My sister-in-law texted me and said, "Hey! Give me a writing prompt!" So I thought about it a bit and gave her this one:
You own a thrift store and one day someone leaves a strange package at your door.
So here's my take on my own prompt:
The bell at my back door rang, alerting me that someone had left a donation during business hours. It was a little damp outside from the rain the night before, so I decided to go get it while there weren't any customers in my little hole-in-the-wall thrift shop.
I unlocked the door and looked around, but the person was already gone. After a moment of glancing around, looking for either a large box or several overstuffed trash bags, I spotted the small package at my feet.
"Well, that's weird," I muttered to myself. I picked it up and examined it, noting that it was expertly wrapped, fit into the palm of my hand and had a tiny tag attached to it.
"Handle With Care", the tag read. Those words had stopped me from giving the box a quick shake. Good thing, too, if it was fragile. I hate breaking things. With it wrapped up the way it was, I didn't want to open it. Was it a gift or a donation?
I checked the security camera footage to see who had dropped it off. Someone barely walked into frame, kept their head down and rang the bell. No car pulled up, so no help there, either. So the little box sat on my counter.
The rain had began to fall again, and having been in this business for a while now, I knew I wouldn't get very many customers with this weather. It gave me an opportunity to sort through some new items, price them and get them on the floor. Every so often, I'd walk by the counter and eye the strange little box resting there. I had a few brave stragglers come into the shop and help them. As they paid for their items, they would comment on the box.
"I don't know," I'd say. "It just showed up." Each one asked to be updated on it the next time they came by and I agreed.
I had locked the door, flipped the sign to "Closed" and retreated back to the counter to take care of the register for the day. All was quiet, except the music I piped in from my iTunes. After I finished counting the change, the little box shook. I stopped what I was doing and stared at it a moment. Did I bump the counter? No, because it shook again.
"Whoa," I said as I stepped back, dropping the change back into the drawer. Now the package shook a little more and flipped itself over. "What the heck?" I moved towards it carefully, wondering if there was a small animal in there. And if so, who the heck would leave that? And where were the air holes for it to breathe? Now I was more concerned than scared, because I didn't want to cause harm to a helpless living creature. I grabbed the box and quickly tore off the beautiful wrapping, the tiny tag fluttered to the floor in my haste.
Underneath the careful wrapping, a small box that could hold some sort of jewelry remained in my hand. I carefully lifted the lid, cupping my hands around it in case something jumped out. But it didn't jump, it flew! It scared me so badly, I dropped the box on the counter and stepped back as shimmering, glittery particles filled the air. Whatever it was, it moved so fast I couldn't track it as it flew around my shop. All I could manage was to follow the trail of whatever was falling off of it as it went. It kept this up for a full ten minutes before finally landing back next to the box it had escaped from.
I moved in for a closer view and watched as it began to preen the most beautiful dragonfly wings I had ever seen.