Short Story
The Box
Scott A. Gese

It was a plain brown package and it was a mystery. One that was best left unsolved.

the boxCreative Commons

The package had no return address.

It had his name on it and it had come to the right house. Andrew turned the package in his hands as he examined it. “Not very big or heavy.”

His little brother, Marco, couldn’t take it. “Quit playing with it and open it up.”

Andrew gave in to his little brothers whining. He tugged at the string and slowly removed the wrapper just to watch him squirm. Inside was a small wooden box. It was made of exotic hardwood and a skull and crossbones had been carefully carved onto the lid. There was also a note. Andrew read it out loud. “Whatever you do, don’t open the box.”

“Don’t open it???” Andrew tossed the note aside and tried to open it anyhow. The lid wouldn’t budge.

He looked it over carefully. “There must be a trick to this thing. It has to open.”

Concerned, Marco spoke up. “The note said don’t open the box.”

“But there’s something in it. I can hear it rattling.” He shook the box for Marco to hear it.

“You can play with that thing all day if you want. It’s Saturday and I’m going outside.” The back screen door slammed as Marco disappeared.

Andrew set the box on the table and looked at it thinking, “I wonder why I’m not suppose to open it?” He totally disregarded the note and kept prying at the lid throughout the day. He didn’t have any luck.

Later that evening several of his friends stopped by. “Marco say’s you got a box. We wanna see it.” said one.

Andrew tossed the box at the boys and let them look it over. Then the guessing started.

“Maybe it’s some treasure? It has a skull and crossbones on it.”

“Maybe it’s poison or an evil spell that’ll be released when you open it.”

“And maybe it’s nothing at all,” Replied Andrew as he took the box back.

One of the boys who had been very quiet suddenly spoke up. “I know someone whose dad got a box like this. He tried for days to get it open. He was ready to take a hammer to it when all the sudden it just popped open without him even trying. As soon as the guy looked inside, he had a heart attack. He dropped dead on the spot.”

The rest of the boys dropped their jaws and in slow unison replied, “Really?”

“Gods truth,” the kid replied. “This box could be dangerous. I wouldn’t want to be the person who opened it up.”

“Well it did come with a note,” replied Andrew.

“A note? What did it say?”

“It said, Whatever you do, don’t open this box,”

Once again they all replied in unison, “Really?”

Just then Marco walked in. He had a bloody lip and a nice shiner in the making. Andrew took one look at Marco and instantly knew what had happened, “Richie?”

Marco didn’t say a word. He just nodded and left the room.

One of the boys spoke up. “How many times has that bully beat him up? Someone needs to teach him a lesson.”


That night as Andrew lay in bed he could see the dark silhouette of the box sitting on his dresser. He kept thinking about the thing suddenly popping open. He had a sleepless fitful night.

The following morning Andrew looked up Richie’s address. He carefully wrapped up the box with the note and dropped it in the mail, with no return address.

© Copyright 2024 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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