Calendar Girl

Couches whose prints were woefully out of style, ancient, hulking TVs, moving boxes filled with goods long forgotten, and anonymous shapes draped with yellowed sheets were the common items here. In several of the rooms, exercise equipment peeked from their owner’s embarrassed attempts to hide them here away from everyone’s sight, like the family’s deranged aunt.

Melinda felt the heat of the small key she clasped, walked quickly to their enclosure. The key slipped into the padlock, and the warped door lurched open. Inside were Josh’s old mattress and box spring, a few broken lamps, and a stack of boxes marked “Josh’s Things.”

Melinda rocked the top box on one of the stacks to test its weight. It wasn’t very heavy, so she brought it down to the floor.

The box was thick with dust and sealed with wide, overlapping strips of packing tape.

The key’s jagged teeth ripped through the tape quickly, and she peeled back the box flaps onto wadded newspaper. Plunging her hands inside, she closed around something so unexpected that she felt around for a moment longer before drawing it out into the insufficient light.

A brick.





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