This is my first week participating in the IndieInk Writing Challenge. This week’s challenge comes from Karla V. over at Tot Thoughts. The challenge: I find a package on my doorstep one morning with a note that says, “Writer’s Block – sent with love from ____.” Only I can see who sent it. So what does my character do with the package, and who sent it? Find out after the jump.
I woke up on a sunny Saturday morning with the smell of freshly brewed coffee lingering in my apartment. Tom had already left for the day (he was shooting a wedding), and I was grateful he hadn’t woken me up. I needed to sleep in (if you can call 9 a.m. on a Saturday “sleeping in”). The brutal 60-hour workweek had drained every bit of energy from me. Rested and refreshed, I was now ready to take on the weekend.
I poured myself a cup of coffee, turned on the television, and mentally went down my to-do list: the laundry had piled up, this coffee’s pretty strong; there was grocery shopping to do, snow again; yoga classes to attend, should definitely make a Red Cross donation; a dinner party to prepare for, this Gaddafi guy needs to go; and oh yes, a dog to walk.
Who the hell is at the door this early?
Pepper had started barking before I even heard it. The knock was quick but loud – thud, thud against the metal door. How they got in without ringing the bell, I wasn’t sure.
I put on my robe and made my way to the door. “Who’s there?” I asked, as I looked through the peephole.
No response. I unlocked the door, and peeked through the safety chain. There was no one there, but there was something on my doormat: a beaten, brown box, wrapped in twine, with a pink note attached to it. I opened the door and looked down the hall. It was empty and I didn’t hear any footsteps.
I hesitated getting any closer. I had become skeptical of random packages since 9/11. I was always the first to notify a conductor whenever I saw a “suspicious package” in the subway, and alerted staff if I saw a bag unattended at the local Starbucks.
But the note was addressed to me, and I immediately recognized the handwriting.
“Writer’s Block – sent with love from Pandora.”
I picked it up and placed it on the table in front of my couch, grabbed a kitchen knife, and turned off the television. I stared at it for a good 30 seconds.
You’re back, aren’t you? It had been months since it was last here, and then, like now, I had failed to recognize it at first. I leaned over with the knife, cut the twine and, with a deep inhale, opened the flaps.
Inside this small, overused box were the items I had placed in it months ago: pictures from my childhood, a jump rope, a cassette tape of Jerry Rivera music, my sister’s cell phone, and a letter she had written before she died. I took out every single item one by one, bits and pieces of a story I had started to write, and then decided I couldn’t anymore.
Couldn’t or wouldn’t? I had told myself months ago that I had too much going on in my life, and the subject was just too difficult to write about anyway. But was it really? It was much easier to pack it all up and leave it for another day. Now it seemed I had simply let everything in life stop me from ever going back there again.
Well, here it was, or rather, here I was, telling myself (again) to get over it already and just do it.
I grabbed the box and headed towards the window. No more re-packaging and re-sending, no more procrastinating. This was it, the end of the road for the box.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and tossed the empty box out my window. With it, I hoped, went every bit of self-doubt and worry I had in me.
“Hey!” A booming voice shouted, quickly pulling me from my own encouraging thoughts. “What the hell are you doing?!”
Next to my old, tattered box stood a very large and very angry Mr. Bobeck. “Oh no, sorry Mr. Bobeck!”
He shook his head and looked down at the box. “You could have recycled it, you know?”
I could have, but I had recycled it too many times already. I really should have burned it instead.
(Note: You can check out my challenge and the Challengee’s response here. Thanks for reading!)