by Henrick Glutonlumps
forum: Reappointment
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

......... ....... ..... ..



        Trevor Steed looked intently at the strange package which had just been delivered to his front door step. It was very rare indeed that he got any mail other than bills or death threats. It was a large box, well largish at any rate. Large is after all a relative term. Some people might say that the planet Earth was large, and others would argue that in fact it wasn't really very large at all when compared to the size of the sun… That actually, when compared to the immense, never ending, cosmic universal scheme of things, really it was really rather small, and certainly insignificant.

        But Trevor, as he stood there examining the package on his front door step, didn't consider the Earth as either small or insignificant. He studied the box a little closer. Trevor supposed it was about three feet square. It was wrapped in very ordinary brown paper, and on the front it simply had his name, Trevor W. Steed, printed with remarkable neatness in blue ink. No address, no stamp, no postmark nor any other discernable writing… Just his name.

        He picked it up and concluded that it was quite heavy, well, heavyish. Heavy is, after all, also a relative term. He supposed that it weighed about fifty pounds or so, and he had trouble picking it up.

        Eventually he did somehow, and with strength not befitting a man of only five feet, he managed to transfer the package from the door step to his kitchen table.

        "What a curious thing it is indeed," Trevor said out loud. But why he said it out loud I am not sure—as he was quite alone.

        Trevor proceeded to take the sharpest knife he owned from a kitchen drawer. The knife was about four inches long, and Trevor looked at his distorted reflection in the shiny stainless steel blade with satisfaction. This was very much a real knife, and not one of those he purchased from George's magic shop. Clasping the knife in his chunky fingers, he slid the knife under the packing tape securing the brown paper and slit it open.

        It was then he saw it: a handwritten card. He raised a bushy eyebrow, picked it up and read it out loud.

        "As your appointment last week was so memorable, we thought we would send you a thank you gift."

        Trevor thought back to his unmitigated success in the Platinum-Notion office. He then looked at the unwrapped package on his table. It was a white cardboard box...

        "Perhaps my charm and talent finally won them over," he said out loud, again with no-one to hear, except, as I might have done well to mention earlier, a few mice munching away merrily on a moldy currant bun that had failed to make it into the trash can, under his kitchen sink. But they were not very fluent in English, to be perfectly honest, so they really they don't count, now do they? In fact, they are so irrelevant to the story I am trying to explain that I am not even quite sure as to why I am mentioning them. You might be considering that the mice make a future appearance in this gripping account. But alas they do not.

        It was when he was opening the cardboard box that the first sign that it wasn't going to be Trevor's finest day happened, as that is when he got a rather nasty paper cut, on the thumb of his right hand. The cut was a good half an inch long, and had managed to penetrate through the skin, and a steady trickle of Trevor's blood began to make its bid for freedom.

        "Bollocks!" Trevor repeated several times in an almost chant-like fashion as he scurried to the sink and turned on the cold water tap. He mumbled distinctly like gibberish as he rinsed off his wound. Then, pulling a white paper towel from a half depleted roll, he wrapped it around his thumb. Finally he opened a second kitchen drawer, directly below the knives drawer, which seemed to contain just about everything. (Well, doesn't everyone have one of those?) After fumbling for a few moments, he produced an orange colored rubber band. With this he secured the paper towel in place, and went back to the package.

        It was when he opened the box, his normally dull, uninspired blue eyes lit up with glee.

        "It's a platinum typewriter!" he exclaimed.

        Despite the frightful throbbing of his bandaged thumb, Trevor smiled. It was a big Cheshire cat sort of a smile, a smile that would have surely made anyone else appear quite sinister, but somehow looked strangely at home on Trevor's face. He bent over and picked up the typewriter from the box and began to awkwardly carry it to his office. Now maybe it was the paper towel on his thumb secured by the rubber band, or maybe it was the sweat on his chubby fingers, or maybe it had just been destined from the very moment he was born, but the typewriter slipped from his grasp and landed squarely on the big toe of his right foot.

        The 'bollock' mantra once more began, only this time with a lot more volume and passion, as he hopped around his modest sized house.

        It was when, five minutes later, he was soaking his swollen foot a large bowl of iced water and Epsom salts back in the kitchen that he noticed it.

        A second platinum colored envelope, smaller than the first, had slipped from the box and was sitting under the table next to a moldy bit of aged cheddar.

        Limping over to it, he bent over and reached down to pick it up. He grabbed it in his fingers but then, possibly in all the excitement, misjudged his straightening up gesture and firmly smashed his balding head on the table.

        As he sat there, dizzy, under the table with his toe aching and his thumb throbbing—he opened the card.

        The message was brief yet poignant.

        "I hope this present brings you the luck that you so very well deserve, Phil House."




copyright 2006 Henrick Glutonlumps.

Henrick Glutonlumps is a ghastly little fellow who occasionally feels inspired to venture out of his garden shed and write.