Friday, October 21, 2011

Read This First!

A short story exercise that needed a home.

I tripped over a box on the way out the door this morning.
“Dammit!” I kicked it across the yard and glared at the box lying at an angle against a tree stump.
There were no shipping labels, no markings, just a plain cardboard box sealed with clear packing tape. I took my keys and cut open the box. READ THIS FIRST! Was printed on a card taped to the front of what looked like a set of instructions.  I tossed them onto the porch. Instructions are just someone else’s opinion anyway.
Beneath the layer of bubble wrap was what looked like a replica of the universe. Where the hell did this come from? I don’t remember ordering anything. Oh well, it was mine now. I glanced at my watch, still had a few minutes before I had to leave for work.  I sat on the porch and looked down into the box.  It looked so real.  I stuck my hand in the box and touched a sun.  The sky began to darken. I looked up and didn’t see any clouds. I don’t remember reading about an eclipse today.
“Holy shit!” I set the box down and backed away slowly. In the distance I could hear sirens.
The interrogation room was bare and pure white. A man in black sat across from me.  A newspaper lay folded on the table; the headline read “Giant Finger Seen From Space, Causes Eclipse NASA Reports.”
“Did you even read the instructions?” The man in black stood up.
“No,” I looked down.
“What were you thinking? You completely destroyed a Class 4 planet.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“Sorry… sorry won’t cut it. “ He leaned closer trying to intimidate me.
“Look I didn’t ask for this. I have no idea where it came from,” I explained.
“That doesn’t matter. The instructions are there for a reason. So idiots like you don’t screw things up. Number one- store in a safe place. Number two-do not touch. And number three...” he shook his head.  “Did you really yell ‘I am your overlord’ through a styrofoam cup to make yourself sound more ominous?”
“Well, yeah.”

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