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Enjoying a soda and a snack is enjoyable on a hot summer day. No tests, teachers, and homework to worry about during summer break. I can just sit in my house, watch TV, listen to music, play my musical instruments, and hang out with friends when I want to. It sounded like it was a perfect way to get away from life’s problems. Until one day I got a strange little package that was marked: DO NOT OPEN.

It happened in the morning. I was crouching in front of my TV to see what video games I had that I could play today. Upon picking up a game, I heard the doorbell ring once, and only once. No one would come to my door and ring the bell. They would usually just knock on the door with a beat. And with some people, they would usually ring the doorbell three times as if it was some kind of good luck charm. So I went to my door thinking who it could be. The mailman was an hour early, and I wasn’t expecting anyone for the morning. So I opened my door to find no one. At first, I thought I was ding dong ditched by diabolical kids that hang out in my neighborhood once in a while. Then I noticed a beige paper covered package on top of my door mat. Strange, no one ever left a package at my door step without notifying me. Even the old, wrinkled mailman would ring the doorbell, say hi to me, and hand me my stuff I ordered off Amazon. So I would do what every person would do if they saw a formal yet suspicious package on their doorstep, I tossed it on my coffee table.

During dinner I was enjoying my pasta with mushrooms, when I heard a noise come from my living room. At first, it was a rustle of papers. Then it became a loud crunching noise as if an angry man looking for a job saw that his resume had no recommendations on it. I dashed to the room, thinking a burglar was intruding my house. Instead I find no one. Not a single person but me in the room. The only thing that was off was that the package was not in the same place as before, just a few feet where I threw it this morning. Thinking I have gone paranoid, I just pushed the thought away and focused on how good the pasta tasted this evening.

That night, the incident happened. I woke up around three in the morning hearing a strange rustle from the living room. Once again, I dash to the room, finding no one. However, now the package was open. Its contents spilled out on the floor. There were pictures and newspaper headlines, and even a letter. I turned on the lights and saw pictures of a young boy around his mid teens with a family that seemed to love him. There were pictures from Arizona, Montana, and even Alaska. Nothing seemed to worry that boy, but that though dissipated as I read the news headlines. “DROWNED BOY FOUND IN KANSAS RIVER,” it said. “Drowned,” I said to myself. Then remembering how every horror story went, I picked up the letter and read the words. It said, “DROWN.” All I remember after that was a cold feeling on my skin, weightlessness, and the inability to breathe again. I punched and kicked the air, as if there was an invisible monster that loomed over me. To no avail, I just wasted the precious air left in my lungs. After that, I blacked out.

I woke up, able to breathe the sweet and crisp air again. There was no weightlessness or coldness, just a warm feeling when the sun’s rays shined on me. Then, I remembered the package on my coffee table. I rushed and even tripped on the edge of the door way to get to the living room. Seeing the package, I ripped it open, regardless of the warning. Turned out it was only full of three sheets of blank paper, blank printer paper that I use to print my writing. Now I wondered who would have done this to me. The Dawsons don’t have kids, the Orens have a baby, and the Lorigs kids are a serious bunch. One clear answer hit me with a force of a falling hammer: the diabolic Rindal kids that love to play pranks.





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