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The Box

I awoke to a loud bang on the door downstairs. I wasn’t ready to rise from my quilted abode; so I didn’t. I turned over and rejoined my imaginary friends inside my mind.

It was past High Noon. Now I was ready to face the real world. After the usual hygenic chores of washing, brushing and shaving, I eased myself down the stairs. I had forgotten about the early morning knocking on my door. It was only when I went out to check for mail, that I saw it. A plain, brown paper wrapped box. It was perhaps the size of my head, give or take. “It’s not Christmas and my birthday isn’t for another seven months”, I thought to myself. So what could be in the box? Who could it be from?

I picked it up and carried it to my kitchen table and placed it down gently. I pondered over it while enjoying my first coffee of the new day. I know that most of you would have ripped open that box on the front doorstep. But I, I like the challenge of finding out what’s inside using logic and deduction; you might say that this is my way of switching out of my world and into that of a super sleuth.

My first coffee almost finished, I swirl the last mouthful around in the bottom of my mug. I continue in deep thought as I observe the box. It was as if I expected something to just pop out of it. It wasn’t very heavy. In fact, I doubt its contents weighed much more than the box itself. There was no return address on it. My name and address had been handwritten in a scribe that could only have been created by a woman; swirling curves and pinpoint accuracy. The phone rang…

It was my father reminding me that I was to go over for supper that day. From where I stood, holding the phone, I could see the box standing solitary on my kitchen table. It was as if it were begging me to open it. Finished with the phone, I returned to the kitchen, refilled my coffee mug and once again sat alone with the box. I noticed how neatly the corners of the plain wrapping had been tucked in like a military bedsheet prior to the Generals annual inspection. Each fold with precise precision. Whoever sent this did so with attention to every detail. Who could it have been? There was no-one in my life. I hadn’t ordered anything. My mind was racing with possibilities, but still, I refrained from weakenning and prematurely having all my questions answered by opening it. Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to know the answers; I wanted to open it. But then, I would be doing myself an injustice if I couldn’t first come up with a reasonable explanation…

Just then, a loud ringing filled my ears, my head. In a state of startled confusion, I found myself sitting up in bed. My alarm had faithfully awakened me from a deep sleep. It was 7am. There was no box. There had been no phone call from my father. I had no supper to go to at my parents. Indeed, my parents had perished many years prior. What was this dream about? What was in that box? I will never know. The only question left is "should I have opened that box albeit in a dream. Perhaps next time, if it presents itself, I shall.

The Box

Paul Baker

Ajax, Canada

  • Artist

Artist's Description

This is a short story about a mystery “box”. Where did it come from? Who sent it? What did it hold? Read on to find out, or will you……..?



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