The day she opened that box was the day all of Hell broke loose. I’m not speaking metaphorically. Nightmarish creatures spewed, clawed, oozed and dragged themselves into our world from whichever dank recess they’d previously existed (if existed was the right word).
She’d only opened it for a peek but by then the damage had been done.
‘She’s young, naïve. She doesn’t know any better,’ I’d argued when they’d come looking for someone to blame. ‘I mean, who leaves that kind of thing laying around on a shelf for anyone to play with? If I were you, I’d blame the curios guy.’
They hadn’t, of course. They’d blamed me; I was supposed to be watching her.
By ‘They’, I mean people like us. Those who knew the truth about what’s really going on. Most normal folk just continued about their daily lives, none the wiser of the misery unleashed upon the world. It’s the twenty-first century after all, who notices an increase in misery and suffering?
People like us notice because people like us had to fix it, or more accurately, I had to fix it.
I’d been summoned. I’d failed to attend. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last, but on that occasion, it had gotten them angry. Being tried and convicted in absentia is all well and good, the problem is that you have no idea what’s coming. The binding nearly killed me.
The binding came with a task. No, not a task, too polite to be called a task. An order.
Find them and destroy them – all of them.
I know, all of them. Seems a little unfair to me. Where do you start?
The answer was ‘close to home’ because, no sooner had the spell wrapped itself around my soul, I’d found one of the buggers sniffing around the bins. It was a little one, at least it looked like a little one, right up until I went to grab it.
When it turned to face me, it crushed two of the bins underfoot (bet the council will blame me for that too). It fixed me with its black eyes and raised the biggest pair of talpidian paws I’d ever seen. Each digit tipped with talons dripping with something I can only guess at, but unlikely to be chocolate milkshake. I have no idea what the rest of it looked like.
It fell easier than you might have expected.
Returning it to the box was a different matter, it meant going back to that damned curios shop. Never one to pass up the opportunity, she came along too, back to where it had all started.
No sooner had we crossed the threshold, she’d disappeared. I found her browsing through the shelves, fingering an ornate jewellery box.
‘Didn’t you learn from last time?’ I asked. Her hand withdrew from the lid, a sheepish smile on her painted, black lips. ‘If you open that and I end up in Narnia, I swear to God…’
P is for Pandora’s Box
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on the earth. Following Prometheus’ punishment, she was given to his brother, Epimetheus. The gods presented Pandora with a jar as a wedding gift with the instruction never to open it. Her curiosity got the better of her and she succumb to temptation. On opening the jar, she unleashed evil into the world. She sealed it again but too late. The only thing that remained inside was the spirit of hope.