November 25, 2012
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The sound of the school bell makes you jump at the end of your boring algebra class. You lift your head ever so slightly just enough to see the classmates around you gather their things and head out the door. The teacher is erasing something on the white board. You don’t really care what though. You take your time to get out of the class and you drag your feet to your locker. There is a pit in your stomach and you have been dreading this moment for a long time. Everyone is rushing around you trying to get to the game on time, or catch the bus, or this or that. Whatever, you think. Your mind turns to the task at hand. There is an envelope in your backpack, which is now on your shoulder, and what bothers you most is that you have no idea what’s in it. You just know that you are to deliver it at the back corner behind the school. You are staring at the ground when you bump into something. You look up and see Tony Williamson, the cutest senior at Watercreek High School.

“Oh! H...hey Tony,” you stutter. You hope he doesn’t notice you blushing.

“Hey, Lexi,” he says. You’re surprised he even knows your name and that makes you blush even more. “You coming to the game tonight?”

“No, I can’t. I have something I have to do.”

“Dang, that’s too bad. Oh well, see you around!”

“Y...yeah see you.” You watch him go as he walks away. You can feel that your face is bright red but you don’t really care.
BUZZ, BUZZ! You jump, snapping back to reality. You reach into your pocket and take out your phone. It’s a text from a number you have only seen once before to tell you where to take the envelope. You flip it open and it reads: You have ten minutes. –J. Now you feel like there is a hole in your stomach. Your heart beats a little faster. You take a big, deep breath and continue to walk toward your destination. You are trying to walk as slowly as possible. You approach the back door and try to push it open but it won’t budge. You feel as if all of the strength has left your arms. You stand there, staring out the door at the street corner you are headed to. You see a figure with a black hoodie on just standing there, waiting, for you. No one told you they were waiting for you, you just know it. Again, you take another deep breath and push open the door. It’s cold out today and you pull your thin jacket closer to you. You walk up to the figure, not knowing what to expect.

“Do you have it?” the figure asks in a deep rough voice.

You can see a protruding nose from the hood and by the large hands and the figure’s stature; you assume it’s a guy. You nod and take off your backpack and begin to fumble through the contents. You find the envelope and stare at it in your hand.

“Well?” he asked.

You shake your head to come back to reality once again and hand him the envelope. He says nothing as he takes it from your hand and runs off. You’re left standing there not knowing what to think. What if it was drugs? What if it was stolen money? Are you a criminal now? What’s going to happen? Who was that guy? So many questions unanswered.

For some reason, you remembered this from somewhere. When was it; a month ago? Maybe…you can’t remember the specific time. You were left standing there while the love of your life was walking away. He had just told you he was not who you thought he was, and for that he was sorry. He told you that you and him can no longer be together. And you were left just standing there, dazed. It was a lot like that now, but this was different. You don’t even know the person that is walking away from you.

It has been a year since that weird encounter at the corner, and so far, life has been pretty normal. But that memory still haunts you. You sit at the bottom of the stairs of your apartment building with a cigarette in hand, ready to light. You live on your own now. You moved out right after you graduated a little less than a year ago. But now that you think about it, your life has been anything but normal. You have been getting envelopes and text messages from strange numbers telling you where to take them. For some strange reason, you do what they ask, every time. It has changed you. You smoke, have a tattoo on your right shoulder and have a nose piercing. One year ago you never would have even dreamed of doing those things. It’s those envelopes, you say out loud to yourself. What happened? Where did your life go wrong? A memory of the second delivery came into your mind.

You were still in high school and it was a Thursday. You were on your way to your science class when you felt a tug on the hood of your jacket. You stopped, suddenly forcing people to go around you (which they were clearly not happy about), reached behind you to find a white envelope. You looked it over and there was no writing on it anywhere. Suddenly, you felt a buzz from your pocket. You took out your phone and saw that it is from a number that you didn’t recognize. The text told you to take the envelope to the boy’s locker room an hour after school. You were a little confused. Why were the instructions so specific? And more importantly, why you? Why are you even doing what the text messages told you to do? But then your question was answered. Another text came through the same number and it read: If you don’t bring it to where I said, you will be sorry. –J. You looked up from your phone and saw a hooded figure watching you from a corner. A pit formed in your stomach as you watched him disappear around the corner.

The entire day you couldn’t stop thinking about it. You couldn’t focus on your school work or even socializing for that matter. You were completely engulfed in what you were supposed to do. The end of school finally came and you were standing by your locker. Your phone – which happened to be in your hand – buzzed and showed that same number from earlier that day. You better bring it. I will be waiting. –J. You decided you didn’t want to find out what would happen if you didn’t bring the envelope to the location, so you decided to comply.

An hour passed and you were walking to the boy’s locker room. You peeked your head inside.

“Hello?” you called. No answer. “Hello? Is anyone there?” you were now inside the locker room.

“Do you have it?” came a voice that startled you. You recognized the voice from the encounter before.

“Yes, I have it.” You said, trying to act confident, even though you were scared out of your mind. You handed the figure the envelope. “May I at least know what I am delivering to you?”

