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The Past Doesn't Forget

X - Marks The Spot

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 5 min read
The Past Doesn't Forget
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Paul’s headlights skimmed over a package awaiting him on the front stoop, as he pulled into his drive. The wipers kept perfect time with the increased pounding of his heart. He watched, as the flashing red light of a drone disappeared over his rooftop.

This was not the first package Paul had received. Over the last 30 days, he had received 4, the anonymous text he received earlier that morning, let him know however, this would be the last.

For the past month, Paul had been receiving prank calls. Innocent enough, at first. Crazy laughing and breathing just before hanging up. However, they had become more threatening, as the month went on - graphic, violent language - verbal, physical threats. One morning, as he made his way to the mailbox, he found a dead squirrel sprawled over his porch light, the innards left inside the box.

Each box held a clue to the identity of the sender, one a little more mysterious than the first, creating a puzzle of sorts.

The first box was a matchbox car, an old GTO, like the one his older brother owned, when they were younger. Paul totaled that car one night while driving impaired. He promised his brother he would repair it, but his brother died of an accidental overdose the following weekend. Paul felt responsible, and never really forgave himself, neither did his parents.

The second box held a small magnetic cigarette case, with silver rhinestones attached. Similar to the case his best friend's girlfriend used to carry, he hadn't thought of her in years. And his friend, Marty, was killed in the war in Iraq. They were supposed to join together, but Paul chickened out and never showed at the recruiter's office.

The third box contained an old letter from a girl named Deb, that he met one weekend while visiting the coast. As he read it, he cried. She was reaching out, less than a year since that weekend, following her miscarriage. He had no idea she was pregnant. He never answered her letter, in fact, he thought he had burned it.

The fourth box was a small pocket bible. Inside the cover was written in red: Jerimiah 31:19

"For after I turned back, I repented.

And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh.

I was ashamed and also humiliated

Because I bore the reproach of my youth.

The police would be unable to help him, and Paul would not look to the law for help, anyway. He knew what he'd done, he just didn't know who else knew.

Paul was not who he used to be. But Issac Kaufman was dead. A tragic boating accident, however, no body was ever found

Witness protection, most people hated the thought of erasing everything about themselves. But Paul didn't mind having to cut all previous ties. He never really liked "his" people anyway, and his family didn't really like him. Paul had been shunned years ago, after the death of his brother, when he decided to leave his faith - disconnecting from the Amish community, he had grown up in.

After all the loss he experienced in his youth and being disowned by his family. Paul decided to move out to the coast and start over. He had been living in an old Rodeway Inn- just off of the interstate for about a month when he was approached by "The Crew".

Intimidation is a loud talker, and after a pretty intensive beat down, Paul was persuaded to help move product and do a little laundering.

What he couldn't know is, once you're in, you're in. His new family took loyalty pretty seriously - With no ties, Paul rose to the top quickly.

He had no problem with the seedy side of money running or laundering. He kept his hands pretty clean when it came to collecting, he even got special bonuses if he cleaned up certain messes. What he didn't see or know, didn't affect him, it was all about the cash.

Until he met Sherrie. She was a beauty. And she belonged to the boss.

One night, while waiting for his signal to clean-up, Sherrie showed up tapping on Paul's window, she was covered in blood, and hysterical. As he began to lower his window, she practically crawled through it.

"Whoa, there girl, what are you doing?" He laughed nervously.

She was sobbing, "You gotta get me out of here Paul, I did something really bad. They can't find me Paul, please help me." Without thinking, he helped her into his car and tore off down the highway, leaving his crew behind.

Either one, a deadly mistake.

Every action following that, led him to where he is now. Sitting outside his generic house in this nowhere little town, afraid of what the final box would reveal.

As he stepped out of his car, the cold stinging droplets of rain pierced his skin. The air had become colder and was turning to sleet. As he reached the package on the steps, you could see his breath as he whispered, "Please, please, please, don't be..."

From behind, he was tackled to the ground. He could vaguely make out the shape of a woman in a white coat. "Hold him still," she said in a stern voice. From out of her back pocket, she pulled out a syringe, plunging it into his arm, she whispered, "just breathe Issac, it's going to be ok, just breathe."

When he awoke, he was in a hospital room.

As he gazed around the room, there were balloons and flowers, and get well soon cards. Sitting by his bed, holding a plain brown paper box, was his mom and dad.

"What are YOU doing here," he gasped. "

"Son," his father said softly, as he approached him - holding out the small box. "We have been waiting for years for you to wake up, son -you have been in a coma since you crashed your car, 15 years ago." His father opened the box slightly, revealing a small car key. "We had your car repaired, hoping you would come back to us."

Could it be he wondered, was it all just a dream?

The nurse in the white jacket returned and cleared the room, "Okay everyone, there has been enough excitement for today, let's let Paul, uh...Issac get some rest."

As Issac turned to meet her eyes, her name tag read..."Sherrie"


About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

or facebook

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (13)

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  • Jasmine S.4 months ago

    Omg, that was great. That buildup towards the end and that twist for an ending? Fantastic! Excellent writing. <3

  • sleepy drafts4 months ago

    Woah!! What a twist! Fantastic story! ❤️

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Terrific story & twist!!!💕😊❤️💕

  • I feel like I read this before, buy apparently never hearted or commented! It's just as wonderful as I remember! Thanks for resharing its a really well written story!

  • C. H. Richard4 months ago

    Fantastic thrill ride! Well done!

  • I thought I had read this, but I hadn't. Stunning. Loved the ending

  • Gideon 6ix4 months ago

    Outstanding, great twist at the end, thank you for sharing!

  • Caroline Jane4 months ago

    Did not see that ending coming!

  • Oliver M4 months ago

    The intriguing part was the nurse was "Sherrie" makes you wonder why he was on coma, killer cliffhanger.

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    Great story. That twist was incredibly well done. I had no clue.

  • Scott Wade4 months ago

    Great story. Love the twist. ❤️ You pulled this off with stellar skill. Love it.

  • Gina C.4 months ago

    Oh, this was wonderfully intricate and I definitely did not see that ending coming! Fantastic job!

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