The Envelope – Short Shory – By Gary Shaw (AKA – The Resident Weebler)

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It came in the post on a Saturday. Yardley barked at the door, as he always did when post arrived. We heard him sniffing something; he let out a low whimper and trotted off towards the back of the house.

The whole family were gathered in the lounge watching The Show, it was my younger sister Lybena who’d picked the large dark red envelope up from the mat after hearing the dog. She announced to the room, ‘It’s for Oliver.’ She brought it over to me on the sofa, passing my mum and dad next to each other in their individual chairs. They saw the colour of the envelope and their attention shifted from the telly to the journey of the envelope towards me. When I had it in my hands they sat forwards on their seats and stared at me. ‘Turn off the telly Brian’ my mum said. My dad fumbled about for the remote, hit a button and the telly muted. ‘Turn it off I said!’ She lent over to grab the remote. ‘I meant to, I meant to’ he said. ‘I just hit the wrong button is all. Calm yourself.’ He was holding the remote at arms length from her and continued, ‘although you know we’re meant to be watching this, there could be an update, it is the rules after all. What if an Enforcer pops by?’

‘For Gods sake Brian, damn the rules for now! Our son could be, might be about to….can’t we just be here for our son when he opens this, and not bicker?’ My dad turned back to look at me, and hastily found the off button on the remote. ‘I was watching that’ Lybena said. ‘Not now Lybena, your daddy and I need you to be quiet for a bit. Be good now sweetheart, for your brother’s sake’. Lybena crossed her arms, put on her huffy face and mumbled something under her breath that contained the words, ‘call…. Enforcers…careful.’ My dad gave a concerned glance to his daughter, but his eyes quickly returned to me.

‘Has it got the logo on it, son?’ my dad asked. I looked down at the envelope and saw the familiar Two Hooked Cog logo on the front, the same that was always ticking in the top left corner of the telly screen, counting down the graduation of each new enlightened one. ‘Yeah’ I replied, ‘it’s definitely from them’. My mum’s hands shot up to her face and clasped her nose and mouth. When they slowly came away, they were pressed together as if she was about to pray. I could tell it was taking all her strength to hold it together, but a sob escaped her.

‘Come on dear, I’m sure it’ll be alright’ my dad said to my mum. ‘Look, Oliver’s being strong; don’t break down on us dear. You remember only last month, you told me how that Davison boy managed to live though his tests, and our boy’s much brighter than him.’ My mum rounded on my dad and gave him a fretful look. ‘I’ve heard they can change the tests, make them harder if too many get through’ she said. ‘No, no.’ My dad spoke overly loud, ‘they’re a fair bunch at The Institute; always give the subjects a sporting chance.

My mum was staring blankly at a point next to my foot. ‘What if it’s the other thing Brian?’ she finally said.

My dad shifted in his chair. He started shaking his head with an incredulous expression. ‘Why on earth would it be the other thing dear? We’ve done everything thing The Show has told us to do this month. I did my time in the tubes. Last week I enforced the Milner’s house, I’ve checked the meter, we haven’t over used our quota of air, and you did the checks on the Jones’s and the Blenkinsopp’s, right?’ My mum looked up at my dad with worried eyes.

‘What’s the other thing?’ Lybena asked. She’d stopped being huffy and had taken an interest in the conversation. Lybena hadn’t been at The Institute long enough to be fully enlightened, she was still learning the basics. No one answered her question.

‘Come on, son’ my dad said, gesturing towards the envelope ‘this is silly talk, why don’t you just open it up?’

Dad was right, there was no sense dawdling. I grabbed my standard issue knife from the sheath in my boot, cut along the top of the envelope and pulled out the documents. I carefully read the contents.

I looked up at my parents. ‘It’s the other thing’ I said. ‘It says I’m allowed to give you a two minute head start.’ It seemed fair to me.


About residentweebler
Short Story Writer and Opinionated observer. Visit my blog for all this and more.

7 Responses to The Envelope – Short Shory – By Gary Shaw (AKA – The Resident Weebler)

  1. Jimbo says:

    This is brilliant.

  2. More please, great ending..

  3. Matthew says:

    Mr. Shaw, I like this a lot!

  4. I love the whole utopia/distopia thing.

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