The Box

Concept by
Stephen Johnson

Written by
Bob Senitram

  • 3 Pages

Chapter 1 – Scarring Girls

I closed my eyes as soon as I opened them. The sun was way too bright. I lay there on the grass thinking, “This is kinda nice, now what was I doing again? Oh yeah, I was on my way to school.”

I sat up and looked around the grass hill which is behind the school’s playground. I usually head up this hill on the way to school, so I guess everything’s normal – except I’m lying on my back. I got dizzy when I tried to stand up, so I just sat back down and rested for a while. Then I saw it.

The box.

It’s just sittin’ there by my side. I don’t remember having it before, but I guess it’s mine now. I pick it up and give it a good look-over. Shiny, smooth, and hardly weighs anything, but I can’t tell what color it is. It kinda reflects everything, but it don’t look like glass. I shake it and hear a thud, so there must be something inside. I can’t find a button or switch to open it with – no hinges either.

I set it down and pick up a twig and start stripping the bark off while I think. Once the twig was nice and smooth, I started tapping my knee with it. Then, I started tapping the box and it opened. It doesn’t flip up; like a cardboard box, it slides open. I can’t see what happens to the lid, it just kind-a vanishes. Weird.

I look inside…

“Holy crap!” I drop the box and the top reappears.

I start tapping it again, and on the third tap the top opens. I look in and now I see that the thing inside is moving. I wanted to close it but didn’t know how. I shook it, but it wouldn’t close. I shook it harder, lost my grip and it fell on a rock and closed.

I tapped it three times and it opened up, then I gave it a slap on the side and the top was back. Well I know how to open and close it, so I got that goin’ for me.

I don’t know what to do with it though. I hear kids playin’ around. We always play until the bell rings, then we go in. If they’re still playin’ I guess I’m not late and everything’s ok.

I get up and go to the top of the hill and look in the playground. The kids are coming out of school, not in. That seems a little strange, but I really don’t know how long I’ve been lying in that grass. I don’t remember hitting my head or nuthin’, I just remember grabbing my lunch from the dinning room table and walking out the door.

And then, the box.

I see Lewis walking across the playground and yell at him to stop.

He sees me, but not until I’m right next to him, “I thought you were sick or sumthin’? You playin’ hooky or what? Better get off this play ground before Ms. Clute sees…”

“I ain’t playin’ hooky, but take a look at this, I don’t know what to do with it…” I give the box three taps.

Lewis just stares in the box. I can hear him breathing, “It’s moving.” He says in a whisper.

“I know.”

“You better take that to the office. No wait, better take it home and show your mom. She’ll know what to…HEY LOOK, there’s John. Let’s show him!” He starts to shout, “JOHN, JOHN! Wait-up!”

John stops, looks, and heads in our direction walking like a robot. He looks like my dad when he listens to that ‘Funky-delic Music.’

I give the box a good slap on the side and it shuts. Lewis grabs my arm and pulls me toward John. I just follow.

We reach John and he’s still walking like a robot, “Pull my straang, and I’ll do my thaang…”

I just look at him, I have no idea what he’s talking about.

He’s looking straight ahead, like a robot. “Pull my straang and I’ll do my thaang!”

Then I notice a little piece of string hanging out of his shirt pocket. Just then Lewis smiles and pulls it out.

John proceeds to punch him non-stop on his shoulder, robot style. Then he picks the string up, off the ground, puts it back in his pocket and turns to me, “Pull my straang, and I’ll do my thaang…”

“I don’t think so.” I reply.

“Shuddup, John!” Lewis, says while rubbing his shoulder, “John, take a look at this!

“Pull my straang, and I’ll do my…”

“Just open the box Bobby S. Go ahead, show ’em!”

I give it three taps and John shuts up for a second.

He stares inside then says, in a voice that would be a yell for a normal person but is just talking for John, “That’s some crazy shit!!! Let’s take it and scare some girls!” He grabs my arm as starts running toward Tracy who’s talking to Cindy.

