The Package [my entry to Finish the Story #49]

in finishthestory •  5 months ago 


This is my entry to @bananafish Finish the Story #49 contest.

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 ending

"You can do something more to decrease the debt." He said.

Voluptuous breath seized her neck. Instinctively she stepped back. Sturdy grip pulled her back.

"I said: 'you can'. It doesn't mean you must do that." His voice sounded commiserative. "Hope there's no need to remind you that it is in your interest."

She understood he wouldn't waive his intention. hen she was younger, she knew what to do in this kind of situation. She wouldn't care much about the consequences. But now, there was the other kind of situation. She had to take care of her acts. Not about herself, but about the boy. She had to be alive and healthy to take care of the boy.

"We didn't agree that way," she said.
"Well, the terms of the agreement have a change sometimes."
"As I can see, you're in mistrust. You have to know I'm not alone here right now. Or, if you won't, we can use your boy."
"Alright. I agree. I'm in. Let's do it."
"I knew you're reasonable. I like that." His grip relent.

She protruded the chest before him looking right into his eyes libidinously. Triumphantly smile adorned his face. He rejoiced to the most pleasurable job he ever did. Hard pain in his balls made him band down.

She ran into the car, put the key in the ignition and switched on. She saw the car lights approaching from the far. The engine didn't start immediately, just messed up. The bolded man stood up trying to find his feet, but the pain between legs disabled his step. She switched the key again, but the engine messed up again. The car lights were approaching much closer. The bolded man couldn't walk, so he leaned against the car.

"Come out, bitch!" He screamed. "I'll destroy your throat by this stuff you have hit!"
"Come on," she whispered to the engine. "Go ahead, please!"

The car lights were coming closer. As the engine didn't start, her hands shivered, legs became weak. The engine finally started. She hit the gas with all her strength, tires loudly creaked rushing the car ahead. No matter how fast she was driving the chasing lights were going after her. The road drove towards the forest, and she got an idea of how to escape. She turned off the lights driving after the poorly visible white line. After she came in the forest, she turned off the road and continued to drive hardly avoiding trees. She stopped the car and switched off ignition after she moved far enough that chasers couldn't see her.

She sighed after the chasing car passed the road behind. She took a look to the boy at the back seat. He was quietly sleeping doesn't know what happened. She cuddled him gently. The chasing car moved back slowly.

"Shit!" She whispered.

There was no way to turn on the engine again, it would expose her. She stepped out, took the boy and leave the car and the package in it. She walked to the deeper forest. Phone in her pocket started ringing, instectively she took it to answer the call.

"There she is!" Some of the chasers screamed on the road.

Phone lighting exposed her. She thrown the phone away and kept going over the rush dark terrain. Light stalks of the chasers' lamps waved between trees. She leaned against a tree tightening the boy in the bosom.

"What's going on, mom?"

"Psst. Don't say a word."

She took a look to the chasers and saw a siluete of limping deer moving in front of them.

"Take care, here's a wolf!" Screamed one of them.

"More of them! A whole herd! Let's go away from here!"

"Fuck the wolves! I want the package!"

"No way! I'm going away!"

"Me too."


She heard the vehicle door closing. The chasers gone away.

She was leaning against a tree dreadful of the wolves. Soon, she faced one of them. A wolf looked at her and her boy for a while, than gone after a herd.

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  ·  5 months ago (edited)

Ooo this is an intriguing ending, Shannon in a situation where she would have behaved differently had her life not been given value by having a son. You bring in what feels like a grim reality, the way the man increases the pressure on her to comply, until eventually she doesn't feel she can do anything but agree. Going here alone, with her child, in such a vulnerable position, with no way to take care of herself, I really thought the worst was coming for Shannon. The moment where she fights back, (does she kick him in the nuts there? lol) and rushes to her car, only to be unable to start the engine! It was just all going wrong, there were many moment things very nearly ended badly for her.

And my word, the threat shouted after her - I wonder what she got herself into, especially with another car appearing as though back up had been called.

And then the pursuit, her urgent panic and last minute idea to hide out in the forest, only for the car to come back! Gosh you really built the action tension here, her hoping to leave the package and just herself away, only to get her phone out and nearly blow it all!! I really loved the wolves at the end, the feeling of motherly instinct mirrored in their appearance, a great ending!

Ah a fast paced car chase, this was not an ending I was expecting, and the wolves being the final deterrent to stop the men from chasing them.

A few comments have referenced the word count being too long and you wanted to expand some elements more. My suggestion would be to cut down the speech, we tend to shorten things when speaking naturally:

"I said: 'you can'. It doesn't mean you must do that."
"I said: 'you can' doesn't mean you have to."

I know its only two words less but its a start.
and here Shannon says

"Alright. I agree. I'm in. Let's do it."

but just one of those would have been enough to get the point across. With the words you shave off you can add more hints with body language.

Also you taught me a new word 'libidinously', not sure I will have reason to use it myself but it's a great word.

Thanks for suggestions.

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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%

What a terrifying adventure! I was afraid the wolves were going to eat them, but perhaps that would be better than being found by those vile men.

And it's interesting we never learn what the package is either. I wonder if they found it in the car as they ran away from wolves.

For future reference remember the 500 word count limit, but great entry!

I'll take care of word count next time.

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Between the devil and the deep sea situation, I guess. At least, I can rest knowing that the mom and boy are fine. :)

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You're right. I wanted to drive the story a little bit more to pretty end. But I have already overcame the word count limit :(

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