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Fulfillment is a Gift

By Kayla ManeenPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Dmitry Sumskoy on Unsplash

I happened to be looking out the window when the parcel arrived.

At first I thought it was a bird—a pelican, perhaps—a feature that was common enough to not warrant a second look.

But as the dark shape approached from the bleary gray sky I blinked at the realization that this was no bird.

It was a drone.

I watched, transfixed, as the parcel was deposited on my doorstep.

I had a clear view of it through the bay windows where I was currently stationed. I wondered if someone had decided to send me groceries—but, no, Martino delivered my groceries every Thursday and who would send a single package of food?

Steam from my tea mug rose to my nose, and I brought the liquid to my lips.

Still, I watched the box.

I thought perhaps then it was a creature, someone’s way of sending me a friend. I watched the little brown square for any signs of life, but no telltale quivering or movement occurred.

I glanced at the sky, at the drizzly weather blowing in off the ocean, and frowned.

The box would not survive long in conditions such as these. Soon, its cardboard would soften and cave, tucking in on itself like a wilting rose.

I worried my tea mug between my hands.

Perhaps it was sent by mistake. Perhaps the drone mistook my address for another.

But the longer I sat and watched the box, the more certain I became that it was intended for me.

But who? Who?

A flash of white in my periphery. I turned quickly, craning my neck, but it was merely a lone seagull, winging its way back from the sea and headed inland.

It spared me nor my package a second glance.

I pressed and unpressed my fingertips into the tea mug. Someone would need to get that package. It shouldn’t be left out there to wilt away.

For a wild moment, I pictured myself going to the door, opening it wide, and striding forward to snatch the package from the steps.

I blinked away the vision with a jerk.

I needed more tea. I quickly moved to the kettle, going through the motions, all the while the image of the parcel haunting me from the outside.

I could sense its silent, stalwart judgement.

“Don’t judge me,” I muttered. “I didn’t even ask for you.”

The sky had darkened considerably by the time I had replenished my tea. Heavier rain was about to fall, and whatever was in the package would be revealed.

Or destroyed.

I watched the parcel and felt it watching back.

“I can’t believe this,” I said, setting my tea down with a slosh and striding to the door before my better judgement kicked in.

I watched my hands unlatch the locks as though they belonged to someone else. I gripped the handle in a sweating palm and yanked the door open, greeted by a blast of icy, wet wind and a sharp cry that turned out to be my own.

I leaned over and snatched the package off the steps and leapt back inside. Clutching the parcel to my chest, I sat back against the door.

Every part of my body shook violently.

I had squashed a part of the parcel in my haste to get it inside, and I carefully set it down in front of me. It really was a small thing. I gently turned it from side to side, searching for a return address, an indication from who had sent it, but the package was completely blank.

Gingerly, with shaking fingers, I pried it open.

A moment later, I found myself sitting back against the door once more. I stared at the box a moment longer, then pushed myself up, shuffling back to the kitchen for my tea.

I squeezed the mug between my fingers and took a wobbly sip.

Outside, it started to rain.

I didn’t glance back down at the parcel, but I could feel its presence from the doorway. I had left it on its side. Nothing spilled from within it, because there was no content to spill.

The package was empty.

Written on the bottom flap was a single, Sharpied word: ‘Life.’

I took another slow sip of tea, the water scalding on my lips.

Outside, a seagull screamed, its cry swallowed by the encroaching storm.


About the Creator

Kayla Maneen

Truthseeker. Storyteller. Heroine of my own adventure. I’m a study of contrasts—an ouroboros eating her own darkness to spit out the light. Pain and hope exist within us, reflected in our stories. Read a few that I’ve created for you.

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Comments (1)

  • Kelly Robertson2 years ago

    I like the imagery you created here. Very well done!

Kayla ManeenWritten by Kayla Maneen

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