May 14, 2008
By Lucas Mayer, Burr Ridge, IL

Out of nowhere, Jack awoke from his slumber. He was clueless and at a loss to where he currently was - he only knew that it was completely dark, cold, and also somewhat damp. Besides that, Jack possessed no memories or knowledge of anything. However, he had a curiosity of sorts, and it was this that motivated him to say what he said next.

"Well this is quite odd!" exclaimed Jack as he tried to stand up, realizing that he already was upright.

Jack tried to think of what to do, and could think of nothing to do except to start walking forward. Imagine, for a moment, what it is like when a hammer smashes directly onto a nail. That is the most accurate description for what happened to Jack's head as it smacked against a wall that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Jack fell to the ground and blacked out.

An amount of time that could've been an eternity or five minutes passed, and then Jack awoke once again.

"I better try that again, and I hope I do not black out..." Jack started as an inquisitive shout that slowly turned in to a whisper.

This time, Jack was not going to take any chances. He slowly squatted down and moved into a laying position on the ground. Jack was not going to hit his head again, so he scuttled as if he was a crab and used his toes to feel around where he guessed walls would be. As he moved along, he began to become uncomfortable, as the ground was very cold and hard. Luckily, Jack had a mental picture of his current location within minutes

"A cubical box...how unusual..." inquired Jack "...but why am I talking to myself?" Nobody but his far-off sounding echo responded.

If there ever was a place where nothing existed, then this was surely it. Jack forced himself to lie down and think. Just like the room he was in, his mind was empty. While attempting to concentrate and think, Jack found that, strangely enough, small beads of sweat were dropping to the floor and making a small, yet powerful 'plop.' They were coming from his own head, and as Jack realized this, he realized his own anxiousness as well. But, because there was nothing to think about, Jack fell asleep.

A little man was sitting at his desk, drawing out a diagram with numerous colors.

"A little red...yes, it is perfect. Hmm, a tad bit of green here, for sophistication. Some yellow, for curiosity. Oh yes, it simply is marvelous!" whispered the man.

"I think the boss will be pleased with the new design."

It was at that moment that Jack awoke.

"A little man...a mere figment, or memory?" Jack questioned his own echo.

In the pit of Jack's stomach, Jack had the feeling that bad events were going to take place. He could not shake that feeling, even though there was no clear indication for it. Now, Jack was worried, and he did not know why.

"Maybe I'm not being irrational, as I am stuck here in this mysterious prism." casually spoke Jack as he started to notice movement.

It started as a gentle vibration, but then at once, the walls were shaking, and Jack was knocked to his feet and tossed around the floor. His feet pounded against the ground, his hands clenched tightly into fists and wrapped around his head in order to protect it. Jack was feeling a lot of pain, but it would only become worse. All around him there were voices, voices that could only be described as coming from outside the walls of his prison and muffled by whatever material the walls were made out of.

The room that he was in was turned upside down, his body knocked around aimlessly as if it was a lifeless dummy. Then, as abruptly as it had started, the shaking stopped. Jack was not hurt, and no longer in pain; he could not explain the strange anomaly his body had just been through, nor how he had actually survived it without a bruise or scrape. This event triggered an emotional overload within Jack's mind.

"If I am stuck here, how will I eat? What will I eat? Why do I not feel hunger? Thirst! Yet I do not..." wailed Jack as he collapsed to the ground, his head pounding, his muscles tensing, and his eyes tearing.

The argument about what was happening around him persisted within Jack's head. To him, it was so stressful that he wanted to go to sleep again so that he would be able to relax. Suddenly, though, the sound of a soft beat lightly pierced the air. The beat was not violent or thrashing, it was actually rather calm, but it was also somewhat eerie. It soothed Jack, and caused his previously aggravated mind to settle down a bit.

"Some light background music...yes..." He dozed off into a slumber.

"Next..." A cashier muttered apathetically.
"I said next!

