Miss Squeenie McPimpalot (chaletian) wrote,
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot
chaletian

The Parcel

Carey Howard struggled with an assortment of bags as she unlocked her front door, jiggling the stubborn lock impatiently. Eventually it gave way and the door flew open, revealing the reassuring sight of her hallway. She flung the bags down, slammed closed the door, and stripped off her coat, only to stop and heave a sigh of irritation as she noticed the red slip that had been posted through the door. Casting coat and scarf onto the laundry-box-cum-hall-seat, she picked it up. The parcel, delivered at 10.24 (how absurdly exact) could not be put through the letter box because it was (a) needed signing for; (b) was too big. Neither was marked. A scribble in the corner informed Carey, however, that the parcel in question was currently residing in the recycling bin. Lovely. The fate of this parcel, had today been the recycling collection day, clearly was of no interest to the postman. Hardly surprising, thought Carey, as she opened the door again, given that, in her opinion, his IQ was less than that of next door’s cat.

She tromped bad-temperedly round the side of the house, wrenched open the bin, and glared at the parcel. It, being a parcel, did not glare back, but merely sat there, unspeaking and belabelled. As, in fact, you would expect from a parcel. Carey bent over and pulled it out. It was more or less the size of a box-file which closer examination back indoors proved it to be.

Sitting at the kitchen table, cup of tea at her elbow, Carey inspected the box file. It was grey and mottled, in the best box file tradition, with a green fabric spine and an old-fashioned label, that may once have said ‘Mining Reports 1962’ on it, but had long since been rubbed almost blank. Viewed from every angle, it appeared to be nothing more or less than a box file.

Carey opened it. It was almost empty, save for a few papers, and she wondered why it had required the use of a box file, when surely a stiffened envelope would have done almost as well. But no matter. That was hardly important.

There was a white envelope on the top. It had ‘Carey’ printed neatly on it. Carey opened it. That was the next logical move, after all. There was a folded piece of paper inside, the sort of thin blue paper you bought from post offices. This was typed, not handwritten, but skewed, as if the paper had gone into the printer at a funny angle. It said simply ‘You are not who you think you are.’ That was all.

How odd, thought Carey. She put it to one side. She picked out the next piece of paper from the box file. It was a photograph of a pretty girl, taken in the 70s from the look of her dress. She was beautiful, in fact. But entirely unknown. She picked up another photograph, this time of a house – no, a chalet. It was older than the picture of the girl, in black and white rather than colour. She flipped it over so she could read the back. It merely said ‘1957’. That would account for the black and white. Thinking about, she checked the back of the colour photo, but it was blank. The only think left in the file was a scrap of paper, torn from a larger sheet. It was old as well, and looked to be some kind of invoice for stationery supplies. Since it was made out to Acorn Copper Mines Ltd, Carey presumed it had always lived in the box file.

She wasn’t who she thought she was. Well, everyone knew that.
Tags: fic
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