I couldn’t believe the package was actually here. I’d scoured the darknet for ages, looking for the legit thing. Had more disappointments than I could count. I don’t want to say, “So much for honor among thieves,” but, I was definitely reaching the zone of cliches.
The box was a tad battered, but it looked like customs hadn’t touched it at all. However, that may have been intentional if they ran it through an x-ray machine. Customs was a bunch of bullies that would take your heroin or cigarettes, but they knew better than to touch what I had.
“What is it, what is it?!” One of the pumpkins poked out through the leaves. “Is it dinner, is it dinner?!” I heard the other fruits whine and wheedle. A few embers flashed through the leaves.
I gently kicked a few of the lumps hidden in the dry leaves. “Cut that out, you’ll start a fire and then where will you be?”
“Yes, mom…………” A few lumps moved, burrowing deeper down. The first one to call out to me simply stared quietly as I walked past and into the house, past another package I’d left out earlier for pickup. I set the box down on the butcher’s block I kept near the door. I heard the packing paper inside crinkle as the thing within smelled the old blood on the block. However, I wasn’t ready to open it. A full ritual circle was in order, and the first step: a good cleansing shower.
Meanwhile, a vine stretched across the yard, dragging leaves and detritus in its leaves. It covered the package I left, and snaked up to the latch of the door, quietly opening it a crack. While I was busy preparing the ritual, a certain pumpkin watched as a fresh-faced young and inexperienced delivery driver walked up to my first step, passing the package hidden in the leaves. Looking around, confused, for the package he was supposed to pick up he glanced inside and saw the box on the block. He lifted it, turning it this way and that, trying to read the foreign characters wrapped around it. He shrugged, assuming his more experienced coworkers would know what to do with a foreign package, and took it back to his truck under the watchful eye of a very jealous squash.
If I had to guess, I would assume that that pumpkin was the last to ever see that delivery man alive. But, I wouldn’t know. I wasn’t stupid enough to follow up on the situation. I did hang quite a few extra charms around the house for a few months afterward, just to be sure.