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Destroyer Grey

Secrets shared by sender unknown

By Bridgette A Mercer-JamgochianPublished 2 months ago 13 min read
1
Photo Credit: Kevin Denny

As Abigail got herself ready for the busy day ahead of her, she heard a delivery drone drop something at her front door. She knew she was not expecting any orders from online and didn't have the time to run it to her neighbors house because she could not be late again today. The Smith's next door would get the delivery notification and send their youngest, Billy to get the package. Continuing to rush around the house, she let her loyal rottweiler, Scout, out the side door to do his business. While filling her coffee thermos, she heard Scout barking aggressively from the front porch. "Scout….leave it alone!" She screamed from the kitchen. Knowing Scout would normally give up and come back to her, she was surprised when his barking became more intense. "We don't have time for this today boy, let's go. '' Abby said as she grabbed her keys. Locking the door behind her, Abby walked around to the front of the house. She was shocked to see her guard dog snarling and snapping at the plain brown box sitting on her steps. Looking up in the sky, she spotted the unmarked drone hovering just above the tree. "Scout relax, come here" she commanded him. Once she picked up the package with no labels, the drone took off speeding away and Scout whimpered loudly. Wondering if she should deliver the package herself on her way down the drive, Abby put the box on the floor of the passenger seat of her car. “Load up boy, time to go” but Scout just stared at the mystery box from outside of the car. “Something definitely has you freaked out” she said to her dog as she opened the back door of the car. Scout jumped in but wouldn't settle down. He paced restlessly back and forth in the back seat whining continuously. Driving down the dirt road she saw little Billy walking to the bus stop. She stopped the car and rolled down the window. “Hop in Billy, I’ll drive you down to the street”. Billy jumped in and greeted Scout right away. “Why is Scout riding in the back today? And why won't he calm down? He never acts like this! Is he ok? He might be sick, is he sick?” Billy asked in a fast flurry of questions. Laughing as she said it, Abby replied “I think he is ok, he just doesn't like the package that was dropped off at my door accidentally this morning. Do you know if your mom ordered anything she is waiting on?” Billy looked at her with a face that showed pure insult. “No she hasn't ordered anything, I would know because every time she tells me to keep an eye out for it right away so it doesn't get stolen when it's dropped off.” Billy jumped out at the bus stop and waved his thanks as Abby drove away. “If it's not theirs, maybe we should take it to the drone center?” She asked through the rearview mirror. Scout snorted through his nose and still hadn’t sat down to relax. “No time before work though.” She told her restless companion.

At the traffic light near the hospital, the box started to make a high pitched siren sound. Through Scout’s aggressive barking, Abby could hear the pitch was winding up and getting more ear piercing. Scout started scratching at the back window and door handle, snarling and spitting with each bark. Pulling the car into the hospital parking lot as quickly as she could, she let Scout out immediately and watched as he growled and chomped at the air outside the passenger door. The sound had stopped. “What has gotten you so angry with this box, boy?” Reaching in and bringing the package out, she felt the heat on the bottom like the box would spontaneous combust at any moment. It slightly burnt the skin on her hand so she set it down on the pavement. Scout sat quickly, panted, and looked at her with his ears back flat against his head. Abby pulled out her cell phone to call 911. “Hello, I need the police department please.” As she waited to be connected, Abby tried to console Scout. “Yes, I'm in the hospital parking lot and there is a strange unmarked package I received this morning that was making noises and is now super hot. I'm afraid I need help.” She waited another moment as the specific agent got on the line. "This is special agent Warren, Ma'am, have you opened the box yet?" The male voice asked her. “No, I have not opened it but my dog is freaking out over the damn thing.” Abby listened in horror for a few minutes while Agent Warren gave her some quick details. “Are you telling me there have been five other reports of the same type of concern? Well, what happened? You're not at liberty to tell me that information? Are you kidding me? This can't be serious. I don't even know that this thing was meant for me!” Abby ranted to the special agent. "Ma'am, all I can do to help you is suggest you open the box, follow the instructions, and find another line of communication. Good luck, and if you need to come to the station, you know where we are." Agent Warren said before disconnecting the call. Abby stood there in disbelief and wanted to smash her phone on the pavement. She gently placed the box in her trunk, let Scout into the front seat and headed to work. While driving she wondered what the agent meant by finding another line of communication and couldn't think of anyone who still owned a land line although computers have zoom calling and similar things.

