(**If you’re the mysterious sender, skip down to the **s )
Today was a mysterious day all the way around, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I love a good mystery – not that I am always adept at unraveling them.
For starters, my face is randomly chapped. Not just my lips, but my nose, the area under my nose, my lips, my chin, and clear down under my chin. I don’t have a cold, or a runny nose, and though I make jokes about drooling I don;t really do it (that I know of) so how in the heck am I chapped? It feels like chapped, anyway, but is it something else? Some weird skin fungus? I do have some mysterious rashy-like bites on my arms that I’ve chalked up to bug bites from pulling weeds, but is it all something else. Am I dying?
Still no word on that. I guess I’ll wait and see if it spreads.
Since I didn’t have time to work on that mystery, I got up and got to it. Except for being oddly chapped, things were normal until I went for the mail. In the front porch was a box addressed to me with a New York return address. I racked my brain for what I had ordered from ebay that was that big, and brought it inside. I ran through my other mail and then got a knife and cut it open. Inside was an unmarked envelope wooden box that had something about rubber flanges printed on it.
“Oh,” I thought. “Hubby must have ordered something. Probably something for the mower” (I don’t know what a flange seal is, but ti sounds like some rubbery thing that one might put on motors) I tried to remember if he’d mentioned it to me, then opened the envelope, expecting a shipping receipt, or even a “Thanks for your business” message. instead I found this:
Huh? So I read it, of course…
I do not know you but when the storm tells me that you must know, that you must be warned – I do as I am told.
WHAT?? Warned??? What the…
I was given your name. It took me a long time to find you. My duty is done and I can turn aside the memories if that terrible woman.
DOUBLE WHAT??? Terrible woman??
I am relieving myself of this great burden and for that alone I must thank you. I do not envy you having to pick it up.
Okay. This has to be some very weird joke.
I have looked into the darkness of this poor boy, and brought the lightning and the flame, It is all I could do and I hope it was enough.
Well, that’s poetic…
Fate has it’s reasons for you to hear this story. Perhaps this story needs to stay alive ans must be heard. Perhaps it is just the wind. Do with this as you will. It is at an end for me.
At this point I am 100% baffled – has some insane person gotten my address? I check the return label again – it’s from Wong Distributions (or something like that) in New York. I don’t know anyone in New York – and especially not someone named Tom…
A cautious person would not have gone for the wooden crate (some of my facebook friends suggested it might be something dangerous), but I tugged it out, and that was when I noticed it was nailed shut.
A sentence leapt in my memory, like it does in those bad TV voice-overs – “comes bundled in an uncooperative wooden box” – and this box was not only wooden but certainly uncooperative. And then I knew what it was-
It’s from the Mysterious Package Company!
The Mysterious Package Company runs a lot of Facebook ads – i found them through their ads a few days before Memorial Day, advertising that you could send you friends and family a “mystery experience” – but with no more details. To get into the site proper you have to “apply” to join, and I was approved on Memorial Day. I took a very quick gander around, found the box I plan to send my brother later (shhhhhhhh!) And hadn’t been back. Their sign up did warn members that they occasionally send stuff, so that if you want to surprise someone in your family you should use an alternate address. I get the mail in my house, so I thought i could weed out any advertising they sent me – but I never expected a box from them! So much for keeping that from my brother. (Just hang on.)
So Dad and I got a screwdriver, a chisel, and a mallet, and worked on opening the box without damaging it too much (It’s too cool not to save!). Inside we found… newspaper!
It seems like a weird – and expensive – promo thing. And then I tugged the newspaper out to discover the contents:
So…Wait. Is this really a promo thing? Because it looks super expensive to be… but the thought ran off on its own because, quite, frankly, this was too friggin’ cool not to be diving into. Screw watering the plants, screw all the rest of the morning routine. I had a diary to read!