Lewis is following behind, he’s a little chunky so he has trouble keeping up with John who’s always running around, up to no good. “John, Bob…wait. Don’t you think we should take it to the office or something?”

“Yeah, sure. We can do that later. Hey, Tracy! Take a look at this!” John yells.

I open the box.

“Oooh my gaaawwd!!! Gross! Where did you get that!” Tracy screams. She covers her mouth and runs away, “Eeeeeew!”

The commotion stops a foursquare game…”What’s he got in there?” A player asks.

“I bet it’s dog poop.” Came a reply.

“Yeah, John’s with them. I bet it’s dog poop!”

“You wish!” Lewis says, “You’ve never seen this. Check it out!”

I open the box and they scream and run away. Me, John and Lewis run off to the grass and plop down laughing, out of breath. I’m feeling better now.

“I really should take this home you guys.”

“Ok, but can we take another look?” Lewis asks.

“Sure.” I tap it three times and it opens up.

Both their heads tilt down as they study the contents more closely.

“Cooool. I didn’t notice that it moved too.” John says.

“I know, I can’t believe it moves like that.” Lewis replies.

“I wonder where it came from.” I whisper as I close the box and stand up, “Sorry guys, but I gotta go home and give this to Mom.”

Chapter 2 – Home

I was watching the news, when Bobby comes running into the house all excited, and runs toward the dining room. “Mom! Mom! Look at this!”

“I’m right here!” I yell to him. He doesn’t realize he just ran past me. “What’s the big deal?”

He hands me the box, and leans over with his hands on his knees, supporting his upper body. He must have run all the way home.

“Look what I found.” He pants.

So I pick it up and shake it, “How does it open?”

“Lemme show you.”

I hand it back to him and he taps it a few times and it opens.

“Jeeesus! Where the hell did you get this? We gotta put that on some ice.” I take the box and head toward the kitchen. “It’s still moving. Where did you get this!!?”, I take him by his arm, “Tell me where you found this.”

“I don’t know, I just found it.”

“Where?” I ask.

“I don’t know, I just woke up and it was next to me!” Bobby yells back. He must have picked up the excitement from my initial shock because now he looks excited and scared.

“Just woke up? What…?” I interrupt myself to change to a low calm voice. “Nevermind, I’ll put ice in this and call the hospital. Now go wash your hands. You don’t know where this has been!

Bobby just stands there while I enter the kitchen.

“I said, GO WASH UP! GO. NOW!!!”

I yell as he scampers toward the bathroom, “Better yet, take a bath. You don’t want any of this on you. TAKE A BATH – BOBBY!” I yell toward the hallway.

“Ok, ok. I Heard you.” He calls from the bathroom.

I can hear Bobby running the bath water while I dump some ice cubes in the box. I pick up the phone and decide to dial 911. The operator answers and I explain the contents of the box:

“Yes, it’s real. I can tell. Should I call the police?”

The operator pretty much responded like I was a complete idiot, “I’m sure it not from a human…”

“Whatever, what do I do with it? I interrupt.”

“It’s probably just some practical joke. You said you put it in ice?”

“Yeah, it’s in ice. Should I take it to the hospital or what?”

“Yeah, go ahead, we’ll have someone take a look…”

Then I hear Bobby calling from the hallway:

My son is standing in the hallway without a shirt on with a blank look on his face.

The first thing I see is his chest.

There is a perfectly round, smooth hole in his chest. A little larger than a fist, not a drop of blood. Skin has grown from his chest to his back, perfectly smooth. I can see the bedroom behind him through the hole.

I’m too numb for emotions as blood rushes toward my head. I’m getting dizzy as the operator speaks up, “Mam, are you still there?”

Seems like I’ve been standing there for 5 or 10 minutes as time has appeared to slow down.

My attention turns back to the phone, “I need an ambulance…now.”

More Strange Stories…

Stephen Johnson & Bob Senitram

The creators of actually started the website so they could post their own collaborations and say they were published authors. Sadly, their work was too silly, non-sensical and poorly written to deserve a following. They decided to post columns and leave the writing to folks more deserving of attention...and that's how this all came to be.

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