When she got to her business, Dog Gone Dayz, her assistant, Sophia, was walking one of their clients around the side yard. She let Scout go greet them as she opened her truck. "Hey Soph, will you take them in for me please and come back out here? I need some help." She called over to her friend and employee. When Sophia got to the trunk, Abby took a few minutes to fill her in on the eventful morning. "I'm not really sure what to do. I realize I have multiple meetings today, a few new clients coming in, and I know you have two classes this afternoon right?" Abby questioned. Sophia took out her phone, checked today's schedule and replied "You don't have anything for the next 45 minutes, I say we open it now." This shocked Abby as she agreed and also didn't seem to mind because she felt better having another person with her. "Ok. Let's take it to our office and find out what is going on here." She responded while picking up the package. The bottom seemed to have cooled down since she last handled it.

Carrying the box into the building instantly seemed to cause the dogs to act up, snarl, bark, and whine. Both women decided it might be better to open the box out back of the building. Sitting at the picnic area, away from the building, seemed to keep all the dogs inside at ease. "Why do you think they freak out like that?" Sophia asked Abby. "I'm not really sure but Scout hated this box from the moment the strange drone dropped it off." Opening the package was giving her more and more anxiety as time went on. "Let's just get this done and over with." Abby ripped open one end of the box. She looked at her friend and then ripped the other end so that she could lift the lid. Upon lifting the lid she saw a small electrical device with a digital screen, lit up with an unknown icon displayed. The technology looked like nothing she had ever seen before, like it was straight out of a sci-fi movie. "What is that?" Sophia asked when she peered into the box. "I don't know, but can you try to search for that logo online? Do you have your phone?" Abby asked her friend. As Sophia took her phone out of her jacket pocket, the screen turned a bright blue, the same color of the icon, and turned itself off. "That was strange. My phone won't turn back on." She told Abby. "Here, use mine." Abby handed her phone over and saw her phone do the same blue screen and power down. "I guess that's what Agent Warren warned me about." Picking up the futuristic device, Abby was surprised at how light it felt because the box had felt heavier before opening it. The screen turned green and the unidentified logo swirled around the screen multiple times. The single beep and vibration occurred as the screen showed the Roman numeral number one in a red font. When the number faded away, a picture of Abby's house taken from the street appeared with a red arrow pointing to the attic. "What is this? What's going on here?" Abby screamed frantically at the screen. At the tone of her voice, the screen switched over to a clock counting down from one hour in the same red font. She put the device back down in the box, looked at her friend, and said "Please write a handwritten note saying “family emergency, sorry for the inconvenience. Please call to reschedule” and stick it to the door. I'm going to lock up and bring this to the car. I need you to come with me." Sophia wasted no time and ran inside to scribble the note. "We won't have a phone. So I'll grab the walkies on the way out. Scout will stay here and watch over things."

