Edward looked down at the parcel illuminated by the jaundiced yellow porch light. He looked at sign next to the door, “All deliveries to the rear,” and cursed the stupidity of couriers everywhere. It was already dark and he hoped whatever idiotic piece of kitsch that Nancy had ordered wasn’t fragile.
He unlocked the door and picked up the parcel. When he got it inside he made out his name on the package. Guess the Shopping bloody Channel knew who was paying the bills.
“Well, if it’s got my name on it I might as well open it.”
He tore the paper off the package and looked at the box. It was about six inches square by a foot long and a couple of pounds weight. It was covered in splashes of bright colour and bore a huge label reading “Spatio-Temporal Anomaly”.
“Nancy!” he bellowed, “What’s a Spatula Tempura Agronomy?”
There was no answer other than the noise of the TV. Damn wife spent all day watching the boob tube rather than making him supper. Figures. He stomped into the den, ready to shout at closer range.
There, in his favourite TV watching chair, was another man.
“Nancy you blasted two-timer! First I’m gonna take this guy out, then it’s your turn.”
Edward stomped toward the man with a growl; the intruder turned and looked back at him. The guy looked just like him; could have been his twin. But that didn’t matter. A fist hardened by use on Nancy and anybody else who pissed him off landed on the intruder’s jaw.
There was a flash of light; when it cleared the intruder and the parcel were gone. Edward blinked a few times, then noticed the sports bloopers were coming on. He sat down in his chair.
Edward had just watched an idiot jump his motorcycle into an open septic pit when he heard a noise behind him. He turned to see a big guy coming at him with a box under one arm and a raised fist. The guy looked familiar…
Nancy came up from the laundry room and looked around. The TV was playing those stupid sports bloopers that Edward loved for some reason, but nobody was there. In the front hallway was the wrapping from the parcel she’d left by the front door. Edward’s keys were still in the lock; she pulled them out and pushed the door shut.
“Well,” she said to no-one in particular, “it worked as promised. Seven thousand dollars is a lot of money, but it’s cheaper than a divorce.”