|Sandman (standard:drama, 1809 words)|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Oct 17 2005||Views/Reads: 2200/1305||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Annabel receives two packages through the post, triggering memories of a decade past|
SANDMAN Twelve eighteen – Annabel Riley stepped from the train onto Saxmundham platform right on time. She was glad of that; there were a hundred and one things to do following her trip to Ipswich and hardly enough time to... ‘Oh Miss Riley, glad to have caught you...' the postman known locally as “Jack,” emerged from the booking hall straight into her path. He shoved a large envelope into her hand and she found she required both to grasp it. ‘Tried to post it through your box, too large I'm afraid – thought I'd have to take it back.' His quizzical stare transferred from her to the package, ‘Odd parcel if you don't mind me saying, feels like a load of granules.' ‘Does it now?' Annabel mumbled, wondering whether he made a point of examining every package he handled. But she only had to shake it to realise what he meant and with the brown package flopping over her wrist she made the short trek to her terraced home, a stone's throw from the station. The level crossing gates were closed for the train and it provided her with a chance to examine the envelope in greater detail. She'd ordered nothing of late and the postmark was unreadable; the carefully printed handwriting gave nothing away but its seemingly painstaking nature made it slightly sinister. The first thing she did once home, apart from kicking aside the gas bill sitting on the mat, was to rip it open and then watch in horror as a million grains of sand poured through the large slit she'd made, depositing themselves on the thick pile carpet she'd thoroughly vacuumed before leaving for the station. Annabel screamed with anger, what kind of freak had done this? She thrust a hand through the remains of the envelope; there was no letter of explanation, no note – nothing. It had to be a sick joke, though why, what relevance? As she stormed to the vacuum cleaner Annabel determined that if the sender was ever stupid enough to own up she'd punch their lights out. She'd calmed down somewhat by the time her partner Carl came home, but her mind had been spinning like a top, trying to fathom out who she'd upset and had come out with a name or two. One girl she'd floored on a boozy Friday night sprung to mind as a prime candidate and for a while her rage was rekindled – but it had been a one-off incident and she hadn't even seen the stupid girl for months. Annabel might have mellowed but Carl still detected something was wrong, ‘What's ruffled your feathers?' he asked, spread-eagling on the couch. ‘Oh it's nothing,' she sighed, realising she'd spent too much time dwelling on the stupid parcel, she might find Carl dull and boring these days but it was surprising how quickly he could pick up on her moods. She leapt up, ‘I've got to get on, work to do – you know, w-o-r-k?' Annabel saw Carl's face sour, but he laughed it off. Carl was a police officer and with the police station just across the street he was in and out like nobody's business; what was it they said about the police force being hard pressed? She was going through her exercise routine during the afternoon when the thought struck her. There were several members of the athletic club she belonged to who might be up for the stunt. She was the club's star female athlete and the slightest chance she might end up with “egg on her face,” could have provoked them to do this. In this case it was sand. Her mind connected to an incident a couple of weeks back where she'd slipped on the supposedly “all-weather” surface and skidded into the Click here to read the rest of this story (145 more lines)
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