The Cube

June 2, 2017
By fmfanboy, longmeadow, Massachusetts
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fmfanboy, Longmeadow, Massachusetts
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Author's note:

I was inspired to write this from a school project. i got an idea, and ran with it. i hope that people can enjoy my work, and inspire them to really think.

Once upon a time… no, just kidding. This is no fairy tale. This happened, or so i'm told.

Aiden got home from school late, since he decided to walk instead of run.  He was exhausted, and had practically a book’s worth of homework. Before he had the chance to step inside though, he noticed a box on his doorstep. The return address just said “The shadows of New York.” Aiden assumed it was more spare computer parts for his mom or something, so he brang it inside. Before he could set it down on the table, it started shaking. Startled, he dropped it. He slowly opened it, and it stopped shaking.

Aiden murmured to himself “This is weird...”

He hesitantly peered over the edge. It was a small, glowing blue rectangular object with sharp edges.

Slowly, black words scrolled over the top of the cube-thing. Aiden, who was getting freaked out, sprinted to get a pen and some paper. He started to quickly write down the words, not yet processing what it was saying. Suddenly, the cube (which is what he decided to call it) went blue. Aiden sat down heavily on the couch. He started to read. Hello Aiden. I've been waiting for you. Watching you. Don't fear, i'm here to help. I have deemed you worthy of the future. You are smart, with a good heart. Look at me daily. I will not fail.

Aiden looked back at the cube. It wasn't glowing anymore. It just looked like a regular household object. He brought it to his room, stuffing it back on the shelf. Sure, it was interesting, but he had so much homework to do.

The next morning, he woke up to his alarm. He was slumped over a physics textbook with the lights still on. He sat up, and realizing what time it is, lept out of bed. He tapped the clock, but the alarm kept going. He did it harder. Still a loud alarm. He looked up at the clock. It was off. He listened to the noise, and went towards it. It was coming from the back of Aiden’s closet. He remembered yesterday, and pulled the cube out. Good morning Aiden. Please flip me over. He did. You will win a new computer. You will get a letter from Yale university. Water will be spilled on your shirt. Aiden would have laughed if it wasn't so ridiculous and idealistic. Except for the water part. Stupid cube. Stupid prank. It's probably just Josh trying to get back at me. He thought. He shoved his schoolwork into his backpack and started the walk to school.

1st and 2nd period were boring, as history and Latin usually are. During the break between classes, he logged onto his phone, when an advertisement popped up for a new free computer. What are the chances? He laughed to himself. Finding nothing interesting or new, he headed off to his classes. At lunch, he sat down with his best friend, Kayla. they started talking about that awful new teacher again. Kayla stood up to go get rid of her tray, elbowing his water bottle, which spilled all over his sweatshirt. He tugged it off, and she screeched in an unnaturally high tone, which no one else seemed to notice.

“Oh crap! I am so sorry Aiden. I'll go get some paper towels.”

She ran off to do so. Aiden started at the table, awed. What a crazy coincidence. He thought.

When Aiden got home, he went to his desk immediately and pulled out the mountain of work. Gotta love high school… he rolled his eyes. He heard the rumble of the mail truck, and went outside to see if he got anything. He grabbed the pile from the mailbox and went back inside. He shifted through the papers. “Bill, bill, another bill, advertisement, newsletter, actual letter, bill… wait, actual letter?” Aiden put the others aside, opened the envelope and started to read.

Dear Aidan Keegan,

You have been accepted into Yale University…

He stopped reading, frozen. Oh my god… i have a glowing box in my closet that can predict the future. He realized. Then he smiled. Wait… that means… He ran outside, and saw a box marked FRAGILE.  He ran inside with it. Aiden practically tore it open, finding a shiny, top of the line laptop. He grinned, set it up, and started doing his homework. On the computer. Obviously. 

Aiden woke up the next morning before his alarm, feeling on top of the world. He went to his closet, grabbed it, and read. Good morning. You’re in luck today Aiden. Your mathematics teacher is ill. Your father won 5000$ from a scratch ticket. You will win your baseball game.
And Aiden did. His parents were happy, he had a lazy substitute, and he got a home run during the highest-scoring game all season. As he got home, he smiled. Looks like i have good luck after all.

And he did. All was well for a few weeks. Good things happened every day. He was practically rich. He was popular. He was even a straight A student. (mostly A minuses, but still.) The only bad thing that happened is that his math teacher died from that mysterious illness. But of course, no one person can be that lucky for that long. Not even someone with a mysterious magic cube. Actually, especially someone with a mysterious magic cube.