"Oh, I'm sorry. Here, I think it's twenty two dollars and fifty cents" replied a tall, delightful woman standing in line.

"I work here, ma'am, I know." said the cashier in a clearly annoyed voice.

"Oh, well, it's just, I bought this for my daughter, y'know? And..."

Jack was startled awake by the music, the music which was apparently becoming stronger and more intense as time went on. Before long, the music turned into a scratchy, horrific conglomeration of notes. His mind could not focus on anything except the music. Vibrations of sound were all around him, piercing at his eardrums, making him cover them in agony. His hands gripped the sides of his head as if he was hanging onto a cliff for dear life.

"Make it stop! Make it stop!" screeched Jack as the music suddenly stopped, as if in obedience.

"Oh look...started winding...camera..." Jack could swear that he heard voices that were coming from outside the metal walls of his enclosure.

The box started to shake.

"No....don't throw...." came a voice from outside the wall, and before Jack could think about and react to what he had just heard outside, his body was flung about at seemingly fatal speeds.

"...it might....broken..."

Jack could not focus on anything, as his mind was just too aflutter with what was happening to him at that moment. Because of this, Jack did not notice as he was shaken about for a few more seconds before the movement settled down completely.

"...ok...try now, son..."

The music was back, and it was becoming louder and louder in a terrible crescendo. His instincts told him to drop to the ground and enter the fetal position, but some unknown voice guided him to stand in what Jack could only guess as being the center of the tiny box.

"....honey, be ready...camera flash...."

For Jack, time slowed to almost a halt. A blinding light filled the chamber as the top of the box opened and Jack shot out into the world beyond. He was flying, and his eyes slowly adjusted to the world around him as soon as he was out of the top of the box.

There was a bed, a door, and a little boy. Or, to Jack, a giant little boy.

"Eee! Ha! Ha!" giggled the little boy.

Everything was super-sized, or, Jack wondered, maybe he was just tiny. Jack adjusted his focus onto a camera next to the boy, and soon thereafter, it flashed right into his eyes. Having not been exposed to light like this before, Jack was blinded for the moment. To Jack, the moment was lasting nearly forever as he was experiencing it in slow-motion.

Almost immediately after the initial flash, two more followed. They seemed to hit Jack as if they were bullets, slicing into the flesh of his eyes and causing him to flinch. When the flashes hit him, time sped up, so Jack prepared himself to fall back into his box. Instead, however, he was just hovering there.

"Thanks mommy! Best birthday gift ever!"

"We love you so much!" said the two adults in the room who had been previously gone unnoticed to Jack.

"Ok, now are you going to wind it up again?" inquired one of the adults, but Jack could not tell who, as he was still blinded.

Due to his temporary blindness, Jack was completely unprepared when the hand of the little boy pushed him roughly back inside the box through the top. Although he was unable to see clearly, Jack could tell when he was back inside the box as he suddenly became very cold.

"Why am I subject to this?! Why?!" Jack hollered, finally having gathered up enough strength to say what was on his mind! The realization of his predicament was finally hitting him square in the face.

"I am doomed! This is horror! This is maniacal! Someone, help!" sobbed Jack, crying his eyes out. At this point in time, he was so overloaded that he was about to faint once again and collapse to the ground, but something drew him to the center of the box to look up into the light and listen.

"Honey, you have to close the lid!" came a voice from the top, as the box was still flooded with light.

"Nooo! Not more of this! Do not do this again! Leave it open!" But, the lid was closed, and then the music came once again. This time, it haunted Jack from the moment it started playing.

It was soft and rhythmic, but it quickly erupted into a cacophony of terror like it had done before. Outside, the small boy was laughing, while inside, Jack was screaming. Then, the lid opened, and Jack was launched up and into the light.

"For how long must I suffer though this?!" shrieked Jack. As if in answer, one of the adults spoke out.

"Y'know, I've heard that jack-in-the-boxes like these can last nearly forever!"

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book