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Sandman (standard:drama, 1809 words)
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Oct 17 2005Views/Reads: 2102/1222Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Annabel receives two packages through the post, triggering memories of a decade past


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 

‘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 

‘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 

‘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 

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 

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 

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