“What is this?” Nora giggled loudly. Nora and James were sitting on the old swing set behind Nora’s house. His skin looking unusually pale in the moonlight; His eyes looked black, almost empty. James had walked all this way with a large square object wrapped in bubble wrap. He had sat there and nervously popped the wrapping for a good five minutes before finally, carefully handing it to her. “Unwrap it and you’ll see” he said forcing a smile. She quickly pushed off the wrapping and looked up confused. “It’s so pretty…” she whispered while running her hand across the smooth marble surface. Nora was automatically intrigued with its beauty. “But why would you give me a box?” she glanced up quickly, not meaning to sound rude. The box was very beautiful, she couldn’t lie about that, but something seemed strange about it…almost sinister. “Consider it an early birthday present” he mumbled while pushing a piece of her hair behind her ear. “But my birthdays in five months!” she laughed. She went to unlatch the lock on the box…just to peek inside when James pushed her hand quickly out of the way. “NO. Nora, promise me you will never open this box. Promise me you will never ever open this.” He said hurriedly “Promise me” He said grasping her hands. Nora’s eyes widened. She had never seen James act this way. He had been acting strange all week…but this was a new kind of strange that Nora couldn’t quite put her finger on. “Why not?” she asked, offended. “Nora, I swear it’s nothing against you but please…don’t”. “I promise…” Nora whispered. Her heart raced as she tried to make sense of the way he was acting. He had never spoken to her like that before. “Thank you…I promise one day you’ll understand” They sat in the quiet for a few moments when Nora’s mom yelled for her to come back inside. The break in the silence caused them both to jump. “Well…”James said as he stood up and stretched his legs “Goodnight, Nora”, He said nervously. “Goodnight” she nodded back. He turned to walk away when he suddenly turned back around gave her a tight bone crushing hug. “Goodbye, Nora…” He said mumbled. “James…I’ll talk to you tomorrow” she laughed. “Yeah…” he murmured while looking down at his shoes. He then slowly turned and walked away without looking back.
Nora jolted up from a restless night. Dreams of James frightened face haunted her sleep. She quickly dialed his number and waited for the ringing to stop and his familiar voice to click on the phone. Finally the ringing ended “Hey, It’s James, sorry that I can’t get to the phone right now. Please leave a message after the beep.” Strange, Nora thought. He would always answer on the second or third ring. She looked at the alarm clock beside her bed. 11:00 in the morning. It wouldn’t be like James to be asleep. Maybe he misplaced his phone or is listening to music and didn’t hear it ring…yeah that’s it. He just didn’t hear it ring. Nora pushed any doubtful thoughts out of her head and went to get dressed for the hot summer weather. She noticed that it was a deep, dark blue. The latch had a small ruby on it. The lid had a carving of a circle with small star in the center. It was even more beautiful than it was last night. She itched to undo the latch, to see what beauty was inside. But James words still echoes in her ears. She couldn’t go against him like that. Nora nearly screamed when her phone vibrated in her hand. She had to tear her eyes away from the box to read the number flashing on the screen. Her heart nearly dropped when she realized it wasn’t James. But it was only her mother, reminding her to do her chores. Nora hung up the phone and touched the box one more time before walking out the door and heading to James’s house. When she arrived she was shocked to find it empty. She rushed to the door and knocked loudly. “Hello?!” she called out, “Is anyone here?”. No answer. She pulled out her phone and dialed James’s number. She cried out frustrated when his voicemail clicked on. She walked down the street, heart pounding. Why would he just leave without saying goodbye like that? Nora spent the rest of the day wondering. When questioned by her mother at dinner, she said that James had been acting weird and when she went to go check on him no one was there. Not even his dad who works at home. Nora’s mother didn’t find it as weird as Nora. “Maybe they are on vacation or a family emergency came up. I’m sure he’ll be back soon, don’t worry” Nora’s mothers thoughtful optimism comforted her, and she realized she was extremely exhausted from worrying all day. She stumbled up the stair and fell asleep as soon as she hit the pillow.
Nora was awakened by her name being called. She looked around confused. Why the hell was she sitting on her floor? Why was the box in her hands? Nora dropped the box on the floor. “Nora…” a voice called all around her, “open me” She jumped back. The voice was coming from the box! “No!!!” she yelled. But her hand still reached forward. No matter how much she fought and how much she tried to pull her hand back with all of her strength, it wouldn’t work. It seemed to all move in slow motion, almost as if it was taunting her. Her hand touched the latch and pushed it upwards. The box popped open and Nora looked inside. Darkness flowed from the box and wrapped itself around her. She tried to push it off put it stuck to her skin. She screamed. Everywhere the darkness touched her it was freezing. It seemed that as soon as it happened, Nora was gone and the shadows were out.
Credit To – -BrittneyRae