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“He’s here again; don’t you think it’s kind of odd?” Lori Brass said to her neighbor, Jeff Louie as they happened to meet at their mailboxes as they occasionally did some mornings.
They watched as the delivery truck came once again to Clyde Olsen’s house across the street. The scrawny delivery man hesitated up the driveway, petrified yet again by the mysterious man inside. Without even a ring of the doorbell, Clyde ripped opened the door as the package approached. He seized it and shut the door immediately giving only a glimpse of his uneasy, crooked face.
“I think all the neighbors are starting to get spooked.” Jeff whispered, he rested his arm on his mailbox and leaned in closer. “His wife, Rosemary just died not more than seven months ago and there still isn’t anyone that knows how. What’s a disturbing man like that gettin’ packages delivered to his house for everyday?”
“I was talking to other families around the neighborhood and they’re getting concerned about their kids. They don’t think it’s safe for them to play outside with Clyde around to easily snatch one of them up,” Lori said looking back at his sloppily put together house which she imagined suddenly filled with helpless kids inside. “We have got to find out what’s in all those packages; but how?”
“That’s got to be nearly impossible. But doesn’t it seem to all be going downhill around here? The church up on the hill has got a mold problem that’s going to cost thousands to fix, then Henry Bortz a few houses down lost his job and can’t afford his mortgage so he’s getting forced to move out, and now this?” Jeff complained.
Five days later, Jeff woke to his doorbell. Looking out the window on the way to the door he observed bouncy balls of raindrops smacking into the driveway. That’s when he noticed the delivery truck. Jeff hadn’t ordered anything so he was curious as to what he wanted.
“Hello Sir. Your neighbor thankfully didn’t answer the door today so I left him a note and brought it over here so it wouldn’t get wet. Is that okay Sir?” The delivery man said seeming more at ease than the other day.
“Well of course that’s just fine. Bring it on in here and I will take it over as soon as this rain quits,” assured Jeff with a grin.
“Thank you sir, have a good day,” he said backing up and then jogging back to his truck and taking off.
Jeff pulled up a chair next to the package and stared at it. After about five minutes of sitting dumbfounded, he called Lori and told her what happened and to come over. They both sat and looked at the package wondering what to do.
“Well, it is partly torn in that corner. We could ‘accidently’ tear off a little more just to get a peek at what’s inside,” Lori suggested, “ya think?”
“I would never think of doing something that invasive, but this might be our only shot.”
Jeff tore a little more back, and just as they were snooping inside the box, the doorbell rang. Frantically they fixed the corner to make it look like an accident and rushed over to the door. They both took a deep breath to make an attempt at appearing casual. And of course as they opened the door, there stood Clyde Olsen.
“This slip here said you have my package,” he said in a low raspy voice.
“Uh, yes its right here. The delivery man brought it over to keep it out of the rain,” replied Jeff.
“Eh,” was all Clyde said in return.
Scared, but deciding to take the risk, Lori asked, “So, would it have mattered if the stuff inside got wet anyways?”
“The last thing I need are nosy neighbors bothering me and getting up in my business!” Clyde barked back.
“Well then, we will make sure the children stay off your property,” Jeff assured him.
“Oh—I don’t mind the children,” he said in a sinister voice that sent chills up Jeff’s and Lori’s spines. And with that he grabbed the package and hobbled back to his house.
“Jeff, did you see what was inside of that package!” Lori exclaimed.
With a frightened sigh he answered, “Yes—toys.”
Lori proceeded to pace the room terrified of the images now in her mind. Jeff forced her not to tell anyone until they could get everything sorted out. She was anxious but promised she would keep her mouth shut.
About two weeks later, nothing had really changed. Deliveries were still coming to Clyde’s house and no further information had come to solve the mysteries behind the toy packages. One day however, as Lori was getting her mail, she noticed there were a number of notification slips on Clyde’s door. Curiously, she went over to Jeff’s house to see if he knew anything. He also thought it was strange so they went and checked out the slips. There were six of them taped up and that concerned the two neighbors.
“I don’t think he has ever been gone more than a couple hours; do you think we should call someone?” Lori asked.
“Let’s not get too carried away. We will wait it out a day or two and then call the cops just so they can check things out I suppose,” Jeff stated.
So, with two more days, came two more notification slips and Jeff decided it was time to call the police just to make sure everything was okay. Soon the cops came and ended up knocking down the door. As Jeff and Lori were later informed, creepy Clyde Olsen from across the street had passed.
“I can’t believe he’s dead!” Lori exclaimed at Jeff’s house that afternoon. “At least they can get to the bottom of what he had been doing.”
“We should go over there and see what’s all going on,” Jeff said walking towards the door.
They raced over to Clyde’s house and stood in the yard watching cops come in and out. About five minutes later a young man walked out of the house with a stack of papers occupying his hands. At the sight of Lori and Jeff, his face became twisted with confusion.
“Can I help you folks? I wasn’t aware my great uncle Clyde had any friends around here,” the young man said. “I am Joshua, Clyde’s great nephew. I’m his only relative left so I came to help sort out his things.”
Being her usual nosy self, Lori asked, “So, did you find anything unusual in there?”
“As a matter of fact they did. But first, do you know a man by the name of Henry Bortz?” Joshua asked, reading the name of one of the top papers in his stack.
“Uh, yes we do. He lives a couple houses down,” Jeff answered back with a question in his voice. “Why do you ask?”
“Well, I have Uncle Clyde’s will here on top of these papers. Now, I never knew my uncle to have so much money but after looking in his house I can easily see why,” Joshua said in a proud voice. Baffled, Lori and Jeff couldn’t say anything but wait for him to explain himself.
After a brief pause, he continued, “Ya see, when I went looking in Clyde’s house, down in the basement I found a workshop filled with toys. I didn’t understand at first but I soon discovered the boxes of broken toys and then fixed toys set flawlessly on another table. Next to his little tools and bottles of glue I found thank you letters from companies and charities for his generously large donations of money. I also found some checks with his will, which made me come to the conclusion he knew he was dying. One check was for your neighbor Henry to pay off his mortgage, and the other was for some church around here to fix—”
“The mold problem,” Jeff gasped. He was astonished. “But I still don’t get it, how does he get all that money?”
“It’s the thousands of toys. He buys them all for hardly anything because they are damaged and then fixes them up to sell them to for a huge profit. With all the money, he writes checks out to people in need. It says here in his will that he started this after his wife got sick a little over a year ago. He wrote, ‘She was the most caring gal in the world, and I only wanted to continue her divine sense of kindness.’”
Jeff and Lori out of pure embarrassment never discussed ‘creepy’ Clyde Olsen ever again. But each were given one of Clyde’s unblemished toys as a constant reminder that other’s don’t have to see your heart to know you have one.