The Box

by Jim Auel © 2003

There was a strange sound and light in the sky that grew louder as it drew closer; and burst into flames as it landed on the ground, but none of the that stopped Edwin from running towards it.

All boys loved destruction along with blood and gore. As was apparent by the speed with which he arrived just in time to see large amounts of metal seemed to melt into the ground from the heat. He approached it as the fire began to die down and spotted a large box.

He walked up and saw that it was white from the light his flashlight cast. He felt it without thinking and noticed it wasn’t hot at all. It in fact seemed untouched by the fire or anything. He picked it up and noticed that it was 3 feet square. As we walked back to his home he wondered if he would have trouble opening the box, as he didn’t see any obvious opening on it.

Upon entering the house Edwin’s mom noticed the object.

“Honey what’s the box for?”

“Nothing mom just something I found. Why?”

“Edwin you didn’t steal it did you?”

“Mom have you known me to steal anything in years?”

“No dear just concerned. You don’t have any friends and you never do anything outside your room besides school that’s all.”

Edwin didn’t wait for anything and headed strait to the top floor. It was the attic till it was converted into a large room. There was even a bathroom and refrigerator and just about anything a boy could want. Science and astronomy was all he cared about, so he had been watching the sky and spotted the object falling towards Earth.

As he placed the box on the table similar to like out of a science classroom including a sink and peered at it from every angle. “So how are we going to open you up my beauty.” He had a funny feeling that the box some how spoke to him but not with words,

“Upon opening me, you will become responsible for the consequences.”

“What consequences are you talking about?”

“I don’t know because I’m not sure what’s in me compared to what’s out there.”

This made the lad more curious and place a hand on it, “how come you can talk to me?”

“Because you are the new owner of me. My previous owners died in the crashed ship.”

“So now I am the owner?”

“You found me. Salvage rights Edwin.”

“Salvage rights?”

“Yes code 56743 of the galactic code clearly states that when something can no longer be claimed by its owner or said owner than when found by someone they become the new owner.”

Galactic code, he didn’t know about such things. Careful thought was needed.

“Yes, think about this carefully. I could be carrying something of great danger to this planet. Unless you know how to analyze everything in me before you remove it you could cause destruction or prosperity.”

“But can I open you if I want to?”

“Sure I’m not responsible for what happens, I’m only a class one stasis box. The owner is responsible.”

“I afraid you need to fill me in before we open you.”

Edwin felt strange. “I altered your brain Edwin now it works better. You can now interact with me in a way you can’t believe. Most of my recent owners couldn’t be altered. I could barely talk to them.”

Suddenly Edwin’s mind was filled with so much information that he thought his head would explode. But soon it felt better and he really understood the information. The box told him about it’s content. Eventually the lad learned enough of the history and all the objects to know that only one thing could be removed from the box still that could be dangerous.

“How old are you box?”

“I don’t know? Perhaps centuries or may thousands of years old. I have no understanding of time. That is my purpose to remain the same thru everything. You are the first person that I have really communicated with beyond a few images of ownership for a long time.”

Suddenly the box opened as the top seemed to dissolve and Edwin looked for the first time into the box. It had a simmer where the top was, which the lad knew to be an electronic safety seal. It had numerous objects, but only one object floated out of the box and Edwin grabbed it before it fell back in. It was a strange looking, but Edwin knew it was a communication device of some kind amongst other things. He held it in his hand and wondered how to use it.

“It’s the only object in you box that might not destroy this planet, but then again what if I’m wrong?”

Edwin didn’t wait for the box to respond. He looked at the object in his hand and pushed a button. It hummed and then beeped, and then crackled a sound.

“Can I help you?” Came a voice.

“Whom am I speaking with?” Asked Edwin.

“Galactic Wares.”

It must be a store of some sort Edwin thought. He ordered all kinds of stuff. As it turned out a previous owner of the communications devise had a large bank account that had not been use for over 100 years and was now his. Within a week all kinds of stuff arrived and soon the lad was able to buy his own home from the price he got on earth. He stared to spread the technology to every part of the earth very slowly; first with better computers then with other kinds of technology. As far as the box, that had to remain sealed for now. Earth wasn’t ready for what laid inside. But not to worry Edwin learned how to remain young at about 25 years old for a few centuries and saw Earth grow to use some of the items. The box then passed on to his sons.

x x x

Read more Flash Fiction?
Chat about this story on our BBS?
Or, Back to the Front Page?