The Little Journal.
It's Important to Someone...
''Oh, come on!'' I yelled, angry that the electricity had chosen to go off just as I was about to hit 'save' on my assignment. I prayed 'autosave' would have kicked in just beforehand.
The room went dark for a moment, yet the glow of the streetlights still illuminated my livingroom. I could also see house lights glowing across at my neighbours' homes.
That's weird, I thought, but seconds later, the lights came on again. I hurried to my laptop, hoping my assignment wasn't lost completely.
Something caught the corner of my eye: a package, in brown paper, sitting on the low coffee table in front of the armchair. There was a label attached to the paper by parcel string. I gasped, and looked around me, but everything was as it had been before the electricity went off.
My heart raced, and panic flooded my senses.
I was numb with confusion. Who had left the package there? Who was in my house?
I stood, and made my way slowly to the package. The label hung at an angle that allowed me to see what was written on it without touching it.
'Gemma' was written in black cursive writing on the white tag. My name.
I decided to take a look out of the window, to see if perhaps someone was playing with me. I scanned the row of houses across the street, but all was quiet.
Wait. A figure across the street, in the shadows between houses, was staring at my house.
What's going on? I ran to the front door, shaking with adrenaline, and yanked it open, to confront whoever was doing this.
''Hey! What do you want?'' I yelled. But the figure had gone.
I scanned the street, standing there in the cold, until my body began to shake. I softly closed my front door and slid in the deadbolt.
I tried to continue with my saved saved assignment, but the package seemed to mock me. I was too afraid to approach it, but I couldn't ignore it either.
After who knows how long, I stood, and with my heart beat pulsing in my ears, I made my way to the coffee table, and stood in front of the brown paper package. Gently, I lifted the box, and untied the parcel string. Inside was a plain, brown, A5 sized flat box.
There was another handwritten note inside. It read:
'Put the journal in the box, and we won't bother you again.'
The journal? What journal? I didn't write journals! Was this a joke?
I tried to return to my assignment once more, but the box, and the note taunted me.
Journal? I kept going over and over the word in my head.
Suddenly, the image of a small, rough looking little book I had picked up at a church sale for a few pence came to mind. It had attracted me because it was so different to the other second hand books on the table. Inside contained drawings and notes I couldn't decipher. There were angles, calculations, numbers and codes I didn't understand, but it fascinated me all the same. I loved how unique and personal it was, and so I brought it home, and now it sat, on my bookshelf beside my bed. I'd take it down occasionally, and look through the old scrawled notes and diagrams.
This must be the journal 'they' wanted, whoever they were, and they could certainly have it, if it meant leaving me alone. I didn't love it that much. Maybe it was valuable, and some crazy collectors wanted it.
But who was I supposed to give it to? There was no name or address on the package. No phone number. I could only suppose that if I left it on my doorstep, whoever wanted the little book so badly would see it.
I raced upstairs and grabbed the old journal from my bedroom, and when I got back downstairs, I carefully set it inside the box, where it fit perfectly. The journal no longer possessed the gentle mystery for me. I just wanted rid of it now.
I rewrapped the parcel in the string and made my way towards the front door.
I was just opening my door to the night air, when the breath left my lungs. The figure from across the street was standing, already there, at my doorstep.
''Hi, Gemma.'' The figure was a young man, good looking in a menacing, rough sort of way, with dark eyebrows and a hard set mouth. His face was half concealed with the hood of his waxed jacket.
''I'll take that now.'' He reached forward, and plucked the box from my hand. I swallowed, torn between fear, and the desire to stare.
He turned and walked off, then looked over his shoulder to stare at me, before he disappeared into the shadows.
I stumbled in to my house, exhausted and trembling. I needed a drink.
I made my way to the kitchen, putting on every light as I went. My body was chilled from fear and a slump from adrenaline use.
As I reached for the cupboard containing the glassware, my eye caught sight of something to the right, on the table.
It was a brown package. Wrapped in string. With a white label.
This time it read,
'You gave it away, Gemma. We're coming. Don't run'
About the author
I'm new to the 'writing for real' scene. Previously, I've kept my poetry and writing under wraps in a fancy notebook, but now I've decided to give it a proper go!
I hope you enjoy my work.