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The Package

Estimated reading time — 8 minutes

Dear Trusted Ally,
If you receive this, you have a duty to fulfill. You know about our predicament by now, and you’re alone, with nothing to do but be scared, so forge ahead and read. Read the whole thing. The WHOLE thing. Please.

I sat in one of the black leather chairs provided at the gate, shivering in my threadbare coat. I looked at my watch, noting the time (5:27 PM), and tapped my foot nervously. My seat would be called to board in approximately three minutes.
I’d spent almost all of the money I’d had left after purchasing my small apartment in Hastings, TX on this flight there. I needed a new life. The one I had here in New Orleans was not safe. And it held memories I wanted to forget.
A shifty looking woman walked in front of me and took her seat three down to my left. I pulled my small, worn carry-on closer to me.
In this weathered bag rested my only possessions in the world, save whatever came with the tiny apartment I’d purchased.
A Bible, more worn than the bag it lay in. It had been given to me years ago by my father. It was my only memory of him, as he’d died three years ago. Cancer. It was his love for cigarettes that did him in, in the end.
A small photo album, half full of pictures depicting a happy, smiling family. I barely recognized myself in them anymore.
Two pairs of pants- jeans and khakis. The khakis were for a job interview, if I could secure one.
Two shirts- a T-shirt and a polo.
I could buy more once I got there. Depending on the price of food.
That was it. All that I owned fit in this tiny bag. All that defined me, all that was left of the life I’d had before. I didn’t want to forget the good parts. Only the bad. That’s why I was leaving, after all. Right?
I watched closely as the lady behind the booth walked up to the intercom and called my zone to board.
I stood up, shaky from having missed breakfast and lunch today to compensate for the price of gas it would take to get here. I turned in my ticket and walked down the hallway to board the tiny, cheap plane, wary of anyone who came too close or looked too suspicious.
Nothing could ruin this now.
Suddenly there was a hand on my shoulder and I cursed myself, mentally reviewing every move I had made that might have led someone here after me. I’d done everything, everything to shake anyone off my trail, yet-
“Sir? Can you hear me? Sir I really need your help.”
The voice was vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place it.
I shook my head. Not everyone was after me, I realized. There were nice people too. But I couldn’t help anyone right now. I couldn’t even help myself.
“Sir, please,” the voice pleaded with me. I turned sharply, my eyes darting around for any stragglers who might serve as witnesses. Then they landed on the man. He was shorter than me, and bald. He looked foreign, and extremely wealthy, which made me hate him almost off the bat, then I chided myself and decided to give him a chance.
“What do you want?” I demanded rudely, anxious to get on my plane. The man seemed unfazed by my harsh tone of voice and proceeded to place a small, brown, paper package into my hands. He started hurriedly giving me instructions, his eyes flicking back and forth even more nervously than mine had been a few moments ago.
“I just need you to bring this on the plane. Hide it in your carry-on, they won’t suspect a thing. Once you get on the plane you’ll need to-”
“Wait man, hold on,” I interrupted, “What the hell is in this package?”
A sudden though occurred to me, and I hissed at him angrily, shoving the package back into his arms.
“Is this a bomb?!”
His eyes widened frighteningly large, to the point where I began to feel concerned he would pass out right here, and he shook his head vigorously.
“Nothing of the sort, my friend!”
His voice had become suddenly high and squeaky, and he started talking again, even faster than I’d ever thought possible.
“Sometime before you arrive at your destination, leave the package in the plane bathroom, somewhere hidden. Do NOT open the package. You can leave the plane and forget that any of this ever happened. Unless you open the package. Do not open it under any circumstances.”
“And why the hell would I do this for you? I don’t even know you. What if you’re lying to me and it is a bomb? What if it kills me? Man, I’m not that crazy, what in the hell is your pr-”
“It is obviously not a bomb, or anything else illegal, as it has already been through customs,” he pointed out.
“When you arrive at your residence in Hastings, you will find that a substantial sum of money has been added to your account.”
This made me pause, and I stared at the man, my eyes wide as I contemplated his offer.
I needed this money so badly. The funeral costs had just about wiped out my savings, not to mention the airplane, the gas to get here, and the apartment I was heading for. I needed food. Clothes. I needed this money. But money did not come free. Everything had a price, but leaving this package, parcel, whatever, leaving it on the plane.. What could it hurt? He had a good point, it was totally legal. I could leave it all behind and not experience any of the repercussions that hiding whatever was wrapped in this paper may entail.
It seemed like a dream come true.
“How substantial are we talking?”
“There will no longer be the need for you to go without meals in order to pay for gas ever again.”
The man grinned weaselly, knowing he had me.
The call for the zone after mine came, and I knew that soon, people would be coming this way. I had to make my decision, fast.
“Okay,” I whispered, barely audible.
I took the package. I shoved it into my carry-on. And I boarded the plane.
I did not look back, so I didn’t see the man grinning widely, turning, and walking confidently away from me, muttering something into the collar of his expensive looking coat.

