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Phase One

A construction worker in the middle of digging stumbles upon a box, but what’s inside?

Credit: Wallpaper Abyss

6:00am. The sharp ring of my alarm startles me awake and I groan as I remember the day I have ahead of me. I reluctantly push the damp sheets off of me and the humid air of the room hits me as I head towards the bathroom. Stepping into the shower, I sigh as the cool water rushes down my body, washing off the sweat that was clinging to me throughout the night. The thought of digging with the hot sun beating down on me all day filled me with dread; why couldn’t I have picked a standard office job instead of this? I stepped out of the shower and dried myself off, looking in the mirror over the sink I started to brush my teeth and my mind drifted off into a world of its own. After I dried my hair and got dressed, I grabbed my keys and headed out the door to my car. I could already feel the heat from the sun that was only just rising into the sky, it was going to be a hot one. 

I arrived at the site 5 minutes early as usual, I parked my car next to the others, and walked over to the office cabin, greeting my coworkers who’d already started on the way. “Hey Reece,” I said as I walked through the door. 

“Hey you, nice and early again I see.” Although only young, Reece was our project manager and he was on site almost all the time. He said he liked to get his hands dirty instead of sitting in an office all day long like most people. “You want a coffee?” He asked. 

“I’m alright thanks, I’d just like to get started.” I started to walk towards the door. “Yeah go ahead, I’ll be here if you need me.” And with that I left and headed towards the tool shed. 

By mid afternoon I wanted to go home more than ever, the sun was beating down making me sweat and my overalls weren’t helping. In fact it felt like they were cooperating with the sun in helping me pass out from overheating. I unbuttoned the top half of the overall and pulled it down, tying the sleeves around my waist. Luckily, I was wearing a tank top underneath so I wasn’t completely exposed but that didn’t stop the wolf whistle. “Looking good, sweetie.” I turned around to see a fellow coworker, Stan, winking at me. “Might have to report you for distracting us from our work though,” he continued. I scoffed and turned back round to the hole I was digging, I thought about reporting him but it would be pointless, I swear the guys here practically get away with murder.

 I continued digging when my shovel hit something hard, I shoveled more dirt away to reveal a box laying in the ground. I put my shovel down and knelt down to get a closer look. Usually if we find something we have to report it, but my day was going so slow I decided to investigate myself. I pulled the box up onto my lap, it was heavy and made out of metal, hard to tell what kind. It had a small latch on the front of it, I slid it open and opened the box up. There was a piece of material covering whatever was inside, it looked like a piece of cloth. I pulled it aside to see some sort of package, it was wrapped in a bin bag and tape. I placed the box on the floor and took out the package, it was heavy and I couldn’t find and opening so I put it to one side. 

I looked back in the box and there was an old Nokia phone, I wondered if it still worked so I fiddled with the buttons and low and behold it turned on. I searched through the contacts and photos but there was nothing, it didn’t look as though it belonged to anyone. I put it next to the package and looked back in the box, there was a charger which must have been for the phone so I pulled it out and placed it with the other items. There were only two more items in the box, something wrapped in the same material as what was covering everything, and an envelope. I reached in and pulled out the envelope first, the front was blank and the back was sealed, it felt thick like there was some sort of small book inside it. I opened it up and looked inside, my eyes widened as I saw it was full of cash. 'I should report this,' I thought. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the cash, there must have been about $1000. Behind the cash was a piece of paper so I took it out and unfolded it, it was a note. 

"When you find this, call me. This is only phase one." 

There was a phone number underneath the note, I looked over at the Nokia and grabbed it. I should’ve stopped what I was doing and reported it immediately, but my curiosity got the better of me. I dialed the number in and hesitated before I hit the call button, pressing the phone up to my ear. It rang, and it rang for what felt like an eternity. My throat went dry and I could feel my heart in my mouth.  Until the line on the other end picked up. “Since you’re calling I assume you’ve found the box, am I correct?” A voice said. I cleared my throat. 

“Yes.”

“Good, now after this phone call I want you to dump the phone and take the package to the address on the back of the note, got it?” The voice continued. 

“Yes,” my throat went dry once more. 

“Good, I’ll see you then.” Before the voice hung up I looked down to see there was still another item in the box. 

“Wait, what about the other item?” I asked.

 “Bring it with you, you might need it.” The line went dead. I didn’t realise my hands had started shaking and adrenaline was pumping throughout my body. I put the phone down and looked at the last item in the box. Slowly, I picked it up. It felt heavy, I unwrapped the material hesitantly and I felt the blood rush from my face as the black metal of a gun stared back at me. 

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