“Hello thank you for calling Five Minute Delivery. Your delivery is guaranteed to arrive in five minutes or it’s free. Boxes must weigh no more than seventy pounds. No live animals. Cash only. How can I help you?”
“Yes, I have a parcel I need delivered,” a woman’s voice said.
“Have you used our service before?” I asked.
“No, but I really need this out today.”
“Ok, I need you to take a short video of the room you are in. Try to keep it as stead as possible and pan around a little.”
“Excuse me did you say a video?” she asked.
“Why?” She sounded very unsure.
“If you would rather use a different service, I can let you go, so you can call them,” I said.
“No that’s … Ok, do I need to be in the video?”
“No, we prefer that no people be in the video. Send it to the number you called and I will be with you shortly.”
The call disconnected and a couple of minutes later a video appeared as a message. The video panned across a small office. Two desks, lots of wood paneling, a few plants in pots on the desks and hanging, a window looking out at a city at night, the glow of street lights seeping up from below. That was enough. I closed my eyes, pictured the room and went there.
“Fuck!” a woman’s voice said from behind me. The same voice that I had been talking to on the phone. “How did you get in here?”
“I teleported,” I said and dropped my phone in a pocket.
“But how did you get past security? How did you get in the room?” Her hand was reaching for the phone. Most people won’t believe I could have just appeared in front of them so they start trying to rationalize it. This works in my favor most of the time but when I’m meeting a new client I need them to get on the the ball fast. I teleported to beside her and then back across the room. She let out a short squeak.
“I teleported,” I said again.
“You teleported,” she said. Her eyes had gone wide and she had started breathing heavily.
“Are you all right?” I walked back to her desk and sat in the chair from the other desk.
“Yes I just … you gave me a bit of a fright.”
“Sorry about that. It’s just easier to show people. Most won’t accept it until they see it a couple of times. So, you have a parcel you need delivered?”
“Right,” she picked up a small box. It had a label with an address on it. “This was meant to go out earlier but got misplaced.” She held it out to me.
“Where do you want it delivered? Is this a local delivery?”
“Yes. The address is on the box.”
I pulled out my phone and entered the address into my map app. “Is there someone there to take the delivery or is there a place I should leave it.” The address was a office building. I looked around for a clock. I keep the time on my phone set with my home time zone. “What time is it here?”
“What time is it?”
“Yes, I came straight here so I’m not really sure where I am.”
“Where were you before you came here?”
“England? Or Scotland? I just need to see where I’m going so I don’t always know where I’ve been.”
“It’s 10:23.” After a pause, “PM.”
“I got the PM part from the window. Working late huh?”
“Yes. How … How do you teleport?”
“That’s a trade secret.” I studied the street view of the building’s front. Ten years ago I would have needed both parties to send me videos but today I could go just about any place with street access.
“Were you born able to do that? Are there others?”
“Just me,” I said.
“And you work as a delivery woman?”
“Yeah. It’s pretty good pay for very little investment. I’m not tied down to any one place. And I’m my own boss.”
“But you could do so much with your power.”
“It’s not a power. It’s just a skill.”
“It’s time for me to go. It’s past the five minute mark, so this one is on me.” Most clients got a freebie the first time. It just takes too long to convince them and answer their questions, the ones I’m willing to answer at least. Most of my profit was from a few clients who used my service four or five times a week. The one time clients would probably be a huge loss, if it actually cost me anything to teleport.
“No, wait I can still pay you.”
“How about we call it half and you keep me in mind if you need another rush delivery?”
“Ok, that sounds fair.” She pulled a few bills out of her wallet and handed them to me. “Can I get a receipt?”
“I don’t really do receipts. I’m kind of working off the grid. That’s why I only take cash.” I watched her face fall as I said this. She probably needed a receipt to expense it to the company. “Look I already said this one is one me, all right?” I offered the cash back to her.
“No, I need you to do the delivery and I paid you.”
“Well this is really awkward, so I’m just going to set the money down,” I said doing so, “and go.” I closed my eyes, pictured the front of the building I was going to and went.
I matched the address on the building to the label on the box. The doors were locked but there was a mail slot big enough for the box that I pushed it through. My duty fulfilled I teleported back to England or Scotland to buy lunch.