Night Delivery


Image source: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

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Motionless, she stood gazing down the tunnel. The path extended as far as the eye could see, encased by walls of grimy bricks. That wasn’t very far since Colleen’s flashlight battery seemed to be dying.

“Not now when I’m so close.” She didn’t dare speak out loud. It was bad enough that they could find her by her light, but without it, she would be blind.

She readjusted her backpack, the load seeming to get heavier with every step. Colleen asked herself for the thousandth time that night if the job was really worth it. It paid well enough so tuition and textbooks weren’t a problem but that was because of the potential danger.

“Come, dear. We’re just ahead of you.” His voice came out of the darkness and carried an otherworldly note, That was to be expected given her clientele. Anyway, they knew she was here. Now if they’d just behave. Nothing bad had happened to her so far, but she had never met these customers before.

“Where? My flashlight is going out.” She’d just put in fresh “C” cells two days ago.

“It’s not your light, it’s this place. The old sorcerer who was the previous occupant left some interesting spells still active. I’ll see what I can do. Just keep walking forward.”

Colleen’s steps slowed involuntarily as she heard indistinct whispers approaching. Then her flashlight again rendered its usual luminosity. She knew there would be six of them from the order they placed. A mix of men and women who could have been between 20 to 40 but who were more likely a lot older.

One dark figure separated from the rest. He wasn’t that much taller than she was but in the light, he was much more pale. “My name is Philip. Are you the delivery person?”

“Yes, I’m Colleen from Corpuscle Express.” She removed her backpack and took out the order sheet and the portable credit card device, setting everything on the ground. They gathered around her and she could feel the hairs on the back of her neck rise. “Let’s see, that was one pint of O Positive…” She lifted the bottle out and handed it to Philip’s outstretched hand. “Two B negatives, two ABs, one positive, one negative, and one A positive.”

She turned over each bottle as the customers stepped forward. “That will be…” she looked at the price list again. “…$1,850.99 with tax.”

Philip handed her his credit card and she squatted down to process it on the dank brickwork. She didn’t want to know where they got the money or how she got a signal this far down the tunnel. Handing the card back, they brushed fingers and his were predictably cold as ice. She was grateful for the generous tip.

“Thank you for doing business with Corpuscle Express. I hope you’ll consider us again for you dining needs.”

“Thank you, Colleen for such prompt service, especially considering the circumstances,” Philip replied. “As you may be aware, we prefer to feed in privacy.”

He didn’t need to cue her. Colleen already was packed up and ready to go. “Of course, I’m just leaving.” Without waiting any longer she turned and retraced her steps, trying not to break into a run. She’d be happy when she graduated next year. Delivering for “The DoorDash for Vampires” was so nerve-wracking.

I wrote this for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Story Starter for Saturday Mix 25 February 2023 The idea is to create a poem or prose using the two sentences that began my tale.

I had no idea what I was going to write about until I was several sentences in. The scene seemed creepy, so I thought I’d have a little fun with it. To read other stories based on the prompt, click on Mister Linky.

Oh, the company must have been having a sale, because a pint of blood can cost anywhere from $200 to $3,000.

To read more of my work try my magical fantasy story “The Price” which is now available in the anthology Fantastic Schools Volume Six.

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