Ted dug desperately through the teetering mound of clean clothes on his bed. It’s got to be here … somewhere!
“Mom! Where’s my hoodie!”
It was nowhere to be found. The stack of paper-wrapped packages, all neatly bound in twin and addressed in his nondescript handwriting, sat eagerly next to the door, calling to be mailed. The smell of solder and ammonia still hung in the air.
“Mom! I can’t find it! What did you do with my hoodie?”
His ever-smiling mother leaned into the doorway of his room. “What’s that, sweetie?”
Ted tried to temper his growing rage. “My grey hoodie. I can’t find it.”
“Oh, that rotten thing? I threw it away.”
Ted’s face began to flush. “… what?”
“It was stained and full of holes, dear. It smelled like an chemistry set. I’ll buy you another one.”
Ted began to shake slightly. “But … I needed it to—”
His mother turned on her heel and began to walk away carrying a basket of clean clothes. “Nonsense, dear. It’s a perfectly nice day. Go outside for once and get some sun.”
Ted stood in the middle of his room for several minutes, silent, breathing heavily. His vision had narrowed, and his head had filled with the thrumming of his own heartbeat.
When he finally felt himself under control, he carefully placed his packages back into his closet next to his copies of The Turner Diaries and The Anarchist’s Cookbook. He couldn’t mail them now. Their recipients would have to wait.
He decided, instead, to start putting together a new package. Mother’s Day, after all, was coming up…