It arrived. Finally.
It rode in atop a silver snake-train behemoth, clinging to its scales like a virus, headed for…
…the Mexico border. This package had been through a lot already, but it finally made it to Tijuana.
It sat now propped up against the ticket agent’s dusty kiosk, a corner bent up as if someone had peeked at its loathsome contents.
But what was inside?
A small compass, a map, a train pass that was one zone short of its destination and a note.
But not just any note. It was written in…
Sanskrit, in gold ink. Parts of the ink had flaked off during the parcel’s journey.
Paolo recognized the large flourishes and was able to intercept it before Lester, the world’s preeminent Sanskrit translator, did.
Paolo had to move fast. He’d seen Lester making his way through the terminal. Now that the parcel was safe, he’d have to leave.
Lester, having arrived at the baggage claim, was outwardly serene when he saw the parcel was gone. Inside, his temper flared.
Flanked by his cronies, he strode over to the phone bank and called M. “Elvis has left the building, M. It’ll be a Blue Christmas.”
Mesmerized by the parcel in his hands, Paolo absently twirled the package and silently mouthed, “All things must pass.”
Lester was a huge fan of The King. Rumor had it the two used to party together back in the day. Elvis’ death left him all shook up.
Paolo ducked into a nearby restroom, silenced his iPhone and took 3 photographs of the flaking note, then emailed them to himself.
Meanwhile, M hung up the phone & sprung into action. First, he called N. Then N called O, who dialed P & Q. Paolo wouldn’t get far.
He knew he had to contact Sarf. She would know what to do next. She was the Chosen One, so he trusted her. Or so he thought?
Paolo put the note and the phone in his breast pocket, flushed and washed, then left the station on a wave of oblivious travelers.
But the Alphabet Crew were hot on his trail. They knew he’d go to Sarf next. How? She called O and told him. She said, “…
“…O, Paolo is coming to me.” O thanked her for the intel, then dialed Lester. He was in the middle of translating Sanskrit.
Lester headed to Sarf and waited for Paolo. The parcel, and its contents, were about to be his.
If only the package wasn’t set to implode upon itself at
POW! BANG! BAMMO! The package imploded upon itself. The contents wiped out the entire world.
Until suddenly the package implosion exploded, then re-imploded and re-wiped out the wiped out world. THE END, again.
Wow – lots of fireworks at the end of this story. Dramatic ending. But would you really expect anything else with the Alphabet Crew involved? I definitely wouldn’t. Poor Paolo, Sarf and Lester – they all died when the world was wiped out. Although I guess everyone did. So poor everyone.
Thanks to @rookiephenom for supplying the photo, as well as for jumping in and adding a line in the story. And glad to have a couple of new writers – @MojoEnvy and @ShesAllWrite – hope you both had fun and you join me again. And last, but not least, the stories wouldn’t be the same without my stable of regulars who write on every story. For this one, that was @FeliciaCago, @MusicAdamT, @hwtibbs, who pulled out the triple-tweet, @nella22 and @swanieson. Thanks all.
Addendum – @talkingmonkey contributed with a late line, which I’ve added to the end of the story. It completely changes things.