Music Box

January 17, 2012
By Anonymous

The boy trudged drearily through the thick snow. It was a dull, frigid winter day. The boy had been wandering for weeks in these arctic conditions, geared only with a raggedy collection of boots, mittens, and a jacket over his shabby shirt and pants. The sharp, icy wind blew against his face, and his only defense from the onslaught of the unforgiving wind was a tattered, red scarf and a worn out knit hat of the same color. The boy roamed through the sea of white aimlessly like a lone pup that had lost its way. He had passed through several towns during his journey, searching for a warm meal and a place to lodge for the night. But his attempts were only met with harsh consequences like his attempts to fight against the wind. This time, a few slices of stale bread, a small portion of cheese, and a cup of cold tea were all that the boy managed to scrap together, but it was nothing to complain about.

As the boy took a bite of the rock-hard bread, sitting against the cold, rigid surface of a wall, faint memories of warmer times surfaced. He had the warmth of a fireplace that would thaw his frozen hands. He had the warmth of new winter clothes that protected him like a suit of armor against a hail of icy arrows. He had the warmth of home-cooked meals which caressed his body with a blanket of warmth. And most importantly, he had the warmth of a parent’s love. But now, the only things he had were frozen crumbs of bread and cheese on his lap and the battered garments he wore, akin to wearing chain mail armor in the piercing-cold weather. The boy dusted the crumbs off his lap and continued his directionless trek across the snowy land, in search of warmth.

While he was plodding to nowhere outside of town, the boy suddenly stumbled and fell face first into the snow. He had tripped over some sort of object buried in the snow. After wiping the snow off of his frostbitten face, the boy dug through the pile of snow with his frayed mittens and he discovered a peculiar box. The ordinary-looking wooden box activated without warning as the boy was cleaning the snow off of it, and a soothing melody echoed across the vast white plain. The boy could hear the tiny set of pins plucking the teeth of the metal comb inside, along with the miniature bells that chimed in harmony with the melody. A smile appeared on his face, the first time in a while. He plopped down, his feet flat against the snow and his arms wrapped around his knees. He closed his eyes and silently listened to the box play its tune. Another warm memory had surfaced. The boy could picture it in his head: next to the warm fireplace, next to where his parents sat in a majestic red sofa, was an ornately designed music box. Every time the boy scurried towards the fireplace wearing his warm pajamas with his blanket, every time he brought a book and asked his parents to read next to the fireplace, every time his parents agreed with a warm smile, the music box was playing its tune. And here he was – with a plain old wooden music box that played an identical tune, yet was equally battered as his clothes, smiling as the tiny snowflakes pelted his face. The boy continued to listen to the consoling music, and activated it again and again just to listen to it some more. He stood up with the box in his arm after multiple listens, and continued his directionless trek – with no plan or predictions for what’s to come. A smile was still painted on his frostbitten face as he trudged forward with the remedy to his cold.

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