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Brown Box

A mysterious package arrives at a lonely inn at a crossroad

By Michael BivensPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Brown Box
Photo by Monirul Islam Shakil on Unsplash

When it arrived, nobody really thought much about it. An unmarked package wrapped in a brown paper bag dropped off on the stoop of an inn at the crossroads in the middle of the night. The keeper of the inn discovered the package just as the sun began to rise on the horizon amid her early morning chores. She had very little time this morning to think much of it, and so she called for one of her sons to store it in the attic to be fetched later.

An event such as this would have caused quite the stir and instigated an eventful day of guessing games between herself and her children, but a squire had ridden up the day prior to let her know that a rather large group would be arriving by midday today and they intended on staying for a week. This had thrown the small establishment into a frenzy, the normally quiet tavern that struggled to keep its doors open was about to make a significant amount of coin and be full for the first time in years.

There were far too many chores that absolutely must be finished before she could allow herself to begin considering what the package may contain, who it could possibly belong to, or why it had been delivered to her inn and yet it nagged her relentlessly. She felt drawn towards the mystery of what it could contain; perhaps the children’s father had finally scrounged up enough coin to send something back to them, but she shook that dream away believing it to be a bit too unbelievable. Their father had departed years ago to seek out coin as a sellsword and apparently had very little luck, sending only meager coins home.

As children scuttled from chore to chore and their management become her primary responsibility, it became more difficult to put aside the intrusive thoughts, she reasoned there would likely be no time to investigate but she could ponder and conject. Satisfied that this might put her inquisitiveness at ease she accepted the distraction.

She thought of who the package could be from. She had already considered the children’s father but that just seemed too unlikely. Perhaps it was a previous guest who wanted to thank them for their hospitality, or even a guest who had stolen something and wanted to return it after feelings of guilt grew too great. The idea that a previous guest of her cherished inn sending a thank you gift filled her with such delight that with each new possibility of who it could be from the next returned her to this mysterious and positively pleased customer.

She thought of who the package could be for. Obviously, this gift must be for her. Oh, but what about the large group arriving shortly? Surely it was possible that at least one of them had a loved one who would send packages, but then again how could the courier of known where to send it without any markings indicating its destination. And once again she turned to the pleased customer who perhaps was passing by but in far too much of a hurry to properly deliver the gift or stay another night.

She thought of what the package could be. Perhaps it was sweets purchased from a caravan by a secret admirer. While that certainly would not do with her marriage it was nice to be appreciated. If it was the mysterious and pleased guest, they could have sent them finely crafted garments or even toys for the youngest. The potential answers to these questions provided a length of amusement and entertainment as the sun neared its highest mark and the encroaching arrival of the party of guests bared down upon them.

Just as the innkeeper inspected the last of the preparation tasks, her curiosity reached an unavoidable level and she excused herself for the attic. With each step towards the box her of anxiousness and anticipation grew, she could not understand why it had grown so great but nevertheless, it approached its apex as she stood before the brown package. She knelt beside and carefully placed her in the bow of the tie keeping the wrapping together and pulled gently. The paper gave way to a simple wooden box with a detachable lid. She gathered her thoughts and made a final guess as to its contents; what could a suspicious package wrapped in brown paper dropped onto her inns stoop in the middle of the night with no identifiable writings be?

Fantasy

About the Creator

Michael Bivens

Most of my works published here exists as lore from the world of Illorim, an original creation by me that's been supported and cooperatively built through shared story-telling.

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    Michael BivensWritten by Michael Bivens

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