The Box


Title: The Box

Word Count: 551

Rating: G

There is a box left upon her doorstep. It’s not the normal delivery kind- all thick cardboard with scribbles and messages and a this end up decorating the bottom half- it is instead a politely sized box with a lid the color white and a hank of lavender ribbon tied around its middle.

There is no note or card or how-do-you-do attached to it. Greta pushes at it with one foot, it shifts unassumingly. A firm poke this time and there is no sound of anything bobbling about inside.

Aware that curiosity does peculiar things to cats and other such creatures, she picks the box up. It is light and puts her in mind of marshmallows. She gives it a jostle and is still met with no noise or resistance from the inside. Greta holds it up to her face, notes the lack of breaks and packing tape, and gives it a sniff. It smells of nothing in the peculiar way that speaks of unvisited locales and memories that aren’t really hers.

She brings the box inside, just barely remembering to pull the door closed behind her.

The box takes up a place of prestige upon her counter and there she leaves it, unopened. She ponders the possible contents far more than she should. It’s too narrow to hold a mogwai and it’s only upon scratching this possibility out that she realizes she had been secreting a hope for it to be true.

Greta leaves the box there, turned in such a way that the overhead light catches it and makes it glow prettily, in hopes that one of her visiting friends will fess up to leaving it for her.

They don’t, which isn’t nearly as surprising as it should be. They do, however, inquire incessantly as to the contents of the box.

On Tuesday she says, “It contains Hope, and I’ve been made its guardian with strict instructions to never open it lest it should become lost.” She sips her wine and privately decides that this must be so.

On Friday she says, “An enchanted rose; I’m to return it to the prince it belongs to so he’ll know when he finds true love.” She crunches a chip and decides she was wrong on Tuesday and that this must be true.

On Monday she says, “There’s a map in there. With seven feathers plucked from the magicked forms of my sever brothers. I’ve to go find them and together we’ll reclaim our kingdom where the sky is violet and owls sing love-songs at noon and time runs backwards.” Greta pens in aspectabund for seven down on the crossword in her lap and concludes she was wrong on Friday and Tuesday, that this must be the truth.

Eventually she forgets the box, the lavender ribbon fades to a hazy memory of purple, the counter is needed for other things, and the box is regaled to live its existence in the back of her closet, behind her second best pair of heels.

The box waits, as is its nature, for the day she forgets the realm of reality, of nine to five and yes sirs and no ma’ams and stumbles back upon the box and all the possibility it holds.

Behold, an actual new piece! As always, concrit is appreciated.

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