In the car, Sophia held the box, with the lid open, on her lap. Abby drove quickly, not caring about speeding tickets, at this point she figured the cops were probably busy with other calls about the same issue. "How many other boxes do you think have been opened since I called the police this morning?" She asked. Sophia was looking out the window and said "There is absolutely no way of knowing. You can't even call Agent Warren back to find out. We really have no idea what this is about or how it will end." The rest of the 20 minute drive back to Abby's house was in silence. Pulling into the driveway, Abby saw that the light in her attic was on. Knowing she hadn't been up to the attic, she looked over at Sophia and worried she may be putting her friend in danger. "I should go in first and make sure there is no one in there. I don't know what anyone would want from me, but I shouldn't have asked you to come." As Abby took the box from Sophia, she saw her stubborn friend was not going to let her go inside alone. They both entered the house through the side door and stood listening for any alarming sounds. The pair moved through the house quietly and swiftly, making their way to the attic door, which was ajar. Abby climbed the stairs first and looked around the attic, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. As soon as she set the box down by the front window, the screen on the device stopped counting down. The green screen and logo appeared once again swirling around and around. There were two beeps and a longer vibration as the Roman numeral number two displayed in red. The picture that materialized next was of the chimney column and a sledge hammer laying beside it on the floor. A red arrow pointed to the bricks halfway up the chimney. Abby knew she normally left the sledgehammer in the shed out back but was not surprised when she looked over to find it lying next to the chimney. "The device wants me to smash my chimney?!" Abby yelled loudly and just as before, the countdown started. This time with thirty minutes on the clock. Sophia picked up the sledge hammer, swinging it over her shoulder and she asked "Are you ready for this?" Abby stood up and asked her friend to wait just a minute. "I've lived here for a number of years now. Whoever wants me to tear down the chimney has a reason and I can't think of what it could be." "All I know is that the clock is counting down and this is why they make homeowners insurance. Let's not waste anymore time. What's the worst that can happen?" Sophia asked rhetorically. "We knock down the weight bearing structure and it causes my roof to collapse." Abby replied sarcastically.

The women took turns swinging the sledgehammer until they broke a hole through the bricks to the center of the chimney shaft. They heard the triple beep and looked over at the device still in the box. The screen was already displaying the roman numeral three. The friends waited in anticipation of the next picture. Instead, the words “LOOK UP” in all capital red font appeared on the screen. "I'm supposed to stick my head in there?" Abby asked, frustrated. "There is no timer this time. That's strange." Sophia proclaimed. Abby decided she followed the instructions this far and stuck her head inside the hole they had created in the chimney. "There's an old duffel bag up there! Give me a boost Soph, I'm going to grab it and bring it out." Sophia boosted Abby up so she could reach inside the top of the chimney. Dragging the bag out caused all kinds of dirt and debris to fall with it. Abby coughed as she dropped the duffel bag on the floor of the attic. "Should we open it? Do me a favor and check the device?" Abby asked. Sophia walked over to the box containing the strange technology and turned around shocked. "It looks like it's turned off!" She pulled her cell phone out and exclaimed "My phone is back on and working!" Abby was afraid to open the bag but couldn't wait any longer. As she unzipped the duffel, her hands shook.

Inside the bag were old remains of a human skeleton. Abby gagged and covered her mouth with both hands, turning away in shock. She grabbed her phone and dialed the police asking for Agent Warren. Sophia sat in the corner with her head in her hands. "Agent Warren, I spoke to you earlier about an unmarked package…" but Abby was rudely interrupted by the agent. "Do you have human remains? What is your location please? I will send officers immediately." Agent Warren was quick to explain that the station had received an unusual message from an inmate on death row. They were going to finally be able to put away the unsolved serial killer from over ten years ago thanks to the confession of an old cell mate of the murderer. Now that the locations of the victims had been discovered they were set on arresting the perpetrator. He asked Abby to please not touch anything else and to wait for his officers to arrive. Abby hung up the phone and shook with trauma. Sophia had over heard everything and held her friend for a few moments before taking her down to the kitchen to wait for the police. There were too many uniforms that showed up, a forensics unit, and a psychiatrist as well. It took hours and the sun had already gone down by the time they left. Abby's other employee and friend, Hannah, had retrieved Scout from the shop and showed up with pizza and wine. The night was going to be about forgetting how Abby had been dragged into solving a decades old cold case. The fact that everything was set up and sent by a mysterious person in prison only made it more freaky. This person who couldn't face death with the secret information had changed the course of multiple peoples' day in such an unusual way.

The End

MysteryShort Story
1

About the Creator

Bridgette A Mercer-Jamgochian

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