For a moment there was nothing but silence; but then the figure spoke, “No. But know this; if you EVER decide not to comply with us, you will be very sorry.”

You said nothing and watched the figure disappear into the darkness.

Your cigarette is now lighted and you take a big puff. That memory makes you think of why you never opened the envelopes they keep bring to you. Another question pops into your mind: who are they? Probably some sort of secret organization, you think. At that moment, you decide that next time you get an envelope; you are going to open it and find out what’s inside.

You finish your smoke and head back inside. You come up to your apartment to find the door standing wide open. You have a feeling you know why, but you’re still nervous to go inside. You gently step in the door and spot something on your table. You move closer and see that it’s a white envelope. You tense up knowing that you’re about to get a text from that “J” guy telling you where to take it. You pull out a chair and sit down, staring at the envelope. As expected, your phone buzzes in your pocket. But this time, you ignore it. You reach out and take hold of the envelope, your hands slightly shaking. You begin to open it but stop half way. What if they find out? What if something happens to you? What is going to happen to you? Your finger inside of the envelope flap, you just sit there and stare at it. It’s like a forbidden treasure. You want it so bad but know that the consequences will be bad if you take it. Or do you? That final clause in your thought pattern stops you. A sly smile escapes your lips. You don’t really know if the consequences will be bad or good. For all you know, they could be really good. But come on, what’s the worst that could happen? Your curiosity overcomes you and you completely open the envelope. You tip it upside down and a small piece of folded paper falls out. You’re not sure what to think. You pick it up and unfold it. It reads: I told you, you would be sorry. –J. Your eyes widen as you read the note. You suddenly see a red dot on the paper. It moves to your chest and then your head. You feel frozen and jump when your phone buzzes. You find it hard to flip it open because your hands are shaking so much. The message says: RUN! So you do exactly what it says. You jump up and run out the door as fast as you can. Your heart is racing as you run down the stairs and outside. You stop in front of your apartment building and look around you, breathing hard. You pot a dark figure on the top of the building in front of you. They are holding a gun and it is pointed directly at you! The red dot again appears on your chest. You bolt down the street, pushing people out of the way as you went. They scream at you to watch where you’re going, and this, and that, and WHATEVER! All you care about right now is to get away from them, whoever they are. You turn into a dark alley thinking that it would be a good place to hide. You slow down, go behind a dumpster and crouch down. You feel like your heart is beating out of your chest. You take some deep breaths to calm down. But how could you? You are being hunted down by some group of people just because of some stupid envelope. You still don’t know who this “J” guy is and you are hiding behind a freaking dumpster! You sit all the way down and lean back against the brick wall. The sun is going down and you think this is where you are going to spend the night. Your eyes feel like bricks are pulling them down and fall asleep.

You open your eyes but you can’t see anything. It’s pitch black and very cold. You realize you are lying down so you sit up. Your side aches from being on the cold floor. Now the question is where are you? You stand up and start to feel around. All of a sudden, bright lights are turned and you shield your eyes. You lower your hand to see a hooded figure standing in front of you.

“Glad to see you’re awake,” he says, calmly.

“I just have one question for you,” you say, “why didn’t you shoot me?”

“I was not the one with the gun.” He answers and removes his hood, “I told you to run.”
“ETHAN?” you gasp. He was the one who left you standing there at the corner; the love of your life; the one who broke your heart. You’re not sure if you should run to him or away from him.

All he does is nod and say, “I talked Jason out of killing you.”

“Jason? Is he, that J guy?” you ask.

He nods, “It wasn’t easy. He was very determined.”

“Why? What’s the big deal? All I did was open the enve…”

“What you did was probably the most stupid thing a person could do!”

There is a long pause. “…What do you mean?” you ask quietly.

He sighs, “The same thing happened to me.” You look at him in surprise. He continues, “I was the messenger like you were. I delivered those stupid envelopes for 3 years before I got the idea to look inside one. So I did. There was a note inside that said the exact same thing yours did. I ran; but I didn’t get far. They got me in the arm. I was able to get to Jason somehow; that part is still a little fuzzy. I talked him into not killing me. But now I have to work for him. I had to pick another messenger and I picked you. I’m sorry.”

You’re speechless. You manage to get out the words, “So, now what?”

“Now, you work for him too. You must pick a new messenger, and if they don’t comply, you shoot them.”

“But you said you weren’t the one with the gun.”

“I know. I couldn’t do that to you. I talked one of the other members into doing it. I thank the stars you got away.”

“So what is in those envelopes exactly?” you ask, hoping to know what this is finally all about.

“That’s the weird part,” he says, “none of us know.”

“Seriously? You don’t know?”

“Yes, we are all forced into this. It’s either do what he says or die.”

You stare at the ground. So that’s it then. Your life is now being controlled by some maniac, there is no way out.

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Still_worth_Loving said...
Dec. 14, 2012 at 9:41 am
This is an effective way of writing the story, but the problem is that I was more willing to stop as I read it. I didn't like how the end was. And what if the reader was a guy? He wouldn't read any further when he found out that it was a girl you were writing about. It's okay as a short story, but if you'd written anything longer the same way, it would have stopped reading it.
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