The Delivery Man

Clint’s apartment offered a panoramic 10th story view of Portland which could be enhanced if one desired by looking through the telescope on the deck.

The telescope was a Gskyer 70 mm with lots of interesting attachments. He could watch ants climbing up a lime tree in someone’s backyard five miles away if he felt like it. His favorite attachment was a 5×24 Finderscope and mounting bracket with cross hair lines that helped locate objects and subjects. He spent many pleasant hours looking at the world unfold outside as he sipped 18 year-old James Buchanan’s Special Reserve Blended Scotch Whiskey.

He was single and a successful day trader who worked from home. He didn’t like being around other people. Crowds made him uneasy. He didn’t mind one-on-one conversations with friends or strangers however. He was well-educated and graduated top of the class at Webster University, a national top ten business college. His soft spoken voice could calm people in distress and hold people’s interest when he told a story.

His rugged good looks turned more than one female’s head in admiration. Yet Clint never had a girlfriend, or a boyfriend. Never. His adopted parents never pressured him to date and often went out of their way to help him avoid large gatherings… like school. His adopted mother was a special education teacher who home schooled him when she came home from work. He absorbed knowledge like a sponge, but seldom showed emotion. Joy, or anger. Grief, or elation. Happiness, or sorrow. It was his poker face that made some people a little uneasy when around him. That, and his pale blue eyes, which seemed to sparkle with an unknown energy that suggested an icy presence lurking inside.

Money was no problem for Clint. He was very successful at investing his money in the market, and had over a million dollars in savings. His problem was entertaining himself. The television and the internet provided entertainment up to a point, but the day came when it wasn’t enough.

Clint adopted the persona of a deliveryman. He would bring surprise packages to houses, apartments, motel and hotel rooms, and businesses. He purchased numerous deliveryman outfits with different company names on the back and his front pocket. He wore fake glasses. The contents of the packages varied; some were bombs, some were piles of cash, some were just pranks using jack-in-the-boxes. He always felt calm about his deliveries regardless of their contents. It was a strange feeling for someone who experienced very little human traits.

One day while peering through his telescope, Clint watched a little drama going on a few miles away and near one of the many bridges below. One of his talents was lip reading. Despite turning their heads away from him at times, Clint pieced together what they were fighting about in minutes. It was enough to inspire him to deliver a special package to the house later that day.

He pulled up to the house in his General Delivery van and brought his package to the front porch of the house. It was where he saw them arguing. He calmly drove back to his apartment and went outside to his telescope. After lighting up a joint he inhaled deeply, savoring his favorite strain of cannabis, Grand Daddy Purp. Grinning in anticipation, he peered through the 400mm lens he had substituted for the 70mm and settled in for a long wait.

Two hours later the occupant of the house, a woman, stepped out onto the front porch. She peered around as if looking for someone, but the street was deserted in the growing dusk. Then she looked down and saw the package. It was the size of a shoebox and was wrapped in brown paper with a yellow ribbon and bow. There was no card. Her name wasn’t on it. She looked around again, straining her eyes against the withering light. Eyes back down. A step towards it. Clint imagined how hard her heart must be pounding as she neared the package. She hovered for a moment over it then bent down. Fear and curiosity crawled across her brow as she contemplated the package.

Finally she reached out and pulled the ribbon…

This was the part Clint enjoyed. Life, or death? What would it be? He knew she was risking everything. If the package killed her she’d never come up with the ransom money for her only child, a daughter. Still, in her desperation she hoped the package contained good news.

Clint watched, squinting in the growing gray sky, as she opened the top and pulled out the wads of money. Twenty-five thousand dollars in cash! Enough to get her daughter back.

When the man came for the ransom she had it. A moment later her daughter was freed from a car parked nearby. The man left without a word. As he got into the passenger seat of the car Clint took several photos with his wireless camera attachment to his Gskyer telescope. It would help him find the man so he could send him a package too. One without money in it.

The end.

Investigating a Disturbance

He was eating a burrito when the call came in that there was a disturbance at a local Inn…

… the odd thing you see, was the Inn was no longer occupied and hadn’t been for over a half of a century, which poised a mystery to Officer O’Reilly…

the Inn was once a landmark of fame where the wealthy came, but had hit on hard times many years ago, it’s interior splendor disguised by dust and rust, a sad and forgotten tableau…

Officer O’Reilly read the report by a citizen who walked by the Inn that night claiming he heard noises and saw an eerie light…

approaching the front door O’Reilly remembered the local lore that told of a hidden horror lurking there forevermore…

and peeked into the window instead, hoping he wouldn’t see the walking dead, when he suddenly saw a head and let out a moan of dread, because it was moving until it disappeared into the dark interior…

flashlight pointed straight ahead O’Reilly kicked in the front door and plunged into the dark gloom rapidly moving his flashlight around the room…

when he saw a man with an old-fashioned lantern in his hand, barely able to stand, O’Reilly called out and asked why he was there, but all the man did was stare…

deciding he was a harmless old vagrant seeking shelter he let him stay for one more day, and he went on his way when the old man had nothing to say, unaware he disappeared the moment he walked away.

****

Truth and Consequence

When Harold saw the thing slithering out from beneath his bed he felt both vindicated and horrified.

His parents wouldn’t listen to him the first time he became aware of it’s presence. That’s why he wasn’t on the bed tonight and hiding behind his chest of drawers with a baseball bat.

When the thing slithered on top of his bed and wound itself around his pillow, he rushed out and smashed it into a bloody pulp!

The next morning.

“Have you seen a boa constrictor around?” his mother asked. “Billy next door said his pet boa escaped.”

No,” he lied. 


Faker

Zack pulled out the canvas bag of specially selected scat and poured it out. He picked up the two wooden sticks with extra large feet and carefully walked them away from the scat  while disguising his footprints with a tree branch.

He hid in a tree so he could see the reaction of the Bigfoot hunters that he knew where nearby. Years playing the game watching men make idiots of themselves looking for a mythical monster. It was good for local businesses, like his.

The hunters came into view the same moment a powerful hairy arm choked Zack to death!

War of the Worlds

Raymond turned away from the radio in time to see his Mother’s worried eyes. 

“Don’t worry,” he assured her. “This is just nostalgia radio with Orson Wells narrating War of the Worlds.”

Suddenly static. Sounds of people panicking. A man’s voice “This is not a drill” Fading. Static.

“It’s not for real, Mom. It’s from a 1938 broadcast.”

Static stops. A man’s voice. “The president was able to flee in Air Force One when…”

“Son! When Franklin Roosevelt was in office in 1938 there was no Air Force One!

They both turned to the window in time to see the mushroom cloud.

Instinct

Sgt. McGruder realized two things; he wasn’t going to get back to the base in time, and he couldn’t keep driving in the near white-out conditions.

He saw a Burger King. Went inside. It was empty except for one nervous counter clerk. He ordered a burger. Out of the corner of his eye he saw shadowy figures outside the glass door.

They came in. Two Hispanic teenage boys with desperate eyes. One reached into his pocket. McGruder’s instincts kicked in.

“Are you hungry?” he asked, watching the teen’s concealed hand.

“Si,” they echoed, as one pulled the stump from his pocket. 

(Author’s note: this is my first attempt at writing flash fiction in 100 words. Quit a challenge. Props go to The Drabble blog site.)