Inside a battered box...

It appeared on my front step this morning; a worn box, contents unknown. I knelt to open it and to my astonishment, inside the box was a healthy bundle of crisp twenty pound notes. Tens of thousands of pounds easily. I looked across the street, no one to be seen. I slowly looked to my left and then to the right, the whole street was deserted. Something wasn’t right. In a confused state, I carefully raised the box off the step, I continued to scan the streets to try and find any reason as to why this box had been left here. For me. But nothing, no one.

I could hear, somewhere, in the distance the faint hum of car engines. But no vehicle had even dared to creep down this derelict street. Come to think of it, nothing of the sort had happened all day. I hadn’t even seen anything normal happen today. The shops seemed to still have their ¢closed¢ signs in the windows. No one was walking their dogs, driving their children to school, or even doing the dreaded weekly shop, struggling with a stupid amount of bags to finally have all the fruit roll into the road, and having no way of retrieving it! What the hell was going on? Why am I the only one that seems to be around, and holding a package containing thousands of pounds? I couldn’t help but think I was close to danger, I could feel it in the air, and I needed to escape as quickly as possible. But there was one question that was preying on my mind. Am I to take the box?

I gradually began to back my way into the front door, with caution still mainly in my thoughts I rapidly reached for the handle behind me, as I grasped it in my left hand my foot gave way from underneath me and I came crashing down, all I could think of was the worst thing at this moment in time that could happen to me. Someone will find me out here with this box full of cash, and kill me for it! I had to get inside as soon as possible. Luckily my hand had gripped the box so hard it had not left my fingers. I pulled myself up, realizing the pain on my foot was quite bad, and hopefully it was just a sprain. A tear rolled down my face and I began to think to myself, maybe everything is alright, I am just over reacting, I hope…

Several minutes later I found myself back inside the comfort of my living room. Box on the table in front of me and the phone under my right hand, contemplating weather or not to ring the authorities to find out where this box belongs.

When I first found the box and saw its contents, there seemed to be around twenty thousand pounds, I had no idea if I was correct, I had never seen that amount of money, ever! I decided that I should count it. For no real reason really, but just to see if my estimation was anywhere near the real sum. As I stretched my arm out to collect the box, the moment seemed to go on forever, everything else around me had come to a halt. All there was in this world was me, and this mysterious box. It felt like there was a sense of trouble and threat surrounding the object, I couldn’t think why this box was giving off this vibe, it was just a box! My hand finally came into contact with the weathered worn, drab dark green item. It couldn’t have been any bigger than a standard size shoebox. It was made out of real leather, very worn and tattered. It seemed like people had been handling it for years, decades maybe even centuries. But it seemed to have been neglected over its time, it hadn’t been treated well and I could imagine to myself that it would have been a beautiful piece of craftsmanship to look at, back whenever it was made. There was a faint gold fringe edging its way around the whole circumference of the box, it had been battered over the years it seemed, so the fringing had nearly faded into the washed out green of the leather. I noticed a keyhole on the front side of the box, a gleaming panel of gold, which seemed to ooze years of disturbance, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And I couldn’t quite think where in this world the key could possibly be. I began to remove the money, bunch by bunch, this whole situation was baffling me I couldn’t get my head round it. As I was removing the second layer of money, my fingers tapped on something solid, that wasn’t money I thought to myself. What was it? So I took the remaining cash away and found myself staring at a black wooden plank that fit perfectly in the box, so my estimate was far off, there was no where near twenty thousand pounds in here, only a few thousand at the most! I knocked on the wood, it didn’t seem to budge. I knocked and tapped again, I had the same result. Nothing. I warily lifted the box to the side of my face and shook it ever so slightly. Movement. There was something beneath the black wood, something not too heavy; the box itself didn’t weigh much. There was no way of getting beneath the panel, how can I get into it? I made my way to the kitchen to retrieve a knife, to pry it open…

 

The End

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