Short Story – The Box

“Are you sure you want to look inside?” His sister asks.

“Yeah, what’s the worst that could happen?” He replies.

They’re staring at a box they found under their parent’s bed.

It’s just a cardboard box. He starts peeling the tape off so they can open it, but she suddenly grabs his hand.

“Don’t.” She says in a voice that’s not quite her voice.


“We shouldn’t be in here.” She warns.

“Are you kidding?” He smiles.

His sister loves playing in their parent’s bedroom because it’s fun to jump on such a bouncy bed.

“You’re the one always dragging me in here.” He tells her.

They’re twins. Just a couple of 9-year-olds exploring the family mansion. They’re currently in their parents’ former master bedroom. Their parents stopped sleeping here after hearing abnormally loud snoring under the bed. The snoring reason never made sense to the twins, so they picked tonight to investigate. And when they looked under the bed, they found a small cardboard box.

“Hello! Are you there?” He knocks on his sister’s forehead.

“Ye-Yes.” She says quietly. “I just don’t think this is a good idea anymore.”

“I didn’t climb all these stairs for nothing.” He begins peeling the tape off the box.

“No!” She cries.

But he ignores her and opens the box.

As soon as he opens it, he screams in agony and grabs the left side of his head.

His severed ear is inside the box.

It seems that as soon as the box was opened, his ear was somehow cut off and made to appear in the box.

A sinister laugh comes out of his sister’s mouth.

“This is what happens when you don’t LISTEN.” She says in a voice that is most definitely not her own.

“What-What’s wrong with you?” He asks.

“Your sister is mine.” His sister says. “And so are you.”

She lunges at him, but he dodges her and runs to the bedroom door. He tries to open it, but it’s locked.

She scratches him across the back. Her fingernails, sharp as knives, penetrate his skin.

He pushes her away. His sister isn’t herself. Her eyes are red and her mouth is black. He needs to think of something fast.

The bedroom window! He’ll be safe if he can just get out of the window and climb down the tree.

He rushes to the window but trips over the box that he just opened.

The box closes as his foot makes contact with it.

As soon as the box is shut, his sister regains her senses.

“Oh my god!” She sobs. “I’m so sorry! I couldn’t control myself!”

“Wait…” He asks slowly. “Are you back to normal?”

“Yes! Because the box is shut. I told you not to open it!”

“Well, how should I have known?!” He frowns.

“I just feel terrible… we need to tell mom and dad.”

“My ear is in there!” He says.

“Forget the ear! We need to get out of here.”

They rush downstairs and make their way to their parents’ current bedroom.

Their parents are asleep, but they switch on the light.

“Mom! Wake up.” The girl says.

“It’s an emergency!” Her brother says.

“What’s going on?” Dad groans.

“I have an early morning flight.” Mom growls.

“We were in your old bedroom.” The girl says rapidly.

“And we opened the–” The boy tries to continue.

“Kids!” Dad yells. “Why is it called the forbidden bedroom?”

“No, listen, we need to tell you what happen–” The boy tries again.

“Answer your father’s question!” Mom says.

“But mom!” The girl panics. “We need to tell–”

“WHY is it called the forbidden bedroom?” Dad asks loudly.

“Something possessed me and–” The girl tries again.

“KIDS!” The mom screams. “Why is it called the forbidden bedroom?!”

Brother and sister look at each other. Both are exasperated. Their expressions are that of disbelief.

Before the kids can answer their parents’ ill-timed question, the power goes out.

“Oh great.” The father grumbles.

It’s the middle of winter. The power going out means the heater won’t work either. It’s only a matter of time before the cold creeps up on the family.

“Kids, put on plenty of extra layers and cover yourself with at least three blankets when you go to bed.” Mom instructs sternly.

“But mom, we need to–” The girl tries for the millionth time.

“BED! NOW!” Dad yells. “We’ll continue this discussion in the morning.”

“Dad, mom, my ear is gone and–” The boy begins but is interrupted.

“Off to bed!” Mom screams. “NOW!”

Both kids sigh and leave their parents bedroom. They decide to sleep in the same room tonight.

“Let’s go to my room.” The boy says. “The window is closer to the bed. If anything happens, we can jump out.”

They hold hands as they make their way to his bedroom.

It’s so dark that they can hardly see anything.

“I can’t believe they didn’t even notice that my ear was cut off.” He says.

“Well, they have poor eyesight. And even poorer listening skills!” She says angrily.

They continue walking in silence.

“Can you stop scratching me?” The girl asks. “Otherwise let’s not hold hands.”

She can’t help but wonder why he would scratch her while holding her hand.

“I’m… I’m not scratching you.” Her brother replies.

Her eyes widen in horror. If he’s not scratching her…


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About Rohan