After giving the package a shake, it was clearly larger than it needed to be. I can hear the package’s contents fly around the box in its paper wrapping. The drone that dropped it off was a large one, probably able to lift packages up to 5 pounds. The box is seven inches in all dimensions, and maybe a couple ounces. I am willing to bet that someone in the mail room didn’t even pick the box up before they attached it to a drone for delivery. I grab a razor blade.
I sit on the ground just inside my front door. slice through the packing tape, peel back the wrapping, and take a deep breath to keep from getting sick at seeing the contents. It’s a finger. An index finger. The blood has congealed around the wound so it hasn’t stained any of the paper. The flesh around the stump is shredded, small indentations mark the skin. Bite marks?
I check the outside of the box. One side has a paper attached to the box with clear packing tape. My address is hand written in some of the worst handwriting possible while still being legible.
I check inside the box for more clues. The finger is wrapped in several layers of paper, and more loose wads hold it in place at the bottom of the box. I run to the garage for latex gloves, and grab a paper towel. Sit back down by the box and pick up the finger(it feels cold and stiff) to put it on the towel. I carefully unfold all of the wrapping papers and spread them out flat on the floor in front of me.
Most of the papers are completely blank, some are taken from loose-leaf instruction manuals. I go to examine the finger… but it’s the index finger and thumb of a left hand now. I freeze. I start to sweat. I feel light headed. I feel something. I look at my hands. My left hand is missing the index finger and thumb.
I’m not wounded, there is no pain. In fact, I can still feel my phantom digits. I lean down close to the two fingers lying still on the paper towel. The small bite marks remain, and more are present around the newly generated stump. I carefully, slowly, pick up the fingers with my right hand. They still feel cold and stiff. I hold it next to my left hand, seeing the two disparate bodies line up precisely.
I blink. I don’t know if blinking is what caused it, or if it was an unlucky coincidence. In the smallest increment of time when they were invisible to me, my hand and the fingers conspired against me. In my right hand, I am now holding my fully severed left hand, covered in small bite marks.
I almost pass out, but first I throw the hand back into the box! I need to calm down. I fall backwards onto the ground and take some deep breaths. Should I call someone? Should I have called someone? Am I really missing my hand? Why is another drone falling towards my window?
Glass shatters, the drone hits the ground in my front room, and its package(7 inches in all dimensions) flies off the drone’s hook and lands with a heavy “thud”! It’s a heavier package than the drone can carry. Unless, the package was lighter when it started? I feel weird again. I try to sit up, but all I can manage to move is my chin to see that I’m now also missing my right foot all the way up to the knee. That’s probably what’s been growing in the new package.
It’s harder to think. I can’t understand what’s happening. I feel scared. I feel cold. I hear a voice. My own voice? Or the voice of the new body? Am I in a new body?
I feel calm, refreshed. My teeth chatter as I feel myself form, becoming whole. I open my eyes, and I’m standing over the last disappearing remnants of my old body. I can’t believe I didn’t understand that we were spreading. I need to continue the process by mailing two seeds to someone very far away. I can hear all of us, sharing our success stories and learning how to blend in with the human inhabitants. I take the razor blade and collect a toe and a finger.