I had the aisle seat, and the lady next to me was sleeping. Her fair hair and freckled complexion reminded me of my daughter, not a reminder i would like to have to experience in an enclosed aircraft, as i was prone to tears when this subject came up, but what could i do?
This was only an hour and a half long flight. But already a lifetime’s worth of doubts and regrets had piled up in my head, causing me to sweat profusely and rethink my entire life.
Two details of this whole package thing kept nagging at me. First, how had this stranger known my story? It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was lacking in the money department, speaking euphemistically, but he knew where I was going. My exact destination. And my exact destination was about fifty miles off from the airport this plane was headed to. This kind of information was not open to the public. Though this man was obviously not the public.
It bothered me. He’d obviously chosen me for some reason.
Second, about five minutes after takeoff, I’d realized that I recognized this man. He’d come to my house on that day, the day my life had changed, four months ago.
It had started normally on a morning like any other, me heading off to work in this very coat, but back then it was newer, fashionable, sharp.
I’d been frustrated because I’d thought it was my day off but they had called me in anyway. Said the machines weren’t working. Said I was the only one who could fix them. I couldn’t believe I was the only engineer in the whole plant that knew how to get the machines working again. So I’d grudgingly cancelled my family day and tried to cheer myself up on the way to work.
I fixed the machines in about five seconds. The damn things were only unplugged. I had been going to go straight back home, but then my boss had found some paperwork that apparently could not have waited until the next day, and I had to stay and fill it out.
By the time I’d finished, it was around three in the afternoon. I’d gone home, anxious to see my wife and daughter again and apologize to them that I’d had to leave.
But I never did get to.
By the time I’d gotten there, the place, or what was left of it, was crawling with police officers.
My house had been reduced to nothing but smoking rubble, and my wife and daughter had been shot.
The official statement was given to me by the man, the same man who had given me this package. The face just hadn’t immediately surfaced because of the blur of that day. What stuck the most in my head about it was the statement, not the man giving it to me.
These are the memories that haunt me, the ones I must escape from. And if whatever is in this package helps, all the better.

The plane had landed about three hours ago. I’d followed the man’s instructions, and he’d come through. According to the ATM outside my apartment, I was about two million dollars richer than before I got on the plane.
What was so important that it was worth TWO MILLION DOLLARS? Hopefully, I never found out.
It was two weeks later when I did find out, and I was watching the news for the first time in about a week from my armchair, considerably better dressed than I’d been at the time of the flight, but still in the same apartment, as I was searching for a job.
The anchorman came on looking flustered and frightened.
“It seems that we have located the origin of the virus.”
Virus? I thought, What virus?
“For those of you who have just joined us, or who have been completely out of touch with society for the last few days, here is a quick review.
“Approximately two weeks ago, it came to our attention that a virus had infected a few people, a virus that medical professionals have never seen before. The effects of the virus include loss of all verbal functions, decaying skin, bloodshot eyes, hairlessness, and a complete loss of human ethics. Killing, eating raw meat and human flesh, and maiming for pleasure are the only effects known to occur in every victim. The final outcome of every case is death.
“This virus has spread at an alarming rate, and people are now being asked to stay in their homes. All flights have been cancelled, as well as school and any other large social gatherings.
“Now, back to the current story, the exact origin of this disease has been pinpointed to New Orleans. On a flight from here to Dallas, Texas, an aerosol was released, containing this virus. We do not know the identity of the perpetrator as of yet, but every effort is being made to do so. If you have any information, please call the number on the screen. Remember to wash your hands, and we will be back shortly.”
I stared dumbfounded at the screen.
The man they were talking about was me.
I’d effectively secured the fate of surely over half of America.
I’d released a virus that was turning people into zombies.
What was worse was that I’d done all this for money.


That was all last month. Now, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in this town still unaffected by the virus. Maybe I’m immune or something. I don’t know. But being alone is worse than I could ever imagine contracting the virus would be.
It’s about to get dark, and I’ll have to lockdown my house again soon. They’ve started to attack recently, but only under cover of night. They obviously know I’m here. I’m thinking of letting them take me soon. I don’t have anything left. There’s nothing I can do. But you, if you find this, then read carefully, and do what you can.
There is a cure. It appeared on my windowsill this morning and I’m going to put it in this giant Gatorade bottle with this message.
Please, only you can save us now. I will be infected or dead, hopefully, by the time you start curing people on a massive scale. I can’t take knowing that this whole thing is my fault.
Do your best.

