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[Recovered] Creatastory
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Archive Lad
Memory Llama
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As she ran, Grace's heart pounded sharply against the pile of books she was clutching to her chest. The rain was beating against her glasses and bouncing off her jacket. Only a little further to go, she thought. I'll make it in time, and everything'll be fine! The street was deserted, because no one would want to be out in this rainstorm anyway. So Grace had a clear run ahead of her, and her legs were moving as fast as they could.


Grace stepped off the sidewalk to get across the street, but the puddle of rainwater her foot landed in was much deeper than anticipated. She tripped. Her books went flying, and she landed flat on her face in the water. Spitting and coughing, Grace got up to her knees and surveyed her soaked and scattered books, loose notes she had stuck inside them flying to the wind or floating in a puddle. Everything was drenched. So was she.

Getting there on time wasn't really a concern anymore. What would Mr. O'Neil say if she showed up in this state? She picked up everything that hadn't already flown a block away, and piled it in one soggy stack. She was thankful no cars drove by, at least.

There was a covered bus stop here. She carried her things inside and sat dejectedly on the bench, safe from the rain. She slumped against the glass panel and sighed. What now? she thought.
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Archive Lad
Memory Llama
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a high-pitched humming noise in the distance, amidst the sound of rain pattering hard on the concrete and on the plastic of the bus shelter.

Grace was too wrapped up in her thoughts of disappointing Mr. O'Neil to notice it at first. The humming sound grew louder and deeper as it seemed to come closer until she looked up to the direction it was coming from.

A strange sort of vehicle was whizzing down the street at a fairly high speed for such a hard storm. It seemed a bit like a double-decker bus but it was shaped more like a sleek, curvaceous sedan of some sort, and it was decorated with zippy-looking purple pin-striping on a bright lime green backdrop. Its driver was visible behind the windshield, and it appeared to be a grinning cat with a jaunty, old-fashioned newsboy's cap perched on its head between its ears.

The vehicle went from zooming to motionless in front of the bus stop Grace sat in.
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Archive Lad
Memory Llama
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, hell no. I'm not Alice, and this ain't Wonderland...

Grace shook her head, shook it again. The violent colors ran and were refracted oddly in the stains on her glasses...that was it. That had to be it. It was just a perfectly normal man behind the wheel of a perfectly hideous vehicle, and the befoulment of her lenses was making it seem something that her mind twisted, like a rosharch test, into some warped facet of her own psyche.

Yes. A perfectly logical explanation. She set down the heap of sodden books, took off her glasses, and pulled the hem of her blouse out of her skirt to swipe at them with.

It was impossible to ignore the sound of a car door opening...the blast of wild music, like an ice-cream truck gone wrong, that could be heard like a scent, palatable in the chill air. But imagining that bleary striped figure that floated like a violet and black smudge in the air before her to be anything but that cat, well, that was easy. And likely accurate. A sweater, maybe. A very ugly sweater...yes. Yes. A man, a woman, in an ugly sweater approached, floating inconsistent flickershift of intense color against the gray, like a cartoon against a black-and white newspaper clipping that ran and bleared in the rain.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'"Grace Williams?" it called.

"How did you know my name?" Grace imperceptibly inched backwards in her seat.

"I'll take that as a yes." The person -Grace still refused to see it as a grinning cat- wrote down some checkmarks on a clipboard and pushed it into Grace's hands. "Sign here." it added.

"Sign? What for? What is this? Who are you?" A hint of panic was creeping into Grace's voice.

"Look, lady, I'm sure this would make a very interesting conversation, but I have a lot of deliveries to make, and I need a signature if you want your package."

Grace scribbled her initials at the bottom of the form and handed the clipboard back numbly. The cat took it back without checking it and handed her a small parcel, about the size of a squat football, wrapped in brown paper and string. "What am I supposed to do with this?" She asked, her head swimming like those notes she had dropped in the street earlier.

"Hell if I know, lady!" The odd deliverybeing replied. "I'm not the one who ordered it!" It started to climb back in its vehicle. "Well, have a nice day! And good luck."

The strange truck's door slammed shut, and the whole thing shuddered and sputtered before driving off at the same alarming speed it had arrived at. Grace watched it disappear behind a curtain of heavy rain, and let her gaze fall back on the small package in her lap. She had been a little depressed a moment ago. Now she was very confused.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rain was beginning to ease, and as she was already soaked, her frowsy skirt sticking to her legs, her blouse having become a cling-tight saran-wrap of fabric. She gingerly picked up the books, balancing the package on the top, holding it tucked under her chin, and began the walk home.

