The package was one that looked, if this were a movie, like one that would detonate at any moment. Rich knew it was innocuous. There was no reason why it should be dangerous in any way. Still, as it sat there on his front step he couldn’t look at it in any way that wasn’t suspicious, projecting all manner of potential onto it.

He picked it up tentatively. It couldn’t just sit there all day. So he reached down and touched it, worried that alone would set it off. He noticed for the first time that there was no label on the box, just his address written on plain brown paper. There was every chance this was just a delivery that was a bit odd. Maybe the sender label had been ripped off somehow. There was a reason, he was sure of it.

As he walked back inside Rich realized he was holding the package at arm’s length when logically there was no reason to do so. When he reached the breakfast island that separated the kitchen from the living room he put it down carefully, sure not to unnecessarily jostle or shake it.

It was then he really started to look at it. As he stepped back a few feet into the living room to, he thought, really analyze it, he narrowed his eyes. It was what you might call “average” size, meaning it was about the size of a normal toaster oven. He hadn’t ordered anything online recently and it wasn’t his birthday or other milestone. There was no reason he could think of for someone to be sending him unwarranted gifts or packages. Still, it had to come from someone and with some purpose. Rich just didn’t know what.

The urge to go to the bathroom overcame him. He needed to take a leak but some part of him was afraid to leave the box alone. It just sat there. Rich started to imagine it was staring back at him with the same suspicion and wariness he viewed it with. Finally, he decided there was nothing to do but open the damn thing. So he moved toward it and suddenly noticed his palms were sweating. He reached out and pulled open the wrapping, only then fully realizing what it was that had been delivered to him. “Well damn,” he thought.