As promised, here's the third and final installment of three Christmas flash stories, here on Epiphany or Twelfth Night or...
"Silent Strike" by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon "Got a suspicious package." "Describe, Henry-381." "No one shepherding package." Henry Foster looked down the row of block houses, but nobody was heading towards him -- or running away. "Package is roughly 40 by 60 by 80 centimeters. Brown paper wrap. No address. Clear tape." "Which house, Henry-381?" "5423A Butler. Coordinates transferred." "5423A comes back as Ulrike Stefanos." "Confirmed, Control," Henry said. "Any postal codes?" "Negative, Control. No markings of any kind." "Move in for closer inspection." "Roger that, Control. Waiting for your clearance." "Proceed." Henry took a deep breath, then amped up the active protection on his suit. Stepping forward, he held a mirror behind the package. Nothing. Then he flashed the package. "Any data, Henry-381?" "Looks like a box for a Sears toaster under the wrapping." As soon as he spoke, Henry drew back. "The last nail bomb on Sixth Street was built into a toaster." "I know, Control," Henry snapped, then collected himself. "Radar shows a rectangular shape." "Blow it, Henry-381." "Acknowledged, Control." He stepped back, bringing his water shot to bear. "Range clear. Impact pulse in five..." The blast of water tore through the layers of wrapping and exploded through the contents. Splayed out... the remains of a toaster. Just a toaster. "What the hell?" Henry looked up to see Ulrike Stefanos, carrying an armful of soaked plain wrapped packages. "You've ruined Greek Christmas!" It was early January, Henry realized. All he could say was, "Merry Christmas?" She threw a small wet package at him.
And that's all for this season, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,