One Picture, One Story
Sam held onto the bed post as he fought against the invisible force drawing him in. The walls were flickering back and forth from his livingroom to the terribly bright room he was presently in. He looked back at the box being held by the two beings that Sam had believed were mortal enemies, but now seemed to be working very closely. He pleaded and begged for them to stop, but they just stared at him with eyes filled with indifference. They didn’t seem to feel one way or another towards him and that was worse than hatred or fury. At least with those you knew there was emotion and where there is emotion there is hope. You could take hatred and change it to compasion, you could take fury and change it to empathy; but you couldn’t take indifference and change it to anything other than indifference. Sam’s grip was slipping and the box was getting closer and closer. He considered just letting go and surrendering himself to becoming pure energy and being consumed in a grid for TVs and lights and other mundane human things. He tried to convince himself that at least his final act would be to bring some sort of joy or betterment to someone’s life. He reasoned that his pure energy could be used to light an orphanage or heat an animal shelter and as such his final act would be valiant rather than just an act of surrender. The box was almost touching his feet and Mr. Klein and Sciurus had allowed a smile to form on their faces as they saw their impending victory.
Suddenly the room began to shake and the flickering stopped. Sciurus had fallen to the floor and was struggling to get to his feet. Mr. Klien was fumbling with the box as the door closed on it. Sam saw his opportunity and let go of the bed post and slammed into Mr. Klein’s legs, knocking him over and sending the box flying to the corner where Sciurus still struggled to stand. Sam hoped that he hadn’t noticed the box near him. Mr. Klein grabbed Sam by his collar and began dragging him towards the box. The room still shook violently and the lights got brighter and brighter as they struggled against each other. Sam grabbed Mr. Klein’s wrist and tried to free himself from his grip. Sciurus had righted himself and was now scampering towards the box. Sam kicked him in the side of the head, sending him flying and resting back in the same corner he had just escaped. Mr. Klein was trying to force the door in the box open with his free hand and keeping Sam at bay with the other. Sam realized that he was much weaker than Mr. Klein, so he switched his strategy. He changed the angle at which he stood and while doing so, he saw a portal open at the far wall and through it he saw his living room. With a concentrated effort he pulled Mr. Klein’s arm towards him and sunk his teeth into his skin, tasting the tinny taste of blood. Mr. Klein screamed in pain and threw Sam to the floor with such force that blood immediately started flowing from his skull. Sam shook his head to get his bearings and ran for the portal, jumping head-first at it with all his strength. He grabbed onto the door frame of his living room and began pulling himself through. He was elated, victorious, on top of the world. He pulled himself further through, but he was snagged on something. He shook his foot to get loose, but couldn’t move forward. Mr. Klein was on the ground holding the door of the box open. Sam desperately scanned the room for something, anything, he could cluch or grasp. He spotted a decorative stone about the sized of a baseball. He grabbed it tightly and tried to angle his body in a way he could throw with some force. He realized quickly that the only way he could do that was if he let go of the door frame. He counted to 3 in his head, let go of the frame, spun his body and threw with the force of a pitcher’s fast ball, catching Mr. Klein in the side of the head. He fell to the floor, unconcious from the blow, but the door on the box was still open. Sam dug his nails in the floor and looked around. Sciurus was motionless in the corner and Mr. Klein was knocked out next to the box. He was slowly being pulled into the box as he tried to formulate a plan. He glanced at the portal, It was getting smaller! He couldn’t afford any more missteps, so he let the box pull him back, kicking the door shut in the process. He tumbled to the floor, coming to rest beside Sciurus’ lifeless body. Vomit had trickled out of his mouth and death had prevailed. Sam stood up and sprinted for the portal which was now the circumference of a basketball. He shut his eyes and dove headlong at the portal hoping his lanky, skinny body would be an asset for once. Lights flashed, his body shook and stars filled his view before he felt the pain. He had run head first into something solid and now lay on the floor, eyes shut, in pain and fearing what he would see when he opened them. He felt the warmth of blood running down his face and a whirring of a fan somewhere in the distance. Slowly he opened his eyes, adjusting to the dim light for a moment. He pushed himself to his feet and noticed the broken coffee table at his feet and his snack bowl spilled on the floor. He paused, not sure if this was real or if Mr. Klein would be pulling himself through the portal the pull him back. Nothing. He looked at the door way which he held onto and saw the bright, white box laying on it’s side, door open. He walked over and looked inside. There was a small photograph inside with a message on the back.
Destroy The Box.
Sam slowly flipped it over to see a picture a small child, maybe 10 or 12. It was a picture of him. He traced the border with his fingers while he looked at the box. He noticed his old baseball bat sitting next to his foot; he picked it up and smashed the box to pieces. Breathing heavily from his ordeal he gathered the pieces and threw them in the fireplace. They burnt quickly and as the last piece turned to ash the TV turned on and the lights brightened. He lay back down on the couch and smiled a smile he never thought possible.