A Gift for these Things

12 year old Penelope and her mother receive a package from an unknown sender to their home.

The rain hammered down. It hit the roof with such force, as Penelope held close to the pillow on the couch by the TV, she could swear that it might just drill right through it. Penelope stared with wide dark eyes out the screen door. A figure, obscured by the downpour, approached the house. Nothing yet but a shadow.

Penelope startled upright as Minnie jumped on the couch and onto her lap. She glanced to the screen door again as he came closer. He knocked on the pane three times, all while staring directly at Penelope.

"Get the door honey!" Her mother's voice called from upstairs. Penelope assumed that she was putting on makeup or trying to braid her hair in the bathroom. The girl didn't respond, but gently put her grey cat beside her on the couch and stood up. She felt her mousy brown hair against her neck and felt goosebumps. Glancing back to Minnie, who just curled up and started purring, she realized that she had to put on a responsible persona to deal with the stranger. 

She could see his breath on the glass. His eyes like the eyes of bugs- big, round, squashed together. His mouth was in a constant pout, and he was noticeably overweight. He carried a large bag on his back, and wore a dark hat with some sort of symbol on it.

Penelope pressed down the lock on the screen door and pulled it open. The sound of the rain poured into the living room, flooding it with noise like static. The two creatures stared at each other for a minute: Penelope with her 4'11" frame, and him, standing a foot higher, clothes dripping with rainwater.

"... Can I help you?" She stipulated.

"Sign here," He replied boredly, reaching into his bag to pull out a clipboard with a pen on a string tied to it. It was a delivery. Just a delivery.

Penelope sighed out her nose and picked up the clipboard, signing her name messily. The delivery man then just handed her a cardboard box and walked off the porch steps, waddling as quickly as he could fathom to his van through the storm.

The 12 year old closed the screen door and clicked the lock, bringing the bent cardboard contained with her. Her slippers rubbed against the hardwood floor as she approached the coach and nearly sat on Minnie, who grumbled and repositioned herself. Penelope read the label on the delivery.

"To Geraldine Falkner, and her daughter." The senders had put their address under that, but hadn't put the return address in the corner. Penelope wondered what was inside, and tried to rip up a corner of the box. After a minute or so of fumbling, she reached to the table behind the couch where her mother had left sissors and threads, and started to cut the duct tape...

The End

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