The Package

The room was empty, except for that brown paper-wrapped package. I had no idea how it got there in the middle of the sterile space, but there it was, sitting pretty as you please. I walked over to it, treading lightly over the stark white tiles, feeling the cold radiate up through my paper slippers. I knelt on the floor in front of the tiny box, studying the intricate knot tying it closed.

Gingerly I reached my trembling hand out toward the plain brown string, grasping hold of the longest end. I pulled, ever so slowly, watching the beautiful knotwork fall apart. The knot finally came loose, letting the brown butcher’s paper fall open, revealing the ornately embossed white cardboard box underneath.

Sitting back on my heels, I studied the box for several long minutes, humming to myself. The back of my flimsy gown stirred in the silently blowing air conditioning. I started in amazement as the top of the cardboard box violently jumped upward. I quickly reached forward to finish removing the lid. Inside, I found a tiny rabbit, clad in a paisley vest, with a top hat and minute stopwatch.

Timid now, not wanting to scare the miniature creature, I slide my hand into the box. He hops right into my upturned palm, turning to look up at me.

Behind me, the door slams open. I spin around, to see the white-clad orderly handing me a tiny white paper cup.

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