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The Delivery

Late in the night, the telephone rings...

By Ahna LewisPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 4 min read
17
Photo by Ján Jakub Naništa on Unsplash

“Hello? Hello?”

“Yes, I’m here. How may I help you?”

“This is an emergency, you hear me? A real emergency!” The voice on the other end is deep, scratchy, and vaguely…French.

“An emergency, you say?” I start to panic. I’m a good man in a crunch, but definitely not one for a true emergency. “Maybe you should call–”

“No, doggone it, you’re the one I need.” The voice practically growls through the phone. “Now listen closely! Do you have your notebook?”

“Uh”–I slide the notepad I keep next to the phone closer–“Yes, sir!”

This gentleman means business and I’m not about to argue. He begins to rattle off instructions and I carefully take notes. His directives are remarkably specific. I read them back to make sure I got everything perfect.

“How soon can you be here?” he asks.

“Well, I imagine this will take at least thirty min–”

“Twenty.”

“Twenty-five?”

“Done.” He grunts in approval and the line goes dead.

I immediately set to work, checking my notebook numerous times to make sure I haven’t missed a single element. When the timer sounds, I’m greeted by a wave of heat. I scramble to fill the boxes. Beads of sweat form on my forehead as I check my watch. Ten minutes to go and I still have to load the truck.

With the slam of the door and rev of the engine I’m on my way—finally. I have just seven minutes remaining to make the drop-off.

The house is larger than I expected, darkly painted with Gothic style turrets and black framed casement windows. I exit the truck and approach the metal gate cautiously, the delivery carefully poised on my right shoulder. I take one step after the other, telling myself not to be nervous. I make deliveries all the time. This is nothing to get worked up about. As I step onto the porch, the lights in the house flicker. Twenty-five minutes exactly. He’s expecting me.

I knock on the door. Nothing. I knock again, more boldly this time. Still nothing. I try the door handle. Something.

It’s unlocked. The door swings open and I step inside.

“Hello?” I call into the dimly lit chamber. I notice a light switch and go ahead and flip it on. It’s a living room with comfortable-looking red armchairs and framed portraits of…trees? I’ve never seen so many pictures of trees. It’s a bit unsettling to be honest.

“Hello?” I call again, wishing desperately for some type of response. I guess I should find the kitchen. I peer down the hallway. The delivery boxes are getting heavy and I can feel the steam seeping from the edges. The kitchen is probably down this first hallway.

I enter the room on the left and am rewarded with a black and white checkered floor, shining wood cabinets, and gray marble countertops. Bingo! I must have a second sense that leads me to kitchens. I set the delivery boxes on a classy marble-topped kitchen island.

“Alright, Sir,” I call into the empty room. “I’ve got one extra large cheese, one extra large pepperoni, and one extra large sausage—hold the tomato on all three. Are you going to come get your pizza?”

There’s silence for a second—a very long second—and then I hear them. Footsteps. A scraping, jingling, dare I say, pattering of footsteps.

Moments later, a pair of double doors swings open and a French bulldog trots into the room. He's an older dog with patches of gray on his snout and wrinkles around his eyes. His pug-like nose is the centerpiece of his rather squished face. He’s kinda cute for an old guy.

I can’t help smiling. “Hey little fellow, where’s your master?” I lean down to scratch his ears. “I’ve got his pizza here.”

The dog looks at me in what can only be described as a glare. He is not interested in my patronizing ear scratches.

He trots over to the counter and jumps on a little step-stool. Standing on his hind legs, he uses his teeth to deftly snatch a $50 bill from the counter. I can’t help thinking how clever this dog is as he trots back towards me. I look around once more for the owner. Still no sign.

A line of drool stretches from the $50 to the dog’s chin as he drops the money on the floor by my feet. I have to stoop to pick it up and find myself eye level with the little bulldog. As I look into his beady black eyes, an idea suddenly occurs to me.

“Wait…that couldn’t have been you that called me on the phone, could it?”

The dog only stares and I laugh at the sheer lunacy of my conjecture. To think I even entertained the notion is absurd.

“There’s no way a dog can talk,” I say aloud.

I start to reach in my jacket pocket for change when a deep, scratchy voice interrupts me. It’s a firm, commanding voice and vaguely French.

“Keep the change, kid,” the dog says with a smirk.

Photo by Samuel Charron on Unsplash

Short Story
17

About the Creator

Ahna Lewis

Just a high school English teacher who never quite got over her dream of becoming an author. :)

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (15)

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  • Charlotte Floresabout a year ago

    Very nice. The idea of a talking dog and his ordering food was an interesting idea. How well you describe that house and its things. I felt like I was really in that space. Your ability to write stories is commendable. If you are interested please read my story.

  • Vivid Masonganyikaabout a year ago

    I like how the story ended! nice work

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    HaHa! Great ending Ahna! I'm aretired English teacher myse lf, also harbouring literary asperations, so I plan to read as much as I can of your writing. Anyone who knows the time-penalty horror of trying to grade English assignmnets in STEM obsessed world gets my respect! I liked this story's flow.

  • Samia Afraabout a year ago

    Very unexpected

  • Dana Crandellabout a year ago

    Your sense of timing and skills with literary devices are wonderful. Great job!

  • Dana Stewartabout a year ago

    This story begins in the most glorious of suspenseful caves, builds tension just right, then when the light comes on - BAM! Absolutely loved it.

  • Ooooo, the suspense of what was being delivered was so amazing! I was on the edge of my seat. Did not expect it to be pizza, lol! I immensely enjoyed this story!

  • Shane Dobbieabout a year ago

    Brilliant. tightly written and fun.

  • Rick Henry Christopher about a year ago

    I love it. That was cleverly written.

  • The Invisible Writerabout a year ago

    What a nce story great job building the anticipation

  • C Jyl Parkerabout a year ago

    This is terrific! Really enjoyed your story.

  • R. J. Raniabout a year ago

    What a fun story, Ahna! It had me grinning 😂 Really well done. I particularly enjoyed the ending and the image of it all!

  • Andrei Z.about a year ago

    Lovely!

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    🤣🤣🤣. This was so fun, and funny, and clever! Loved it!

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