So Dad and I spent the morning reading it – well, I read it out loud and he listened. The story is pretty straight forward I think, though quite interesting (I don’t want to spoil it for other recipients) and it reads pretty quickly – I think it took me a little over an hour. I will say that it ties in the 1984 disappearance of the boy with some historical incidents in England. By the time we finished it was Dad’s nap time, so he wandered off and I hit google to see if the historical bits were real.
They totally are.
By then I dragged Mom up and she read through it all while I worked on the turtles comic for the day (still had to do that one, mystery or not), she finished it in time for the brother to come from the doctor’s, so he read through it all. He’d have been done sooner, but at 3:09 we had an odd interruption.
The tornado sirens went off.
And they didn’t just go off for a minute, they went, and went, and went, like they do the first Saturday of the month when they test them, or like they do when there’s a tornado. The brother suggested it might be a fire since we were in full sun at 99 degrees with no wind, but they don’t normally blow the whistle for fires. Just for the monthly tests and tornadoes –
“And air raids”, the brother said with a chuckle.
Which being the paranoid weirdo I am, made me suddenly wonder if we were under nuclear attack. I mean, heck, how would we know? We have no radios, we have no local TV (Just streaming netflix, Hulu, etc.), so unless someone calls me (my phone is silenced, so if they had I wouldn’t have known) I’d never have a clue.
Though it pains me to admit it, I did what everyone under the age of twenty does – I checked Facebook. I know, I know. But no one had any posts about nuclear war, or about sirens going off, or anything else. The sirens went off, and I turned back to the turtles and the brother went back to reading.
He finished just as hubby got home. By then I was done with turtles, and hubby and I had to go pick up the riding mower from my uncle’s house. Interestingly enough, while we were driving, a snake threw itself onto our windshield. Yes, you read that right. We were driving along and – splat – a snake dropped from the clear blue sky, splatted on the windshield, and bounced off. I went to look for it, but it had slithered away.
We got the mower back, got home, and I showed my mysterious box to hubby, who accused me of signing up for something. I said no, and realized then that I didn’t know where it had come from. I mean, yes, it came from The Mysterious Package Company, but there was no way that was a welcome box. I was so busy worrying about the mystery INSIDE the box I didn’t stop to think about the mystery OF the box.
Hubby was instantly concerned that by “joining” I was signing up to receive things we’d have to pay for (there are plenty of places like that, and I JUST signed up a couple weeks ago), so I double checked the site, and yes, this IS one of the experiences – which means that someone sent it! Yes, some super awesome amazing person purposely picked this out and sent it – how friggin’ awesome is that?? The only thing is I don’t know who it was. I can think of a couple of people, but neither has taken credit yet. I even posted on facebook about how I was trying to figure out who had sent it – thinking the gift giver would give themselves away with a “tee-hee” or a winky face or something, but so far nada.
So, there are the various mysteries for the day. Tomorrow I am going to go back through the diary – I already ran through a second time and studied the pictures and re-read the historical portions now that I know who and what everyone and everything mentioned in it is. While doing the google searches, I did search for the newspaper clipping articles, which turned up nothing, and I also randomly looked up the copyright info in the book (It is really well done! And the handwriting on part of it looks like mine, so I was curious who had done it) but it came up with nothing – the publishing company listed does exist, but there’s no listing for whatever this book is called (intriguing). I did find some instagram photos of other people who have gotten this “experience” as well, and they mentioned “breaking the code” – so now I know there is more to it than what was obvious (I had wondered because puzzle solving is part of their advertising and was going to go over it all again tomorrow). I am pretty sure the puzzle involves the symbols that are drawn seemingly-randomly on the pages in black ink (you can see some in the above photos). Those same symbols are on the talisman as well, and I assume it is some kind of key and the symbols are a code. I’m not amazing at code breaking, but mom and I are going to give it a go tomorrow none the less.
**So, in closing, a HUGE thank you to whoever the mysterious sender of this box was. This is one of the most awesome presents I’ve ever gotten!
Have a mystery-b0x-crazy-siren-snakes-from-the-sky kind of day!
PS – Here’s a bonus shot of the dalias starting to bloom!