Wren’s hands trembled as she reached into the dark closet. Perched upon the top shelf was the object she sought, an old box that had not seen the light of day in quite some time. As her fingertips brushed against it, a shiver ran down her spine. Summoning the courage she did not really feel, she grasped wooden handles on each side of the box and removed it from its resting place.
Beneath the dust, she could see the scars of wear on the box. The metal work designs were tarnished but still discernible. The lock which held the latch firmly sealed clanked against the frame. The key attached to a chain was resting delicately in the lock, just waiting for someone to give it the twist needed to spring the lock to life and release the contents of the box.
As Wren turned from the closet, clutching the dust-ridden box in both hands, another shiver coursed through her body. The spasms subsided but Wren thought again how easily it would be to place the box back in the dark, small prison of a closet.
“Do not even think about it.” A deep, masculine voice whispered from behind her.
Wren spun around and lunged the box at the intruder. With a great thud, the wooden box bounced on the floor. Wren looked around the room and took a deep breath. It was obvious her imagination was working over time now. Cautiously she walked over to where the box lay on the floor. Taking a deep breath, she scooped the box up again and once more turned into the direction of the door.
For some reason the box seemed much heavier than before, as if something had been added to it. Wren thought that maybe the unseen speaker had found his way into the box. She smiled and allowed her imagination to go on with the idea. Yes, surely that was it, that male speaker had somehow shrunk himself to fit inside the box. Now he would be trapped in there until she thought it safe to release him, Wren thought. Wren liked that idea, even if it was far fetched.
Making her way through opened doorway of the small room, she turned toward the staircase. The overpowering feeling to return the box made her glance back through the doorway at the closet. As if sensing her thoughts, an unseen force slammed the closet door. Wren spun, running down the staircase, with the box pressed tightly against her breast.
Her breathing was raspy as she entered the library and chucked the box onto the desk. It landed with a thud. Wren took several deep breaths to try to calm down. Without luck, she began to pace and ran her hand through her brown hair.
The box demanded her attention and Wren could not keep her eyes from returning to it. It was layered with dust and in the dim light looked ominous. She could smell the musky odor of being stored away. As if light would help, Wren walked over to the double windows and flung the thick curtains aside. The sun penetrated the room and fell upon the old, wooden box but could not dispel the dread that had somehow filled the entire area.
Wren flung herself into the reading chair beside the window. The chair was positioned the furthest from the desk, which made her as far from the box as possible without leaving the room. Again, she looked at the box. The sense of trepidation began to build again.
Wren wiped a sheen of sweat from her brow and thought, “I could just burn the damn thing. I’ve always heard nothing good can come of digging up skeletons so that is probably the case with outdated, unwanted boxes too.”
With that thought fresh in her mind, Wren rose to leave the library. She passed the desk and felt a wave of nausea hit her. As she inched closer to the door, she felt as if she had entered a freezer. The air around her was suddenly chilled. Her lungs began to constrict and her breaths became visible in the frigid air. A wave of dizziness took over and she sat heavily upon the floor.
“It is time to open it, Wren.” The male voice was no longer a whisper and it echoed throughout the room. “Open the box now and learn the truth.”
As the last words reverberated through Wren’s head, darkness descended upon her. She collapsed in an exhausted heap upon the cold floor only inches from the library door. The box sat on the old desktop, waiting for its rusty latch to be released.
This is my entry for the Saturday Writing Essential this week. Here’s the rules:
- Write a ghost story (using prose, poetry, fiction, essay, or whatever).
- There is a limit of three submissions from each member per day. If you’re extremely prolific, spread out your work and post only three submissions per day.
- Post to Gather Writing Essential.
- Tag your submission with SatWE.
- Include (Saturday Writing Essential) as part of your title.
- I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Friday afternoon.
or you can go to Len’s post for further information.