Cat State

Cat State

A Story by Fellswell
"

A short story with endless possibilities.

"

"It is a simple thing. " The man began again. Frustration crept up his face and his scowl became a glare. He sat at a cluttered desk in the orange glow of his lamp. Beside him a parrot was perched on the back of an ornate wooden chair. The creature appeared older than the egg. Its eyes were greyed with blindness and its feathers were few and far between. It repeated the words "simple" and "thing" in a grating shriek. The man continued. "You take the package from here to there without asking questions. You are being paid up front, more money than you could reasonably expect for the job. Do not open the box under any circumstances and do not stray. If you ask what is in the package again, it will assure me you are incapable of following simple instruction." He turned in his chair and reached into an unused fish tank that held the box and placed it on his desk. It was a black shoe box with electrical tape covering the logos, it had hundreds of pin-sized holes across the lid and a cross of white string holding it closed. He placed a thick envelope on top. "It would not be wise to stray." Leaving his office, the parrot called "stray".


He passed the woman in the front of the antique store, who did not look up from her crossword and exited to the sound of wind-chimes over the door. He turned the box to place it under his arm but after feeling the contents shift, he decided to keep it level. Attempting to appear as normal as possible, he walked to his car and got inside, placing the box in the backseat. Heart racing, he started to feel foolish. He had no idea what he had gotten himself into but, then again, he was simply moving a box from one place to another. He had never even been pulled over before. There was no reason for anyone to suspect him and that's why it was offered to him. A moment later, after convincing himself he had calmed down, he left.


The drive was short but the way was strewn with intersections and traffic lights, it could take half the time depending on his luck. Stopping at the first red light, he looked back at the package and didn't notice his breathing stop. Looking closely, he wondered why there were holes in the top. A car behind him honked once and held it long enough for him to catch his breath and face ahead. He continued. Surely they weren't air holes, they couldn't be, could they? Even if this were a critically endangered species it wouldn't pay this well to deliver it and they wouldn't put something so fragile in a shoe box and hand it off without warning. He stopped at the next intersection. What could it be? What would pay this well for a simple delivery, in the same city? A taxi driver would have delivered it, no questions asked for a hundred bucks. Even if it were packed tight with heroin it wouldn't be worth this much, would it? Lost in thought, he turned to the package again and almost immediately, the light changed to green and the same car honked three times and held the last for a moment. He quickly reached for the package with both hands and placed it carefully on the passenger seat before continuing. Remembering the envelope in his pocket, he moved a hand to it and felt his panic subside and turn to guilt. What was he contributing to? It couldn't be black market organ trade, that would be on ice and handled by professionals. Poison or anthrax? He began to sweat as his panic returned. No, there wouldn't be holes in the top... He began to shake. The next intersection came and went without him noticing the red light, only the blare of horns and screeching brakes. Breathing heavily, he turned right at the next intersection and pulled into a gas station parking lot. He grabbed the box and put it on the floor behind the driver's seat. It's not anthrax, the man and the parrot would be dead already. This is insane, it's a simple thing! After composing himself, he continued.


Driving slowly the rest of the way, the cars behind him honked and passed when they could. Paying close attention to the traffic lights, he counted an even number of green and red.


He arrived at the address, parked on the street and brought the package down the driveway and up the front steps. It was a townhouse with a freshly mowed lawn, peeling lead paint and a bright orange door. The door swung open on the third knock revealing a child in a party hat, who turned and called for his father. The father arrived at the door a moment later, dressed as a dollar store clown with a smile painted up to his cheekbones. Looking down at the package, he smiled with his mouth. "Hold on one second!" The door swung closed as the clown ran back into the house. He returned a moment later, grabbed the box and threw it out of sight before holding out a 5 dollar bill and saying "Thanks a lot." The door swung closed again.


After returning home, he found a shoe box filled with keepsakes and placed the unopened envelope inside hoping to forget about it for now.

© 2019 Fellswell


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Featured Review

Well-written and interesting, it held me firm all the way through. Funny in places, too. I got a little confused at the end, due to there being a second "he" introduced. Might be better if you gave the nervous package-deliverer a name. Call him Joe, Carl, or something such.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fellswell

4 Months Ago

Thank you for the kind words and the feedback! I changed a line and will heed your advice should I t.. read more



Reviews

Well-written and interesting, it held me firm all the way through. Funny in places, too. I got a little confused at the end, due to there being a second "he" introduced. Might be better if you gave the nervous package-deliverer a name. Call him Joe, Carl, or something such.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fellswell

4 Months Ago

Thank you for the kind words and the feedback! I changed a line and will heed your advice should I t.. read more

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Added on June 12, 2019
Last Updated on June 12, 2019

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Fellswell
Fellswell

Toronto, Ontario, Canada



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