by Danika Ashton
(Calpine, CA, USA)
Why must it always come back to this? Every morning I wake up, make coffee, and get the paper. But when I step outside, I see no paper, but a package.
And the moment I look at this package, I realize this is no ordinary package. I've been getting these mysterious postal packages for five days now... five. All in a row.
So I continue with my routine. I retrieve the package, bring it inside, and stare at it, wondering what on Earth it could be this time. In the past, I've had an old-fashioned key, a jar of dirt with unusual pebbles buried in it, a piece of glass, a photograph of the ocean, and now whatever is inside this recent box.
I sigh, take a sip of my coffee, and sit down at the table, taking a pair of scissors; the same pair I used yesterday at this exact time.
After attacking the box with the scissors, I open it up to find a folded piece of paper and an orange paper envelope with something wet on it.
First, I go for the folded paper and read:
Good things come in small packages, wouldn't you agree, Dominic?
Well, this was the first time he mentioned his name, and the third time he's mentioned mine. How does he know my name? I've been receiving these odd packages from this stranger and I've never sent him anything.
After much deliberation, I opened the paper envelope.
My heart stopped as I realized what he had sent me this time.
It was a human heart, soaking with putrid blood. My father's heart.