Today had started just as any other normal day would have for a mailman like you. You woke up, got dressed, made breakfast, and went to work. You took the same route to work, parked your car in the parking lot, and walked into the front door of the post office. However, it became immediately apparent that something was off today. As you entered the front doors, you found your boss standing by the front desk. It was apparent that he had been waiting for your arrival, as he immediately made his way over as soon as he saw you enter.
"We have a special delivery today," said your boss. He sounded tired, and you suddenly knew he was going to ask you to do something you didn’t want to. You had a relatively good relationship with your boss, and the mailman job in general wasn’t so objectionable. There was only one thing he would have come in person to tell you.
"You mean I have a delivery," you retorted, not at all pleased. For a while now, the television series "Drawn Together" had been hosted in the last house on your route. In the beginning, it had been your job to deliver to the house. All the props used in their contests and production were of course taken care of by the Hollywood crews and movers, but the normal mail still had to be delivered.
The deliveries themselves hadn’t been much to gawk at either. The odd box and letter, some junk mail, and other normal packages arrived there every few days. It wasn’t anything you wouldn’t have expected from a house with so many people. However, that was before things had taken a turn for the uncomfortable.
One day Clara, a member of the drawn together household, was outside when you made your delivery. You didn’t watch the drawn together show, so of course you had no idea what kind of person she was. Needless to say, you wouldn’t have guessed that introducing yourself to any one of the drawn together cast could have been such a dire mistake. So, being the ignorant idiot that you were, you introduced yourself to the young princess in passing; stopping to chat with her for five minutes before heading home. It was the last stop after all. You had time to waste.
Over the course of the next month, you noticed a steadily increasing stream of packages for Clara. Coincidentally, she always seemed to be outside as you pulled up to make your deliveries. Needless to say, ignoring her would be rude, so after a while you found yourself engaged in more and more chats with the perky princess. Single as you were, you didn’t mind the female interaction.
It was when you one day realized you had stopped to speak with her for an hour before going home that you realized how much she seemed to go out of her way to talk with you. Could she, a television celebrity, be interested in you? You were aware that your boss was a fan of the show, and so you went to him for advice on the matter. It had come as a surprise when your boss had simply lent you his Drawn Together DVD collection. You spent the next two days watching the series from the beginning to the current episode, witnessing more than just the sweet, innocent façade she showed you every time you spoke. It hadn’t taken long for you to decide it would be best if someone else took over the deliveries to that particular house.
"I know that house makes you nervous, but Mark is sick. Andi’s taking over his shift, but the Drawn Together house was always a little out of the way for Mark, and Andi is likely to get lost on the unfamiliar route. Nobody else’s drive even takes them remotely near that part of town, so you'll have to make the delivery yourself. Besides, it’s not like she actually did anything to you." Your boss was using his soothing voice, trying his best to make you swallow the bitter news.
"Not yet, but you were the one who showed me the show in the first place. We both know what she’s like. If she really was interested in me, I dodged a bullet by coming to you before I did anything stupid. It’s better not to get involved with crazies like her."
"Well, you've got no choice. Drop off the package and get out as soon as you can if it bothers you so much. Now get going." The bosses voice brooked no room for argument, and just like that the conversation ended.
Sluggishly, you entered your van, not looking forward to your last stop of the day. You took a sip of your hot coffee in an attempt to wake yourself from your resigned slump, but you hardly tasted it. Today was the day you had never hoped would come, the day you had to face Clara, the sadistic bigot. You hoped that she had forgotten you, or that it had merely been your imagination making you think she had been interested in you, but you doubted it. Sullenly, you shifted your van into gear and left the parking lot to deliver your packages.
Your boss watched as you left, lifting his phone out of his pocket.
"Yes, I’ve sent the package and the delivery man just as you asked… Yes, it’s the one Clara has a fancy for…No, no one will miss him I assure you. Just be sure my payment makes it to me…Yes, I’ll be sure to tune in for the grand finale.” And with that your boss hung up, a satisfied grin on his face.
