, a couple of men with gloved hands emerged from the cold darkness to help him carry the package.

Shannon couldn't stop thinking about the sleeping baby in the car, what happened to it? Will he be all right? What should I do?

The three subjects carried the load from one car to another, they were nervous, but they were trying to look serene. Deep down they weren't bad guys, in other circumstances they could have formed a rock band or something like that, if they hadn't gone into debt like Shannon.

"Órale Mendo, let's go!"

The dark glass van moved slowly, like a funeral march, until it got lost around the corner. Shannon was devastated, tears streamed from her eyes wetting her face, she was disgusted with herself.

"How could I do something like that?"

She took the phone out of his coat pocket and read the message:

Tomorrow the flight will depart, I can't wait to see how much our son has grown, I love you!

Shannon took the battery out of the phone, threw the phone on the floor and kicked it, rendering it useless. She got in the car, the baby was still sleeping and a soothing voice told the story of a banana fish and his friends. Took a handkerchief, dried his tears and looked at the child from the mirror.

"Everything will be fine baby, now I'll be your mommy, I'll be a good mom for you. I promise."

The End.

This is a participation for the Finish The Story - Week #49 from @bananafish. I hope you like it there, do not hesitate to comment.

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Ohh what an intriguing ending, the boys father stashed away in her car trunk. Did she kill him herself?

A couple of things to watch out for in future - these things are easily overlooked but can be caught with a second or third read through, sometimes changing the font can help too.

to make sure there was no witnesses
to make sure there were no witnesses

There are a couple of instances where you confuse he/she

In terms of the actual story, I like that you made it clear how she felt about what she was doing, and that you explained the child. Would this have progressed into a tale similar to Rapunzel, being raised by a cruel woman who killed his father?

Hello @gaby-crb thank you for taking the time to read my post and especially thank you for writing this week's pront.

who was really in the trunk was the mother of the child, she was not dead but rather sedated, who sends the message to the phone is the father of the child who returns from a long trip.

But your interpretation can also be correct, I have purposely left that margin of interpretation for the reader to create his own story in his head, I had written a paragraph where the woman begins to wake up in the car of her captors who saw her beautiful and lamented her destiny, but I decided to eliminate it to let the end was something more intriguing.

This post has been manually selected, curated and upvoted by CI mod staff team. Supporting all posts that are in high quality and don’t get enough recognition.

This post was submitted for curation by: @theironfelix
This post was voted: 100%

That was quite the twist at the end! Shannon must really be in debt to be delivering those kinds of packages, and I'm guessing she'll never pay it all back now that she's in that deep. And I can't help but think if this were a crime TV show, she'll be caught soon enough and have to go into witness protection...

Excellent work on delivering a great ending to the prompt.

Gosh you bring this story down a dark path of humanities weaknesses. The conflict in Shannon stops this being too cruel an ending, her feeling like she has no other choice, and how she is only really thinking about the depths of what she is doing in the moment.

I appreciate how you pick up on the details in the first half and weave them in to your ending, the gloves for example. And how you liken the men - equally indebted - to a band, really adds to the normal people in a desperate situation feeling so well.

The welling up of Shannon's emotions, of her guilt at the end brings home that conflict, she might had done a terrible thing but she wants to atone for it in raising the baby, the final line is just such a perfect note to finish on. A great ending!

La forma: While I would be a fan to deal with another character and play who's who, the manner of fact was that there was no delineation between Shannon and not-Shannon to classify if there was another one that opened the trunk door. Moving past the realm of possibilty, we the reader are honed in on a third person limited perspective, much like the prompt, and are constricted to what happens in the scene. I felt like some scenes easily would've benefited from italics and maybe a sentence reframing to know we the reader have seen you extract the thoughts of Shannon for us to read and later commentate. Another interesting aspect was the draws to juxtaposition in many a forms: whether it be hypocrisy of Shannon at the ending's beginning or the "potential" rock band people never being rock stars to the ending's end with her not being a mother but much more active with it. (To render the thought more incomplete: the fear of the midwife or babysitter kidnapping a child becoming true, but the fear being that they be better or more proactive parents. Otherwise the only time of italics and I love that technology is actually used here. Good on that...

La filosofía: now to no-ones surprise I put this category last instead of first as I usually do. Because we have entered to the upside-down World, were we the reader saw the trope of innocence fleeting from her heart like an angelic wisp! To it actually leaving and now a mere husk so shallow as me that we feel as we reason. This story takes everything and wishes to invoke the parallax view despite the same medium of writing evoked out loud to the entire World, yet despite everything it still is part of the prompt despite an ending and, same time, entry that was never totally the true ending to it. A true juxtaposition right there where the accent of the story changed from fear to a mere farcical outlook at the tragedy at hand. And there lies a deeper tragedy, a deeper Horror and a more tamed Terror ready at the helm but never invoked for the mere presence of such had done its job. Or so say I, the snapped one.