I got four submissions and I was blown away! These are really fun to read - hope you enjoy them, too.
Here is the beginning of the story:
I yawned, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, as I opened the front door. I was heading outside to retrieve the newspaper, hoping that this would be the day I wouldn't have to pull it out of the flower bed next to the driveway. The sun was still low in the sky, so I squinted as I searched with my eyes.And the four endings, in the order they were received:
Ah, good! It's Right on the edge of the pavement.
Luckily, I looked down at the stoop before stepping outside. There, right where I was about to step, was a small, red, paper bag. I shifted my footing and then squatted down to look at it more closely.
The top was stapled shut and a note, written in red ink on a 3x5 index card, was taped to the side.
Submitted by Gail:
........at first I thought it was an anthrax thing or some other terrorist threat via a bag of whatever. I quickly dismissed that as I did a sort of reality check where-in I thought, who would send anthrax to me in a brown paper bag with a note on an index card?
I stared at the bag, and saw that the name on the outside said -Gail-Anne', few people referred to me that way, and one in particular I had searched for and longed for, for many a year. She was my best friend, I loved her truly and we survived a war of all wars 17 years ago as victims of the church leaders and their betrayals of all things sacred. It was the only time in my life I ever thought I could "be" with a woman as my life's partner and we loved each other so much.
At the end of the saga of betrayals she simply left and never looked back - never said goodbye she was just gone. I ached for a long time. As time passed I began to look for her and eventually, via all the social networks found her and emailed her, she did not reply. A few years later, I emailed again, and after several more years and one more email she replied. It didn't resolve much although she finally said she was sorry for leaving as she did and for hurting me but it was the only way she could deal with all that happened. I begged her to meet with me but she refused.
I looked at the brown paper bag and in my heart I knew it was her. I picked the bag and held it. I stared at my name "Gail-Anne" and gently pulled apart the stapled bag. Inside was an envelope, plain white - sealed - I pulled it out and opened it. A few words on un-lined paper "please meet me at our spot, this Friday at 6:00 - bring cigarettes" Love, Janet-Marie.
I sunk to the ground sobbing - a flood of emotion rushed in and I felt all the love again - I began to cry and sob uncontrollably.
And so the day came, I brought cigarettes and coffee too, I went to our spot on the hospital grounds - I saw her so small and fragile in the car. I got out and leaned on her door - I felt the window come down and her hand touched my side - she began to squeeze and grab - I backed away and opened her door - she leaped out and fell in to me and I In to her - it was invasive and desperate and long over due...... we held on for dear life. I had the bag in my pocket, I reached back and pulled it out and said - "I got your note"....we both laughed heartily and leaned back on to the car and lit a cigarette..................and just smiled, each with a tear rolling down our faces for all that was........
Submitted by Middle Child:
Red. My favorite color. Something about this unsettled me.
I picked up the bag and also retrieved my paper. Inside, I went to the kitchen, opened the blinds and grabbed a cup of coffee. Staring at the bag on the table, I thought I noticed a faint, familiar scent. Couldn't quite put my finger on what it was exactly, but I liked it. Then there was the way my name was written on the card. It sent chills down my spine.
I went out to the patio to have a smoke and try to get my emotions under control. Breathing deeply of the sea air, I looked out into the horizon. No one ever understood how I could bear living here. It is too sad, they said. You cannot heal here. I could not tell them they knew nothing of love. I have lived here for 35 years and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I have my writing and my two pups. Enough, I said to myself.
My curiosity overcame my fear so I went inside to open the bag. Inside was a tiny plain box. My hands shook as I removed it from the bag. I took a deep breath and opened it.
I froze in amazement. Picking up the tiny gold ring I was thinking....it couldn't be. Thirty-five years ago -to the day-I had lost it and my new husband when our boat capsized out in the lake. I couldn't entertain the thought that it might be a prank but still, I needed to be sure. I looked inside the simple band and there was the inscription, "Always"
Submitted by Life of a Middle Aged Student:
My heart fluttered as I slowly bent down to pick up the paper bag, I had no idea who would have left something for me, other then the person who delivered my paper or the mail person. I wanted this moment to last for as long as I could, so I decided that I would open the bag before seeing what was written on the card.
Ever so gently I pulled the staples out of the bag and slowly separated the sides of the bag. Inside I could see the one Beany Baby that I had always wanted, the angel one with the halo. Within an instant my sister came to my mind, but just as quick as her face came to my mind, is when I remembered that it would have been her 50th birthday.
A tear appeared just as the memory of her passing had. Now curiosity hit me hard, because I thought she was the only person who would have known I always wanted that Beany Baby. Now having that urge to know, I quickly remembered that card that was attached and turned the bag so as I could read it. In my sister's hand writing it said, "Though it is my birthday, I know you would have wanted to be with me, but I have sent this bear to you, to let you know, I am here and always will be."
With tears running down my face so hard and fierce I turned the card over and in her writing was this message. "Make sure this is delivered on my birthday (date inserted here) to the one person who knew me best and loved me anyway." it was followed by my address.
Submitted by Desiree:
I had no idea who had left the package on my doorstep, or if it was meant for me, so, stooping low I picked it up. I wasn't wearing my reading glasses and couldn't make out the message. I placed it carefully on the patio table before retracing my steps back inside to collect my specs. I thought I'd grab my coffee at the same time, then I could sip it while reading the newspaper headlines and examining the contents of the little red package.
The message on the card attached to the outside was simple: "Pay it forward!" it said. Huh? What did that mean I wondered, as I gingerly undid the staples and peeped inside.
There was a beautiful, handmade, gossamer teabag filled with an assortment of dried leaves and flowers. I smelt it. Gorgeous! Jasmine, rose, orange blossom and subtle herbal notes. Instead of a string tag, it was tied together with a pretty ribbon. There was something else inside the bag. Two delicious-looking homemade shortbread hearts with half of each side dipped in chocolate. These were tastefully wrapped in cellophane and tied with a piece of the same ribbon as the teabag. Still wondering what this could mean, I tipped the bag upside down and a sprinkling of little hearts, and dainty butterfly and bird shapes fluttered lightly on to the table like confetti. There was also a little handwritten note instructing me to make a cup of tea, in my favourite china and to sip it slowly, savouring all the fragrances while nibbling slowly on the two biscuits. The note told me to imagine myself enveloped by love and to do one unsolicited kindness for a stranger within the next day or two in order to "Pay it forward!"
I have some more writing to do, myself, now. Two things have been going on in my life which are making me fairly crazy, at the moment. (making me crazy is a turn of phrase some might use with much less truth)
So - I will likely be putting up another post, in a little while.
Thanks again to those who participated. I needed a distraction this week and you provided a wonderful one!