Memories Fade, Blood Remains

By , Jackson, NJ

After hours of combing through the newspapers for job listings, my phone finally started to ring, rousing me from my dazed state. I answered, hoping for some good news. I started to feel excited as they began to explain the details of the job. I got it. The salary was high. Extremely high, actually. And all I had to do was deliver some packages around town when a customer called me. The only rule was to not tamper with the packages. They were to be left sealed in perfect condition, with no questions asked. Naturally, I was instantly tempted to ask about a thousand questions, but I kept quiet for the sake of my rent. I told them I could start immediately, and began to get dressed as I awaited my first phone call. Just as I was lacing up my converse, my phone began to buzz. Before I could even say hello, a gruff voice spat an address out and hung up. I threw on my coat, a bit shocked, but I shrugged it off and made my way out of my apartment building. 
As I was hurrying down the many staircases of my building, I typed in the address in my phone’s GPS. As it located the house, I noticed it was a neighborhood I’ve never been to before. It was less than a mile away and with a quick pace, I made it there in under 10 minutes. The neighborhood seemed poverty-stricken and not very well maintained. I located the house with the number given to me, and made my way up the crumbling stairs onto a rickety porch. I went to ring the doorbell, but upon closer inspection, noticed the actual doorbell was missing. In its place was a hole in the wall, with some wires menacingly protruding toward me. I knocked on the screen door, instantly rousing what sounded like at least three vicious dogs. I could hear the snarls and growls clearly, but the sound didn’t approach me. They must be tied up somewhere. Through the screen, I could see that the interior of the house closely reflected the state of the exterior. There were empty beer bottles strewn about the entirety of the rooms visible to me. The television was displaying snow, making a loud, incessant buzzing noise. The couches and other pieces of furniture were torn up and looked as though they had survived multiple trips to the dumpster. The smell escaping from the house turned my stomach. I finally saw a figure making his way through a hallway, coming toward the door. He was holding a large cardboard box, tightly wrapped in an excessive amount of tape. He opened the door and shoved it into my chest.
“17 Raven Road. Within the next hour. Don’t even try to open the box,” the hooded man growled. He was dressed in heavy, dark clothes, masking most of his physical characteristics. His hood cast a shadow over his face, leaving me with the image of two beady green eyes staring at me from within the darkness. I stared back at him, and he swung the door closed behind him and left me there on his porch, both frightened and extremely curious.
I typed the next address into my phone. Taking a few minutes to locate the house due to the lack of cellular signal in this part of the city, I noticed the house was one street over. Why couldn’t he just do this himself? I had an entire hour before I had to deliver the mysterious package. I lugged the heavy box into a dark alley between two abandoned houses, and with my curiosity getting the best of me, I began to tug at the tape. The bottom of the box began to dampen with a dark, sticky substance. I put it down on the ground and carefully pulled off the layers of tape on the top of the box. I heard sirens in the distance. I wouldn’t doubt it if they were making their way to this neighborhood for some horrific crime. I gasped when I realized I peeled off the last layer of tape.The box popped open on its own and a stench, ten times more putrid than the one which suffocated me on the man’s porch, attacked me, burning at my nostrils and eyes. Covering my nose and mouth with one hand, I gently lifted the flaps of the box, until enough light shone in to tell me what was residing within. Horrified, I stood up and tried to run, but I was too dizzy to do so without falling over. The image was burned onto my eyeballs. Human remains. An arm stuck out from the box, almost as if waving to me. I desperately tried to grab onto the wall for support as I staggered out of the alleyway. Just as I made it back into the sunlight, I was blinded by blue and red lights. The police. I tried to scream for help, but my voice was unintelligible over the noise the policemen yelling.
“Eva Gallagher! Put your hands up! Get down on the ground!” There were so many guns pointed at me. How did they know my name? I kneeled on the ground. I felt as though the world around me were spinning. I couldn’t think straight. Or at all really. My brain filled with fog and my vision became blurry. My body went limp as an older policeman wrestled my hands into a pair of handcuffs. I could barely make out his thick, dark mustache through the tears filling my eyes. I felt hysterical, but my body was no longer responding. I let them drag me into the back of the police car with no fight whatsoever. I tried with all my might to tell myself to explain the situation, or at least kick and scream. But my body ignored me. My heart was racing so fast my chest began to hurt. I felt my lungs and throat start to get tight. Slowly, then all at once, the world around me faded to black.






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