A Short by M.J. Moores
Feet hurried by: booted heels, galoshes, loafers, runners, and work boots. They beat the ground according to their own time. The small package wrapped in metallic blue paper, surrounded by a simple off-white silk ribbon remained unnoticed.
“Ding, ding, ding,” sounded the warning bell as some feet exited and others entered the station.
The shiny blue package sat just under a worn wood-slotted bench by the wall, nearly hidden behind the front concrete leg. A loud woosh sounded as a series of doors slid shut and the whirr of an electric motor, all ready stressed, hailed the start of another work day.
Still the package remained undisturbed.
Had someone taken the time to tie their shoe or pick up the rumpled newspaper lying on the seat of the bench, they might have hear a faint rhythmic tick, tick, thick speaking to itself inside the little blue box.
If only someone had taken the time to notice.
The clock on the painted-chipped cinder block wall tracked the time in wait of the next train. Footsteps clicked and clunked up and down broad, life-stained concrete stairs. A wail grew louder as a mother and her children tumbled onto the subterranean platform. She bounced the bundled baby in her arms and held fast to the toddler’s mitten.
But the boy had wandered over to the old bench and crouched to look under – one hand mitted, the other not. He cocked his head to one side. The digital clock on the wall marked another minutes gone. His mother looked frantically over her shoulders, clutching the small blue mitten.
The boy reached under the bench.
* * *
Based on the clues given in this piece,
what do you think is in the box?