There’s always one friend or relative who comes up with a weird idea of what would make a suitable present. This story was inspired by a prompt from a writing group where a favourite aunt forgets to check the small print before pressing the ‘Buy now’ button. 😀
Dear Aunty Bessie.
Thank you so much for my birthday gift. When I saw the description on the packaging I thought ‘Lovely. Another one for my collection. I wonder if it will be glass or ceramic?’
The courier was nowhere to be seen, and I realised why when I saw the state of the box. I assumed he had been having a crafty cigarette, and had my finger poised ready to write a stiff letter of complaint when I noticed smoke creeping from under the Sellotape. Not only had he singed the wrapping, but had dumped the parcel and run off, leaving it still smouldering.
Luckily, I had a fire extinguisher to hand. (Actually, it was the one you bought me for Christmas. I didn’t realise at the time how useful it would be.) Anyway, just as I lined up the nozzle a jet of flame shot through the paper, scattering it all over the living room carpet. There wasn’t too much damage, and the black marks on the beige make quite a pretty pattern. Even if it was expensive, being plain it was a bit boring.
I soon had things under control, but riffling through the remnants I was upset as there was no trace of your present. All I could find was charred remains of shredded filling. The ash from the paper wasn’t so bad, but the melted plastic smell was awful.
As I went to fetch the air freshener I thought the weather must finally be changing. The snow was still thick outside but it was so warm and toasty indoors. You’ll be pleased to know I’m finally replacing the old wooden conservatory you hated so much, and the wood has come in handy for the open fire.
Blaze (that’s what I’ve named him) is like a little puppy, but with some training he’s come on by leaps and bounds. By the time I get up he has learnt to light the fire, and I’ve saved a fortune on heating bills. He still has a habit of flying onto my shoulder to tell me he’s hungry, which can be disconcerting, and the smell of dragon poop is not something I’d recommend.
Still, I wouldn’t be without him now. He’s so cute, but I think he might be lonely. Can you send me the details of where you bought him? And do they do females? I’m well into conservation now, and as they are an endangered species I was thinking about breeding him.
Thank you again, and much love,
Your affectionate niece
© Voinks April 2018