One day, Aiden woke up early, dressed, and went to check the cube, as per usual. The message though… the message was different. Hi Aidan. Kayla get into the Yale as well. You will get cool new clothes. You will get into a bike accident where you crack your 2nd rib on the right side. Aiden stared. Thats… strange. I guess i'm not riding my bike today. No bike, no bike accident. Doubt lingered in the back of his mind. I mean, the cube can’t possibly be right all the time.

He said goodbye to his parents, made sure his bike was safely in his garage. Aiden set off to school, being extra careful when crossing the street. About five minutes from school, he saw a middle aged man on a motorcycle. He made sure he was far away, just in case. Suddenly, the man’s left hand dropped off the handlebar and the motorcycle started to swerve. Aiden started running to get away, when the motorcycle started getting faster, the man slumped over the controls, seemingly unconscious. It went right into his path, but before Aiden could stop running, it crashed into his side, the handle driving into his ribs on the right side. He got thrown onto the concrete head first. He heard a sickening crack, and passed out from the pain.

Aiden blinked in and out of consciousness just enough to know that he was on a moving vehicle, his whole body throbbing, and a man in a dark uniform standing over him.

Wheels squeaked.

Voices and alarms blared.

Machines beeped unendingly.

“Stop… loud… owww…” he heard himself mutter.

He woke up, drowsy. His body felt mostly numb, but pain shot up his torso when he moved. Or breathed. He noticed his mom curled up in a puke-green chair. “M-mom? Whats going on?” his words slurring from the medication a bit. She woke up. Her eyes snapped open and glowed yellow for a second, then went back to their normal green.

“Honey! You’re awake! You got into a bad accident on the way to school. There was a man on a motorcycle who had a stroke, and drove it into you. I got you some new clothes too, the ones you were wearing are pretty much ruined. On the plus side though you mostly have cuts and bruises, but…”

She was cut off by a doctor who strode into the room. She greeted him.

“Hello Aiden, i'm Dr. Cameron. Do you remember what happened?”

Aiden did vaguely remember, and told her so.

“Plus, a magic box told me that it would happen and it was right so i'm kinda freaked out now?”

His mom looked concerned. Dr. Cameron smiled.

“That would be the pain meds talking.” she told his mom.

Aiden frowned.

“Nuh-uh. Nope. Definitely the magic box.”

“Ok dear.” Said his mom, now mostly amused.

Dr. Cameron walked over and pulled out a penlight.

“Ok Aiden, follow the light with your eyes.”

He did. She asked him a series of questions, which he answered.

“Alright. Aiden, there doesn't seem to be any brain damage. You mostly have shallow cuts and scrapes, but one of your right ribs has a small crack.”

Aiden paled. The doctor didn’t notice and continued talking.

“You can go home in a few hours, barring something else happening. Take a few days off from school, and you should be back to almost normal in 3-4 weeks. No sports for 6 weeks, 7 if you still feel pain at that time. The nurse will give you some pain medication to take as needed on the way out. I'll go fill out your discharge papers.”

She smiled and left. She seemed to blink out of existence instead of walk out, but Aiden shook his head. He had always had a weird imagination.

Aiden’s mom went to go get them some food from the hospital cafeteria, and Aiden just stared at the ceiling, trying to process everything. No sports for 6 weeks… that's the rest of the season. I can't believe i'm letting my team down like that. Dumb freaking box… no. its not its fault, it just tells the future like it is. Or, will be, i guess. Ugh. this sucks so much. 

When Aiden got home, he immediately gulped down a few pain pills, and went to lie down in bed, making sure to lay on his left side and not roll over. He slept. A few hours later, he woke up to buzzing. He groaned, dreading what the cube might say. He giggled. What it might say. Thats funny. At least it can't talk. Probably. He carefully sat up, grimacing at the now-dull pain. Aiden checked the cube. It was blank. Thats weird… the buzzing continued. He facepalmed. He grabbed his phone, shutting off the vibration. He checked his text messages.

ONE NEW MESSAGE. FROM: KAYLA. He tapped it. OMG AIDAN U WON'T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST GOT IN THE MAIL!!! I got into Yale! We can go to college together! The phone dinged. ONE NEW MESSAGE. FROM: KAYLA. Aiden! I heard about the accident. I hope ur ok!!!

Aiden heard more buzzing and hopefully checked his phone. No more new messages. He went over to his closet and hesitantly checked the cube. I hope you had a great day yesterday.
Dr. Cameron is so nice, isn't she?
Aiden stared, and the words disappeared instead of fading off, as if they were never there. Good morning Aiden! Your pain will grow worse. Your dad will lose his job. You will win a contest to get a new car. Aiden stood there, terrified. Sorry Aiden. I only know the future. Have a fantastic day! The words faded from the cube and Aiden walked over to his bed, and sat down, shaking. His mom popped in, smiling.

