Lila shook the packet slightly. Whatever was inside barely moved in the packaging, which felt rough against her fingers. She searched for something sharp to slit open the envelope, and fumbled across a pair of scissors. Holding the blade just inside the corner, she cut open the envelope and peered inside where she saw a thick sheaf of papers.
Shaking out the materials, she saw a series of what appeared to be passport photos attached to information sheets giving height, weight and interests. “Very odd,” she mumbled. Her rudimentary Russian temporarily deserted her and she set aside the materials. “Maybe it’s a practical joke,” she told Pearson, who butted against her hand to be petted.
At that moment, the door opened and Ian pushed his way into the room, looking as tired as she felt. His eyes lit up as he saw the cardboard box on the floor. “Our uniforms!” he crowed gleefully and hurriedly shut the door behind him, just managing to avoid tripping over Pearson who had once again assumed his official greeter position.
Ian practically ran to pick up the box. He grabbed the pair of scissors sitting nearby and used it to tear off tape in long strips. Reverently he lifted a folded blue polyester stretch uniform from the box, holding it up to himself before turning to give Lila the Vulcan salute made famous by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek. “Live long and prosper,” he intoned, before breaking into a boyish grin.
“Spock?” Lila lifted her eyebrows inquiringly.
Ian nodded enthusiastically and passed Lila a blue polyester mini-dress.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” she asked skeptically.
“Buy go-go boots and be ready for October 31st,” Ian replied. He glanced down at the papers she had spread across the table. “I’m no linguist, but that looks like Russian.”
“You’re right, but I can’t figure out why it was sent to us.” Lila turned over the envelope and showed him the words written on the outside. “This one means danger.”
“Are you sure?” Ian asked.
She gave him a knowing look. “Pretty sure. And this one means watch out.”
As Lila handed the papers to Ian, a square yellow sticky note with large black lettering detached from the pile and tumbled to the table.
Ian looked at Lila questioningly.
“The Haunted Hayride!” she said excitedly. “I’ve been meaning to go there for ages!”