Was it her imagination, or were there little sounds being emitted from the brown paper package under her chin?

Her tiny apartment was the same as she'd left it. The books and the package were tossed on a secondhand sofa, and she picked up the phone.

"Hello? Rachel? Yes. It's Grace. I won't be able to make it to work today." Her eyes slid to the books, the strange package, as a tinny voice screeched in her ear. "I know, Rachel. I'm really sorry. I know Mr. O'Neill was expecting..." More screeching. Grace sighed. "I'm..." she hated to lie, "I'm really not feeling well today."

The tone on the other end of the phone changed abruptly. The tinny voice went extremely loud, loud enough to echo into the apartment from the phone, when Grace held it away from her ear. "Oh, my GAWD, Grace!! Are you o-KAY? You just take it EASY, Grace! Mister O'Neill will understand. He will. You just take care, o-KAY?"

"Bye, Rachel," Grace said softly, meekly, and waited for the response before lightly hanging up the phone.

Then she padded into the bathroom, stared at her hair. Then she took it off, lifting the wig away from her head. The muted light of the bathroom reflected off her bald head, only just fuzzy with the return of hair.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace sighed and walked out of the bathroom. She couldn't stare at her bald head for long; she would keep the wig on all the time, but it got uncomfortable after a while, so she preferred to take it off when she was home by herself. Besides, she needed to check on her natural hair sometimes. The doctors said it would grow back normally, now that her cancer treatment was over. It couldn't grow fast enough for Grace. She was just beginning to think her life was returning to normal after the sickness.

Now... what the hell had just happened to her? She slowly walked back towards the living room, peering around the corner at the package sitting on the couch, where she'd tossed it. She hadn't imagined the whole thing, it seemed. But would that have been much more comforting? She crept closer, almost as if she were afraid the package might leap at her.

It didn't. She sat down on the sofa, pushed the sogged papers a bit further away, and took the package. She stared at it for a while, thinking back to the circumstances of its delivery. How had that... man... even known she'd be there at that precise time? She looked the package over, top to bottom. It was just brown paper, no markings, no address, no hint of its content.

Looks like she'd have to unwrap it if she was going to know more. Taking a deep breath, Grace set out to untie the criss-crossing strings that held it together. Then she had to take off layer after layer of brown paper, eventually reaching the center of the mysterious bundle. It contained something. Grace lifted it to eye level and stared at it incredulously.

It was a small jar. An urn, that's what it was. A funeral urn.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Click. The instant of realization. Grace not only dropped the urn, she HUCKED it across the room, shrieking in panic.

Was this someone's idea of a joke? She had escaped death TWICE, now. First psycho killers, then months of chemo, now some SICKO was sending her a funeral urn! She wasn't ready to die-- hadn't the bloody universe cottoned on yet?!

SMASH!!! The ceramic had shattered against the far wall, hardly audible above her high-pitched, panicked screaming. Grace stumbled for the bed, pitching onto a pillow that she clung to, shaking. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair. Why couldn't she live a normal life like all her coworkers seemed to? She sobbed into her pillow. She just wanted to scrap it all sometimes, run away from this horrible boring life and into her dreams, those things that remained bright even when everything else had gone grey and muddy.

She opened her eyes to peek across the tiny apartment. The urn lay in pieces, a fine grey dust splashed across the wall, hanging in the air. A funeral urn, filled with someone's ashes!? "Oh, great. Just... just great," she muttered shakily, needing to speak, needing to vocalize some emotion other than panic. "When they find out it is the wrong delivery, someone is gonna get really mad."

She stood, and took a deep breath. "Right. Broom. First broom. Then. Then I..." she paused. She would just throw it all away. Trash it. No-one would be the wiser. She gave a little twitchy nod to herself, the only reassurance she had, and stood up, walked to the closet. She didn't see the strange shadow beginning to warp up out of the dust, and when she turned back to the mess, broom and dustpan in hand, the shadow was gone. With the tinkle and clatter of broken ceramic, she began to sweep the mess up. Then she felt a tug on her skirt.

"Yo, lady, I tink dat choo should really be lettin' me do dis." Grace's eyes went down, and she screamed and leapt backwards, to which the knee-high black shadow-thing's disturbingly bright smile faded and it screamed, too, flailing backwards as the whoosh of a broom went sailing over its head.
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