Here is a short story excerpt I wrote for a challenge that a friend from HolyWorldsSciFi introduced. The challenge runs thus:
You are to write a short story about what your character would do if a man came up to them while they were walking, gave them a box, told them not to open it, then ran away.
So I gave it a go. The character I'm using is from my conspiracy theory novel that has not been written yet. However it gave me a little insight as to what kind of person he is. His name is Jimmy Sullivan.
Since I was so consumed with the need to keep invisible, I didn't notice the man until I ran into him. I mumbled an apology, and was going to turn away, when he suddenly held out a small cardboard box to me. I raised my eyes to his face apprehensively. Except for his dark glasses, I couldn't make out any distinguishable facial features.
"Take it," The man said gruffly from the depths of his trench coat. He let go of the box, and my hands caught it involuntarily. "Don't open it."
I opened my mouth to question him, but the guy turned and disappeared into the crowded street.
"Wait!" I called taking a couple of jogging steps in the direction he went, but he was gone.
I looked down at the box, a cold feeling seeping into my chest. It was weighty, and on a sudden impulse, I dropped the box and ran for the nearest cover: a phonebooth up ahead. Reaching it, I flung the door open and ducked inside, slamming the door. I leaned against the glass panting, my breath fogging the pane. Was it a bomb? Had I become so dangerous that they were trying to get rid of me? I swallowed and held my breath, watching the box where it lay on it's side. I pulled out my watch. It would have been no more then sixty seconds since the guy handed it to me, but this meant nothing. Depending on the time set on the bomb, it could blow now or next week.
I looked up from my watch and I saw a little girl bend down and pick up the box.
"No!" I yelled. I scrabbled for the door handle on the phonebox and dashed out onto the street. "Stop!" I shouted. But it was too late. The girl had opened the box...
Squealing with joy, she lifted from the cardboard box a sweet black and white kitten. I ground my desperate bolt to a halt. A kitten? The guy probably handed the box to some random stranger to save him the job of getting rid of it. I rolled my eyes, feeling like the biggest idiot on the block. When I stopped to think about dropping the box, my crazy run to the phonebox, pushing my face up against the glass, and shouting at a girl not to pick up a kitten, I realized something: I was the biggest idiot on the block.