The Metal Box (short story)

Sitting on her bed, the girl holds a small knife in her right hand. Making a small cut, she let out a small sigh of content. Watching her skin slowly opens up and lets out a trail of blood, she never felt so satisfied in her whole life. She wipes out the blood on her wrists and so does the tiny droplets on the floor. Hiding the small knife on a hidden compartment of her wardrobe, the girl sighs again.

It’s her birthday today, a supposed to be an ordinary day for her.

She grabs a small rectangular box, wrapped in faded black clothing with a red ribbon on it. Remembering her father’s exact words, she frowns at the memory.

“Hey come here my little girl.” Father called me in the garden and pinched my cheeks.

“Leave my cheeks alone please.” I pouted, and Father answered me a laugh. It is so unfair· I cannot reach Father’s face.

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“Open this box when you are old enough okay? Promise me.” Father smiled at me as he held Mother’s hands tightly. I nodded with a smile.

“This is our gift to you. Please take care of it, my dear Luce.” Mother said to me as she gave me a small rectangular box. My eyes widened. I jumped in joy as I ran back inside the house.

Father mumbled something which I didn’t heard clearly.

She never had the chance to open the gift since it was given to her.

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On the day they gave it to her, that was also the last time she saw them. Spending a year of grieving, and the last few years trying to find her parents, she gave up. You cannot find someone who doesn’t want to be found in the first place.

‘If I just managed to hear what Father said, maybe· just maybe I have the answer right now, why they just suddenly disappeared.’ Brushing off her thoughts, she now holds a small key pendant with a carving on it.

She traces the carved foreign characters of the pendant. It looks foreign in her eyes, but familiar warmth can be felt on the tip of her thumb. Mesmerized, she wears the pendant and clenches it tightly. Closing her eyes as if it’s her last moment, she lets herself fell on the bed. The girl wipes out her tears. She misses them very much, her mother’s warmth, her father’s laugh, their moments with each other· she misses everything.

Following the instructions indicated on a piece of paper, she is now standing on the door down to the attic. She never knew that they have an attic, but she doesn’t mind. This door, may lead up to what she wants to know behind the disappearance of her beloved parents.

Opening the door as it makes a creepy sound, she stares at the path leading downstairs. The place is so dark and quiet, but surprisingly, it makes her much more comfortable that she expected. Taking a step forward, the door suddenly shuts close by itself.

“Shoot, what I just got into?” she says to herself. Keeping in her mind that she is here for answers, she gathers all of her courage and takes the stairs. She notices that the key pendant is resonating as she walks downstairs. The sound gets louder and louder until she stopped on a particular object, a metal box.

The chains around the metal box are rusty, as if saying that it has been a long time since it was there. She lays her left hand on the surface, feeling the coldness contradicting to the warm surroundings. A bead of sweat rolls on her face. She pulls her hand away from the box when it suddenly moves, startling her. It keeps shaking until a sound of a clang is heard.

She looks to the place where the sound came from, and it was the key pendant. Picking it up, she looks again at the box. It is now screaming danger, but her eyes are fixated at the carving of a key. Half of her mind is shouting that she must leave the place at once, while the other half stops her from moving, signaling that this is maybe the last chance she only have. She knows that there’s something dangerous inside the box. She grunts.

“If I died because of this, then it’s fine. I will be finally free from this hellish life, and I might get the chance of seeing Father and Mother in heaven if St. Peter allows me though.” She laughed on her own joke.

“If I am still alive after this well ·” she shouted. “the hell with that! Yolo!”Putting the key to the space, the heavy chains fall on the floor and slowly turn into ashes. She never gets the chance to grab the key as the lid of the box opens. She expects for an unknown creature or something that will come out from the box, but nothing came up. Noticing a faint glow coming out from the inside, she takes a peek and finds a rectangular shard of glass. Just like her key pendant, it also has a carving but with different characters.

She traced the characters, feeling the unfamiliar coldness unlike hers. Holding it, she saw orb-like dust floating from it, and the shard itself is glowing. Blinking, she thinks that the light plays tricks on her eyes, so she takes a closer look. The glass emits a spark and because of shock, she accidentally loses her grip on the object, making the glass shatter into pieces.

A blinding light· followed by a sickening darkness engulfs her mind.

She screams. Before her eyes, various events flash. She can feel their agony, hatred, loneliness· she can feel all the negative emotions drowning her.

“Please· make it stop!” she shouted for help, but no one seems to hear her plea. She doesn’t know that she is inside a trance. She was actually in her knees, staring at the metal box with dull eyes and tears are falling endlessly. After all those scenes, her mind goes blank.

“What did I do to deserve this?” she mumbles.

A deep, cold chuckle echoed on the attic. “Finally, after all those years being locked up inside, I am free.” The mysterious being looked down on the motionless girl. Kneeling beside her, he grabs the girl’s hair harshly and makes her face him. The girl didn’t budge. Staring at those pair of eyes, he smirks.

“You’ll be a perfect vessel for me. A child of light yet losing its own shine was left in the darkness all on her own· how pitiful.” For the third time, she screamed.

Opening her eyes, she found herself lying on her bed. She doesn’t remember going back to her room, but she remembers everything that happened in the attic. Moving her legs, she winced in pain in her left wrist. Looking on her supposedly freshly wound earlier, she found no traces of cut. Terrified, she mumbles the written characters she never understand before.

“From this day forward, this body and soul now belongs to me.” She runs to the bathroom sink, hoping that it is just an ink or some magic that appears out of nowhere to frighten a person. In her dismay, it can’t be erased. Her right wrist also has the mark, encircling as if it acts as a bind or a handcuff to the other hand. She looks at the mirror, and saw her eye color flickers red for a moment then returns to normal.

“How does it feel child of light· when you get to know the things that are supposed to be unknown?”

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The Metal Box (short story). (2019, Dec 09). Retrieved from

The Metal Box (short story)

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