amateur nerd · English perspective · millennial short-story · writing

what is in that box? dronexit#10

39 Steps 1978What I fear has come to pass. At 8am this Saturday morning I hear a door bell ringing like someone’s house is on fire. When I realize it is my doorbell I have to get up from bed and entertain whoever at the gate. Two identical men in black suit. They also wear bowler hats like the twin brothers Thompson and Thompson of TinTin fame. They represent the government secret service authority and want to question me what the parcel labelled Dronexit#1 contains. It is probably due to a leak through the social spy drone which hovers over my window a couple of times.

“What is in that box?” One man asks.
“Huh?” I blink a few times to make sure I am not having a nightmare.
The next man in black repeats his question, “To be precise, what is in that box that labels Dronexit#1?”
“Huh?” I open my mouth and gulp lungfuls of air, as if I am choking.
“I mean, what is in that box your grand aunt handed to you for safe keeping?” The first man asks.
Hundreds of possible answers race through my mind like flash cards my former English teacher used on those she described as a bit less visually functionally inclined to remember the English language.
“I don’t know, sir, maybe Dronexit?” I give it my best shot.
“What is a Dronexit?” The other man asks.
“I never think of what it is, sir.”
“I mean, have you never asked your grand aunt?” The first man asks.
“I never deem it polite or of a good manner to ask a senior a matter of privy, sir.” I explain respectfully to the authority.
“You mean you never know what you are safekeeping and yet agree to take charge of the box?” The two men take out enormous white handkerchieves and wipe their foreheads which are sweating profusely due to my accidentally deliberate increasing the heater to the maximum before I let them inside the house. And I have put the two arm chairs next to the floor vent which by now is emitting heat like a perfect Finnish sauna on a hot summer day. Droplets of sweat are running down their plump round faces like raindrops.
“No, sir, I never question my former English teacher, sir. We kids were never allowed to speak sir.” I know my answer is dumb but hopefully they will give up.
One man in black gets up and walks to the French window looking out through the curtain. The other man gets up and follows suit. They confer with each other for awhile and turn back to face me.
“Yes, we understand the undue terrorizing psychological influence a formidable English teacher could have had on a simple juvenile mind.” They speak in unison. “We gather that you are not going to cooperate with us even if you know the content?”
“No, sirs.” I shake my stubborn head.

Suddenly my dog Gracie starts barking loudly followed by a big commotion out there in my front yard. By now I know from the intensity and volume of the dog’s and human’s noises who has just arrived and demands to enter the yard despite Gracie’s reluctance to give way. The two men in black look outside and turn pale together. They stop their interrogation and look at me pleadingly.
“Good young person, you won’t object if we exit through the back door? Will you?”
“Huh?” I cannot believe I have heard correctly. But they repeat their plead.
Seeing I cannot comprehend, they utter in unison, “You see, we are her ex-pupils too!” Then they make a beeline running out of my back door which happens to be unlocked. I can see them running to the back lane and trying to make a detour to their parked car a block away.

They underestimate the visual acuity and physical agility of my former English teacher when it comes to catching her former pupils. By then she has spotted them and despite her high heels and umbrella handicaps, she runs pretty fast and is soon close behind them.

From a distance I can hear her shrieking, “You two, Thompson and Thompson, why are you running? Surely you are up to no good again. Wait till I get my umbrella on you!”

As for me, I turn off the heater, take out a tub of ice cream, sink into my couch and turn on the 39 Steps 1978 movie starring Robert Powell. Yes, I am chilling out in my perfect sanctuary. A perfect chill out. (I am sure the Thompson and Thompson will try their best to serve the former English teacher as they seem quite civil and respectful gentlemen after all.)

p/s: Alas, my former English teacher happens to be my grand aunt too.

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