There has always been a box. A magnificent red colour. I always though it was patiently waiting for something…or someone to life the heavy, wooden lid. To reveal the inside.
Flipping on the light with a lazy hand, I saw the once dank, dark basement was now flooded with bright light from one bulb, hanging precariously on frayed wire.
“Dad!” I shouted, hoping my voice would drift to the kitchen where he was sitting with his newspaper.
“You still haven’t elucidated why that box is down here, behind the furnace still.”
“Which one? There are plenty of ordinary boxes there.”, he replied with curiosity in his voice.
“The red one.”, I answered simply. I heard keys jingling and the cloakroom door swing open upstairs with a definite creak. It shut with a loud ‘CLICK’.
“Angela, I told you not to talk about it!”, he shouted, fury building. “I’m going out. Don’t touch that box! If you know what’s good for you, you won’t.”, he said menacingly.
I could just imagine him spitting fire and venom as the front door shut softly.
It was warm where she was standing, looming over the box, her shadow stretching to the wall metres from her. A dark blotch of shadow concealed the far side of her face, her blue eyes glowing almost. She gingerly knelt down, eyeing the lid. Who would leave this here with no lock or protection at all. It must be important to father she thought. With the hatred and loathing she had for her father- his stupidity and neglect towards her dying mother upstairs- a fire burned behind her eyes.
She tore open the lid, nearly ripping of its hinges. Inside, was a very tiny man. He seemed forlorn, his face hiding all emotion behind a scowl. There was an aged parchment, a large black spider perched on top, almost as if guarding it.
“Hello?” she asked tentatively.
“Whatdoyouwant?” he spoke quickly, running words together. “Whereareyou?”
“I’m in my father’s house, my home. Who are you?”
“Demon. Common occurrence in your world”, he slowed to make his point. His eyes shined, smiled at her almost. “I’ve been safeguarding this ‘thing’ for you. It’s your mother’s.”
She reached in and pulled out the paper, the spider scuttling away. Shocked, the man had vanished. Odd.
“He told you not to touch it, didn’t he?” said a frail, weak voice speaking to her back.
She turned around.
“Mum! Please t-tell me what’s wrong! There is blood staining this letter.”
The blood was caked on, thickly. The metallic smell of fresh blood drawn, preserved in the box.
“Please…don’t tell me it’s true…” the girl pleaded, clutching her mother’s sleeves, tears dripping slowly down her face.
“I’ll tell you…”