Of particular notice to Todd, the four items that looked sort of like Tic Tacs. Since he hadn’t yet had the time to examine the enclosed note, or to study fully the contents of the box, his mind went wild imagining what the stuff could be. Maybe the tiny mint-shaped objects will shrink me or give me superhuman powers? he thought to himself. The wild thoughts percolating in his mind were enough to carry him through the better part of the evening.
To pass the time, Todd pulled out his favorite Dostoevsky novel and found it hard to make any progress. He kept comparing his own story to that of Raskolnikov and stuffed his mind full of delusions of grandeur, rather than actually pay attention to what the author was trying to portray. As he came across the passage, ““We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”
As he read and re-read the passage, he couldn’t help but consider Cliff to be that perfect stranger. He recalled being instantly drawn to him and not knowing why. Of course, as he would later come to understand, this was particularly because of the machinations of Cliff himself. The musty, cool odor that normally filled the air on most evenings was noticeably absent from Todd’s olfactory senses. One moment loosely connected to another as he finally felt comfortable pulling the box out. The first thing he did was to carefully unfold the note and pore over it intensely.
To be continued…