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The Metal Box

She scrabbled at the dirt, her fingers rough and bruised from the work. Just a little more time, a little more time. Her head aced withexhaustion, but her body was on auto pilot, her eyes staring straight at the ground.
She breathed quicly, her arms trembling, and her heart thumpinbg madly in her chest. Her fingers raked across metal, sending shivers up her spine. Just a little more time, a little more time.
She kept digging, unearthing more and more of the metal box as she went. It was silvery, with a golden sheen to it. But she didn't care what it looked like. She had been searching for it for years, and now she had found it.
She heaved it out of wet earth, splattering her skirt with mud. Her hair was falling out of it's twist and into her eyes, but she brushed it away agitatedly.
The lid to the box squealed with rust as she opened it. She let it fall, hitting the side of the box with a bang. She felt her body seize up, and blackness clouded her vision. Just before the world was obliterated forever, she heard a high voice that sent chills up her spine. "Curiosity killed the cat, oh yes, just like it has killed you."
***
The house had been reduced to rubble and vines. I stood on the bridge, staring at a group of swallows that had just arrisen from a wall and taken flight over the house.
"We're staying here?" I asked incredulously.
"Of course not!" Mum looked horrified. "There's a nice little cottage in the back. And it's just for a few months until we can get back on our feet."
I rolled my eyes. We had been trying to get back on our feet for three years, since dad had died of cancer. Getting back on our feet consisted of going on a tour of every cheap house from London to ristol. I hated dad for dying, sometimes. It was his fault we had to leave our comfertable house in London for shacks like this.
"Right," Mum fumbled with the key. "Thegerdener said that the cottage was right behing=d the house, so..."
There it was, too kept up to be next to the horrible main house. It wasn't beautiful, but it wasn't falling apart, adn that was all that mattered.
We spent the day getting settled in. I explored the garden while Mum unpacked boxes in her room. It was an expansive garden, with grape vines and flowers of many colors, but a menacing aura hung low over the ground, yelling at me to stay away.
I hurried back to the house and burst in the door. This place was creepy. I shivered, and stepped into my room, closiing the door behind me.
After dinner we sat outside, watching the sunset. It was beatiful here, with the oranges and the pinks melding into one, with no streetlights to ruin it.
Back inside I slipped under my covers. It was warm here, and I didn't really need my comforter, but I felt safer with it.
And then it started.
Shivers went up my neck as I looked at the wall. They hadn't been there before. Letters, painted in something that looked eerily like blood.
Come to the garden.
I had no will of my own. I slipped out of bed, though my brain was screaming, no, no, no!
My head pounded as my bare feet scraped the wet dirt, my body headed to the garden.
Walk forward towards the vines.
The voice echoed in my head. I no longer had any control whatsoever. My feet carried me towards the back of the garden, my hands streched in front of me like a zombie.
Dig here.
Hy hands scrabbled at the ground, digging. Dirt wedged itself inside my fingernails, but I kept scratching aimelessly in the earth. My fingers raked across metal sending shivers up my spine.
Take the box.
I lifted the rusty metal box out of the ground. My arms shook drom it's weight. My head cleared for just long enough to panic, and then the voice spoke in my head again.
Look behind you.
If I had been in control of my mouth I would have screamed.
She stood behind me, decaying flesh hanging from her long fingernails. She had barely any hair, but what she had was long and black and tangled. Her face was a mottled shade of grey, her eyes empty sockets. Her dress hung on her in tatters, clinging to her body only barely. Her arms were skelatal, and her feet encased in old leather shoes. Bugs crawled in and out of her empty mouth and eye sockets.
Instead, I lifted the box toward her. One bony hand reached out and twisted the clasp on the lid.
I let it swing open, holding my breath. I could feel something akin to adrenaline rushing through me. The lid opened with a bang, and I reached my hand in.
I grasped something cold and soft. I lifted it out, my heat beating more quickly than usual.
If she had been scary, he was terrifying. He still had some flesh linging to his bones, but maggots were eating it away as I watched. But it was worse than that. I knew him.
He had died three years ago. I remembered lowering his casket into the earth, sobbing for him. But he was here, in the flesh--what little was left.
He reached out one hand to me. As my vision slowly faded into black I heard a high voice.
"Ah, yes. Curiosity has killed another one."
***
Juliet Mongomery died yeaterday night. Her body was found this morning by her mother. They were residents of the small cottage in back of Gordon Estate. No memorial service will be held.
***
Here, it is dark. Here, we wait, wait for eternity. Here, I stand, my bones tired and acing. Here, I cannot see. Here, there is no light. Here, I feel things crawing over me. Here, skeletal hands reach out to me. Here, I cry and my tears are not heard, not noticed. Here, I am gone. Here, I am dead.





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