Writing prompt 2


The box was empty except for . . .

What's in the box?

What's in the box?

Write a story about this ornamental box. What is/was in it? Who owns/owned it? 

Use the free-writing technique or just write a short story about it.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
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7 Responses to Writing prompt 2

  1. Firefly says:

    I had a job to do, I reminded myself as my hands ran over the edges of the golden box. I had to see the job through to the end, even if it killed me to do so.

    I ran my hand over the gold lid again. The familiar cold metal seemed to vibrate under my hands.

    “Open it.” The wind seemed to whisper words.

    I brushed a strand of too-long hair from my eyes, while a sweat bead was forming on the tip of my nose. Why was this so impossible?

    My opposite hand reached forward with the key, jamming it into the lock as though stabbing a demon in the heart. The box clicked one final heart beat and shuddered under my hands.

    The lid surrendered it’s secrets, flying back gracefully. I dared to lean closer for a look inside. My stomach was in knots now anyways, so how bad could it get?

    The box was empty, save the cold, mechanical heart that sat in the middle, beating away the last seconds of a life, his life. I should never have opened the box, but there was no going back now. I had a job to do, and I would see it through to the end. Even if it killed me to do so.

    I raised the hammer above my head, blotting out the moonlight over the heart. The hammer crashed down, shattering the heart to bits. For a moment, I could almost hear his laughter. The little laughter of a child I would have died for only yesterday. Today, I killed the laughter. Today, I killed my son.

  2. For anyone who is interested, the photo is of a 16th century ivory casket from Sri Lanka, on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

  3. drtombibey says:

    oops, you got one plus an edit. Oh well.

    Dr. B

  4. Lord I missed the child.

    There were so many times the dream had roused me from sleep. I was certain the door-bell had rung. Each time I’d rush down the stairs and open the front door, only to be greeted by the night wind and every so often the screech of a hoot owl. I’d trudge back upstairs, and try to fall asleep.

    One night the doorbell rang again.

    “Probably a false alarm, mama, but I’d better go check.”

    “Let me know.”

    I went downstairs and opened the door. There was a thud. I turned on the floodlights. “What the heck is that?” It seemed so fragile. I picked it up with great care; so afraid it would break, and took it in the den. I placed it on the couch.

    I ran back upstairs to the bedroom. “Mama, get up. Get up. I want you to look.” She threw on a house coat and scurried down the stairs behind me.

    I turned on the lights in the den. “What do you think it is?” I asked. It looked downright exotic. “I ain’t never seen nothing like that in Harvey County.”

    “You know what is is, dear. Go ahead and open it.”

    “I’m scared.”

    “Don’t be.” She put an arm around my waist. “It’s O.K. Go ahead.”

    Inside was the note. “Daddy. Your world traveler is home. Will you meet me for breakfast at Red’s, 7:30? Hugs and kisses; love and forgiveness.”

    “Lord have mercy, mama, the child has come home. I’m gonna get a shower. Put on a pot of coffee, Lord have mercy, she’s come home.”

    Dr. B

  5. drtombibey says:

    Lord how I missed that child. Many a night I would awaken certain I’d heard the doorbell. I’d scurry down the stairs and fling open the front door.

    “Anybody there?” The only response was the night wind and sometimes a hoot owl. I’d trudge back upstairs.

    “What was it?” Mama would ask.

    “Nothing dear. It warn’t nothing.”

    But I always hoped, and every time the dream awoke me I went downstairs to be certain.

    This time when I opened the door it struck something. It tumbled down the steps. I flipped on the floodlights. “What the heck?….”

    I ran back up the stairs. Mama put on her house coat and came running. “What kinda box is that, honey?” I asked. It looked so exotic. “I ain’t never seen anything like that around Harvey County.”

    She brushed away a tear. Dear, you know where that came from.”

    I didn’t want to believe it. We had waited so long. I had been disappointed before.

    My wife put her arm around my waist. “I think you should open it.”

    “I’m scared.”

    “Don’t be.”

    I picked it up with care. It looked so fragile. We took it in the den and opened the lid. There was a note.

    “Daddy. Your world traveler is home. Will you meet me for breakfast at Red’s; 7:30? All love and forgiveness.”

    “Good Lord have mercy, mama. I gotta get a shower. Put on the coffee, the child has come home. Lord have mercy she’s home.”

    Dr. B

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