Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Whispering Lockbox

Chuck had this planned for us last week, but it stuffed up... so here it is this week.  It's an X meets Y.  We got to pick out our titles, and then make a 1500 word story out of it.  Mine's a little shorter, though.


I had been warned – but I didn’t listen.

No, I didn’t – but I wish now that I had.

Life working with Fox wasn’t easy. He was ridiculed for being a strange asshole at the best of times, but the things he showed me were amazing.
We talked to all kinds of people who had seen all kinds of things, and had experienced stuff a lot of people just wouldn’t believe.
Well, let me tell you – nobody would ever believe me now if I said anything.
Not even the bar-flies in this place.
But you’re here to listen to my story about that lockbox, right?
Now, what kind of shit do you want to know about it? Hang on, I’ll tell you what I know, that’d be better.

We found it in Canada – the coldest part of it – under about twenty feet of snow. It was bright red and felt very warm to touch through our gloves; which was unusual, seeing it had a coating of ice around it.
Fox looked up at me as though he had found the Holy Grail, “We found it… it’s pulsing… isn’t it beautiful?”
I remember stepping back, not sure of it.  The scientist side of me not wanting to know, “I don’t think we should touch it.” But it was too late, he was running his hands all over it as though it was a precious gem, “Fox, I really think we should put it inside the case and wait until…”
He spun, greed reddening his eyes, “Until when?” he growled, “Until the government hides it away on us, like they have everything else?”
“No.” I glanced at its brightness in the glaring snow, “I mean, exactly what do we know about it?”
He shoved me and I stumbled, “We know enough to keep it away from the government and that it’ll be safe with me.”
After that I barely saw him without the box under his arm.  It was as though he was attached to it.
It was within reach of him when he was at his desk. He took it home every night. And when I visited his messy apartment, I noticed it took pride of place on the coffee table – as though it had been in his life from the very beginning, when really it hadn’t.
I became very worried about him, so I talked to our boss, “I really don’t know what to do about him.”
The portly, bald man I had admired since I started working for the FBI five years ago leaned against the folders on his desk, “Keep an eye on Fox, he’s getting in too deep with that lockbox. He’s letting it sway him.”
“Okay.” I rose from my seat, “But it’s difficult. Whenever I’ve tried to talk to him, his eyes turn red and he’s become violent.”
He sighed, running a hand over his shiny head, “Shit… it’s too late. We have to take it from him by force.”
“What’s inside the lockbox?” I asked, “It’s small, red and very warm.”
Half a smile pulled up the side of his face, but it didn’t stay there for long, as it turned into a grimace, “I’m not sure. Nobody is.”
“Is it from here?”
“Close the door.”

I knocked on Fox’s door and he answered it immediately. I wasn’t surprised to find him away at 3am, as he rarely slept, but he was also still in the same clothes as he wore on the day we found the lockbox.
“Hey, Fox. How’s the investigation going on the lockbox?” I smiled, “And… donuts?” I held up the ‘Krispy Kreme’ donut box for him to see, “I got two of each of your favourites.”
At first his face soured with suspicion, then he smiled, “Of course you can come in… after all you have donuts.”
“Sorry I turned into the scientist before… it’s just me.” I said placing the box on the counter in his kitchen. I spotted the box on the coffee table. It was still bright red and still warm – as it had melted a nearby candle, “Where’s your coffee?”
“I’ll make it.” He volunteered shuffling past me, “And it’s going well. The box is talking to me.”
Turning, I didn’t know what to say, “Talking?”
He smiled, “Yeah… go and have a look.”
I walked to the lounge, sat down and looked at the box.
From within it, I heard a faint whispering reach my ears, but I couldn’t make out exactly what it was saying…

Fox Mulder walked into the psych ward, signed in, attached his ‘visitor’s pass’ onto his pocket and turned to the doctor, “So, tell me, will she ever be the same again, doc?”
The man gave him a worried look, “Well, Mr Mulder, like I told you last week, and the week before, I don’t think so.” The walked to the door of the room, looking through the window to where Scully sat in a chair looking out a window to the wet, cold Winter’s day, “Can you please tell me what happened to her?”

“Sure… we were in Canada investigating a meteor sighting. When we found it, it turned out to be a lockbox – a red one.  It wasn’t very big and it was alive. I told her not to touch it; as it was warm and began to whisper to us.  The next thing you know…”