“Meds time!”

She handed over a glass of water and 2 pills. He swallowed them. He lay down and went back to sleep, not noticing the slightly sugary taste in the back of his mouth.

He woke up, gasping in pain. He just focused on breathing for a few minutes, before hearing a thud from a different room. He walked out into the hallway to see a dent in the wall, his dad clutching his fist, his mom crying… and a pink slip on the table. Aiden retreated back to his room before anyone noticed him. He took two more pain pills, naively hoping that it would work. He suddenly felt sleepy, like he was drugged. He passed out on the bed.

Aiden once again woke up, about 12 hours later. He looked out the window to see if his parents were here. They weren't, but there was a brand new Lamborghini. Aidens eyes narrowed and he ignored it. Then, he heard the telltale buzzing. He went over to the closet. He pulled out the cube. Great day, isn't it Aiden! I hope you enjoy the new car. I would recommend turning on the news in approximately 168.2 seconds. Today, your paren- Aiden made up his mind. There’s no way this is a coincidence, and it had gone too far. He flicked the side of the cube that he was now holding upside-down. Words quickly scrolled across. Aiden ignored it, but he caught the words ‘you’ and ‘regret’ out of the corner of his eye. The cube seemed to be made out of a mix of glowing metal and plastic, but it had flecks of wood. Good. Aiden thought.

He decided to check the news though… just in case. He tossed the cube aside, and turned on the TV in the living room. He flipped through a few channels. I couldn't care less about hybrid orange-human people, global warming, or cute cat videos… something caught Aiden’s eye. A newscaster was speaking in a somber tone in front of a car wreck. “...Claire and Matthew Keegan are the only confirmed casualties of this awful car wreck, that has been caused by a drunk driver. The driver has a broken collarbone, but will live. It is unconfirmed whether Claire and Matthew Keegan have any living relatives. In other news, a fire has be-” Aiden shoved the TV, and the screen went blank. The TV shattered into a million peices. Aiden screamed an anguished scream.

He sprinted to his room, pain from his rib no longer registering. He grabbed the cube, and threw it in the bathtub. Aiden got gasoline from the garage and poured onto it a generous amount, coating the tub. He got a match, took a breath, and threw it in. The whole bathtub seemed to go up in crackling flames. Aiden stood back and watched.

“That’s for my parents.”

Then, it exploded. The whole house seemed to shake on its foundations, and Aiden was thrown back at least five feet. The walls and ceiling of the bathroom collapsed, missing him by inches.  In what seemed like seconds, a dazed Aiden was surrounded by neighbors. He got up, dizzy. He threw up in the grass, and went searching in the ash, people yelling at him to come back. Sitting in the middle of the rubble was a pristine glowing cube. He roared and fell to his knees.

“WHY!? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS!? To me… to my family…”

Words scrolled on the cube. Because. Because  I am a blessing. I am a curse. I am the future, Aiden. You would be astonished as to what i can do. And everything went dark. 

Aiden awoke, straining to open his eyes.

Wheels squeaked.

Voices and alarms blared.

Monitors beeped.

His mouth was so dry. Suddenly, there were doctors and nurses standing over him. One of them popped an ice pellet into his mouth. And in the background, his parents, looking at him with tears in their eyes, and smiles on their faces. An unfamiliar little girl squeezed between the legs of the nurses.

“A-en! I missed you!” she squealed.

A doctor bent over me.

“Aiden, you're in a hospital. You've been in a coma for 3 months. We don't know why, but you appear to be physically fine. We have to run some tests and then you can go home. You will need physical therapy for a few months, though.”

Aiden nodded.

The next day, Aiden's mom talked to him, updating him on what had been going on. She kept talking about someone named Brynn. He asked about her. His mom laughed.

“She’s your sister, silly.”

She kept talking about things they did when they were younger. Aiden didn't remember any of it… everything seemed different than what he did remember.

When he finally got to go home, everything seemed relatively normal. Aiden was indescribably relieved that the weird box stuff was just a dream or something, and had no idea how he thought it was real in the first place. After all, it was like something out of a sci-fi story. The next week, he got a package in the mail. He opened it, thinking it was another recommendation for a new course of treatment or a therapist or something. It was a glowing blue cube, with black words scrolling across the top. Hello Aiden. I am the past. I am the future. And i've been waiting for you.

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