The man scratched his belly and came away with a hand covered in hair. Another side effect. He knew that the virus would take him soon, so that’s why he was not concerned to be strolling past the river in the middle of the night. Another few steps and the man stumbled over something. He leaned down and picked up an old Gatorade bottle with something in it. Intrigued, he took the bottle back to his home and emptied it out. A medicine bottle and a sheath of papers fell out. He read the papers first, by candle light, then turned excitedly to the bottle full of liquid. It was really small, about the size of his thumb, and ready to be drunk.
Perhaps, the man thought, if I survive this, I could rule the remains of America.
And with this greedy thought, the man downed the liquid in two gulps. Nothing remained in the bottle when he set it back down.
And, a year later, nothing remained of the human race on earth except for metal structures, and even those were beginning to slowly rust away to nothing..


Credit To: kpanda

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed under any circumstance.

42 thoughts on “The Package”

  1. The first 3/4 of this story was amazing. It was incredibly well written, it had an in-depth and detailed plot, the characters were well written and you really felt for the protagonist.

    That being said, I have a couple of problems with the story. First and formost, it feels incomplete. It’s like there’s half the story missing. There are far too many unanswered questions. Why did the guy get called into work and delayed by his boss so that his family could be murdered? Was his boss in on it? Why was the cop who told him about his family following him? Was he really a cop? Why did he want the virus released? Was he the mastermind or just another pawn? Why didn’t the protagonist take his $2M and flee the country? I could go on for some time. My point is that this seems like part of a story. That brings me to the final paragraph. I won’t go into too much detail but the last paragraph was terrible. It felt hurried, it didn’t fit with the rest if the story and it ended very abruptly.

    All in all it was a decent read. You obviously have talent as a writer and I hope you continue to hone your craft and I can read more from you in the future. I just hope that in the future, you take a little more time and flush out all the little details that would have made this story great instead of just decent.

  2. people reading these, take theyre stories way to seriously, the person that was like im a 9 yearold girl or whatever,,.,,,yea, its okayyyyy… i loved your story…how ya been feelin

  3. Zombies? Why zombies. And it was going so well.

    Everything in this story from that reveal onward just nosedived. Now I’m not against zombie pasta, but the zombies literally come out of nowhere. Now, I know that’s kind of how zombies like to come, but this was just – grrhbdh.

    That said, the zombie bit isn’t really THAT bad, it’s just out of place. I mean the ending makes it’s point, greed is bad nd whatnot, but it just comes out like you rolled a D20 of what could be in the package and BAM – zombie virus it is!

    I give it 7.5/10 for being a teenage boy: having potential and keeping my interest, until the so-called “climax”.

    1. He didn’t drink it himself because he was immune to the virus for some reason. He mentioned this.

      Also, he left it in the gatorade bottle and threw it in the river as a last ditch effort. This is implied in the story if you read it.

    1. He probably died of natural causes after drinking it. And by natural, I mean a so,bie ate his fucking face.

    2. He probably died of natural causes after drinking it. And by natural, I mean a zombie ate his fucking face.

  4. i think they were both greedy, but the man (in my opinion) at the end was the greater of the two evils. he was a dick.

  5. The race of humanity could have been saved with just that bottle of medicine, and the man drank it….. Assh*le

  6. im a huge fan of zombies like stories. this one sounds cool tho with sum glitch but not bad tho. THUMBS UP! :D 9/10!

  7. MinecraftCreeperNomad

    this was a very good pasta, well written and well seasoned. The only problem was the cure, if it was supposed to cure someone, how come at the end, no one was alive? It was only a year later.

    1. My thoughts are that it either didn’t work, or it did cure him, but he was later cannibalized. Maybe he overdosed, but I wasn’t too pleased with the vague ending.

    2. My interpretation was that the man that took the cure completely failed to do what our narrator desired to save the world. He was supposed to get the cure mass produced but instead he decided to be greedy and chug it down for himself.This man most likely died afterwards since we are told that he’s out in the middle of the night when the zombies prefer to be out and about. He was either eaten by them or died from some other cause. Either way he wouldn’t have been able to continue the human race without some other survivors. His selfish action doomed the entire race anyway.

      I think that might have been the final test of the mysterious stranger who gave our narrator the package in the first place. Both people ended up killing us off due to their greed.

      About the “only a year later” point you propose I’m not too sure. I’d assume that the zombies quickly outnumbered the humans and were able to somehow sense them from far distances and hunted them all down rather quickly. Then they just died off from hunger.

      Overall I really liked this pasta! Absolutely delicious! Would have liked more description of our mysterious stranger and how the entire population got wiped out in a year but still great!9/10!

  8. well written, nice story of zombies, and most of all you feel the guilt of the person for starting this virus. 10/10

  9. Damn, the pasta was heading to a good direction, but the clichèd crap about cannibalism ruined the whole damn thing.

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