Little Brown Corrugated Box by Cheryl Anne Gardner

April 12, 2012 Comments Off on Little Brown Corrugated Box by Cheryl Anne Gardner

It had arrived as anticipated, the little brown corrugated box.

It was early when the deliveryman came. He smiled as I scratched my name onto the electronic shipping gadget he carried at his side. When he left, I was alone, staring at the little box at the edge of my desk.

Eight hours I would have to sit here, staring at my box, restless with desire. I would type a little, send or reply to an email or two. Papers would swish and shuffle across my desk: scattered thoughts, random projects, figures and statistics dancing across the pages, dressed in business suits, doing the economic waltz whilst the calculator clicked, buzzed, authenticated, and confirmed answers to questions I really couldn’t care less about.

In the rare moments of silence, I would contemplate the box. I could hear it – movement — a little scratching here and there. It was as restless as I was, and every few moments I would look at it. My excitement bordered on obscene.

I imagined the smile that would overspread my face when I finally opened it. I thought about all the emotions that a smile could posses: hope and joy, at the very least. To think that a box could hold within it something as tenuous as human happiness was absurd, but it did. My box held the warmth of the sun and mortality’s bitter end.

As time slogged on, I knew this day was never going to end. Time was taunting me for no other reason than because it could. I chewed my pencil, paced around the office, struck up idiotic conversations with co-workers with the hopes that if I ignored it, if my lack of interest in it seemed sincere, that time would release me. However, I couldn’t pretend to ignore it. I could not pretend that time’s wayward habit didn’t annoy and irritate me. It did, and I wanted to scream out in frustration, slam things about my desk, and utter vulgarities under my breath, but I didn’t. I just sat there and stared at my box. I stared and stared with a longing that stretched beyond the borders of time and space, and maybe that’s what it takes. I imagined the little box resting on my legs. I imagined taking out a razor and cutting the tape on one side. It would be dark inside and have a musky odor to it, not offensive, just strange. There would be a white mesh bag inside the box. I would pull it out, toss the box aside; then I would open the bag. Hold it up. I imagined specks of crimson whirling in a vortex around me, pouring over my fingers, clinging to my hair. I imagined that smile again, as the dust from a thousand suns settled itself around me, and then I imagined I would feel bad for the unsuspecting aphids pillaging my rose garden, for even though I will have released light into my world, I will have unleashed terror into theirs.

© 2012 Cheryl Anne Gardner

Cheryl Anne Gardner prefers writing stories to writing bios because she always seems to forget what point of view she is in. When she isn’t writing, she likes to chase marbles on a glass floor, eat lint, play with sharp objects, and make taxidermy dioramas with dead flies. Her flash fiction has been published at Dustbin, Dark Chaos, Carnage Conservatory, Pure Slush, Negative Suck, Danse Macabre, and at The Molotov Cocktail among others. You can find more of her work at Twisted Knickers Publications. She is also the administrative muscle behind this site. If you want to leave her a message, you will have to leave it with the nurse at the front desk. Visiting hours are over.

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