He was sweating. His back ached. His arms couldn’t carry the heavy parcel much further along the pedestrianised street.

4300, 4301, 4302… Almost there.

He didn’t think about the walk back to the start of the street that awaited. His car was parked outside house No.1.

4376. He had made it. He dropped the parcel and slumped on it, catching his breath, letting his muscles recover.

He rang the bell on the gate.

No answer. Please God, no.

He tried again.

And again.


He took out a slip and checked the box: ‘Delivery attempted. Will try again tomorrow.’ He popped it in the mailbox and despondently picked up the parcel.

4376, 4375, 4374…

Copyright Jean L Hayes

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

STATE OF WAR squrere






  1. Brilliant. You wrote the story I attempted but failed at. I just couldn’t find the words so went in a different direction. I’m glad I did, because this told it better than I could 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Note to self, bring trolley! When my delivery arrived, if no-one was here they would just leave it by the door, and take a picture of it as it didn’t need to be signed for. Who would be to blame should it go awol? Weren’t happy with that at all, so made sure we were home all day!! good post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness, Iain. This is beautiful. The count back down is pure genius.

    Wonder why the poor guy didn’t drive the package up to the house. Was he carrying mail, used to walking his route? And in the USA, package delivery is done without contact these days. No more friendly greetings, chitchat, signing for the box. COVID has changed us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here Linda, although I don’t think the UK has many streets that go up to the 4000s, that’s definitely more a US thing. I made the street pedestrianised so he couldn’t take his car – using the writer’s privilege to make the story work!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I might feel bad for the guy if he couldn’t just drive. If Sisyphus had a crane, he wouldn’t be out there pushing that boulder.

    Here they don’t always ring at all. I go out for my hike the next day, and there’s a package on the porch. If I lived in a different neighborhood, it might not be there that long.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was VERY realistic! I could literally feel his poor arms aching! 🙂
    In my building (though it is not at all a pedestrian street … ;)) we tend to buzz the delivery and parcel persons in for each other. Because by the time the UPS or USPS or FedEx people lug stuff out of their truck, onto the cart, up the stoop, to buzz the outer door … well … it is just sad if they’ll have to do the whole thing again another day. So, they know to buzz some other bells if the addressee isn’t in … Small kindnesses all around.
    Poor dude in a LONG LONG LONG pedestrianized street. May I suggest a hand-cart? 😉


  6. There has got to be a better way to do that. Like throw the package over the gate and if they want to fire you good luck finding someone else. I mean…. That would be wrong.


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