As you approached the last stop of the day, discomfort gnawed at your gut. Your route that day had been nothing special, but what came next had weighed heavily on your mind regardless. Before you loomed the Drawn Together house, it’s yellow walls seeming oppressive in the late mid afternoon heat.
As you pulled your way around the circular driveway, you noted the large, central windows on the house. At this time of day the sun reflected brightly off of the large panes, the glare of the sun blind you whenever you glanced upward at the window and preventing you from seeing inside. You pulled around until you were directly in front of the front door before hastily walking around to the side of the van and reaching into it to grab the package.
The box wasn’t too heavy, nor was it too large. It was plain brown, nondescript, and utterly unassuming; much like the other packages you had dropped off. Still, the fact did nothing to soothe your apprehension.
Glancing up, the window continued to offer you no clues as to whether what lay beyond its reflective surface, yet you felt as if you were being watched. Shakily you took a deep breath, and then realizing that the wait was probably worse than anything which might actually happen to you, you started towards the door.
Upon reaching the door you knock sharply, your apprehension causing your knocks to be louder than you had intended. However, no immediate answer came. After a while, when you were considering leaving the package by the doorway and skipping her signature altogether, the door suddenly opened. None too surprisingly the one person you had dreaded meeting all day stepped in front of the door.
Clara was dressed as usual; her light purple, sleeveless gown shimmered in the sunlight as it loosely draped over her slight, curved form. Her darker purple high heels arched her back, making her tight butt stick out for the entire world to notice. A small matching purple choker with a jewel embedded at the nape of her throat drew the eye to the gentle curve of her neck and her well exposed collarbone. Lightly, her chestnut brown hair danced in the breeze, framing her face and accentuating the deep, bright blue eyes of hers. Her tiara shone radiantly, playing with the sunlight and casting an unearthly light to her appearance. How could you have ever mistaken her as innocent?
Just then, you noticed her left arm. Her delicate wrist was wrapped, and she held it crooked against her chest. It was clear that she had sprained her wrist and was incapable of bringing the package inside on her own. It was equally clear that you would be carrying the package inside today.
“Where would you like me to place the package mam?” Your voice was smooth and practiced, despite the tension racing through you. A relaxed smile managed to make its way onto your face though you doubt it reached your eyes. Staring into Clara’s brilliant blue eyes sent ice down your spine.
“Oh please, we know each other far too well for that. Call me Clara.”
“Sorry mam, not while I’m on the job.”
“Very well, follow me into the kitchen.” She ducked back inside and you followed shortly after.
The inside of the drawn together house was just as you remembered it. You turned right immediately inside, passing the stairs as you entered the living room. The upholstery on the furniture and the low square coffee table were the same as ever, though the TV seemed to be new. Nobody else seemed to be in the house judging by how quiet it was. You walked into the tiled kitchen and laid the package on the counter top. You pulled your clipboard out from under your arm, pulling a pen out of your pocket.
“Sign here please.”
“Certainly.” Clara signed the papers with a flourish and a smile before continuing. “Could I ask you for a favor?” She had a smile on her face, yet a predatory light entered her eyes as she slid out a knife from the drawers.
“Mam?” you asked worriedly, eyeing the knife and starting to back away.
“Could you help me open the package?” She asked, setting the knife on the counter and motioning towards her wrapped wrist.
“Why certainly,” you said, quickly regaining you composure. You set your clip board on the counter and with a quick movement you cut the masking tape sealing the box.
As the cardboard lid parted to reveal foam packing peanuts within, you realized that your delivery was finished. She had no further means by which to keep you. You had delivered the package without incident.
Collecting your clipboard, you turned around to head towards the door. You could hear rustling as Clara sifted through the package behind you, apparently disinterested in you. Maybe she hadn’t been interested in you. Your mind began to wander as you made your way back towards the front door. A sudden click from behind broke you from your thoughts.
You whipped around just in time to be greeted with what felt like lightning striking your chest. As you fell to the carpet, you saw Clara setting down what looked to be a gun on the counter. Her brilliant, blue eyes met yours, a great hunger clearly shining from them as she deliberately slid the wrap off of her wrist and smiled. The smile was the last thing you saw before you passed out from the pain.