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Another New Story: The Old Box

                                                                        The Old Box


by D.F. Rucci

I knew an old man, who lived in an old cabin. He would sit on his old chair, and think of the old days. His hair was gray, and his eyes were old and wise yet cold. For as each day came by, the blue in his pupils grew weary and gray. When he grew tired of sitting on his old chair, on the old porch which barely hung from the front of the cabin, he would bring himself inside it’s old frame.  The cabin was bare, as bare and cold as his lonely heart, nothing stood in its wall besides a small table, and an old box.

The box was made of wood and metal, and looked like a chest. For as long as the old man could remember, he remembered the box as something so valuable, so precious that he may never open it. He grew curious and he grew stubborn and he would trail his fingers over it’s course exterior, dreaming of what could be inside. His eyes would swell and his old fingers would fumble for its padlock, but he would never open it. It was forbidden to open the box, for the box was as old and weary as he was.

Times came slow, and slower as the winters take grasp of the forests around his cabin, keeping him from his old chair, on the old porch. Times like these he would find himself staring at the box, always staring at the box, for the box was ancient and wise and it was his box after all. When he would get especially lonely and bored he would polish his father’s old Winchester, careful as to avoid the deep red stains on it’s barrel. Such a thing was important, such a thing was there to remind him of the past, but he couldn’t remember. Didn’t want to remember after all, but he did want to know what was in that box.  Always what was in that box.

Sometimes at night, when he would lay on the old floor in his old cabin, he had dreams; rather nightmares that kept him awake most of the night. He thought of a young girl most of the time, he didn’t remember if he had known her or maybe he had just made her up, but she kept him up most of the time.  Whatever she was, she made him sad, bringing old tears to his old eyes, and still couldn’t recall anything. But whenever he thought of her, he thought of the Winchester and he wept. This never perplexed or confused him so to say, for it was the way it had always been, and once he grew disheartened he would forget soon after, most of the time anyway.

It happened one night after he had spent most of the time in his own old thoughts, that he stumbled over to the old table, which held the old box. With reddened eyes and trembling hands he shook the box and he yelled.  Cursing it, cursing whatever it held. His old voice quivered and he shook it with violent strength until the padlock broke free from the old box spilling it’s insides over the old table:

A pink ribbon, a gold ring, and a photo of a young boy and girl lay on the old table.  The Winchester cried out and the old man found peace.

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