The Red Cash Box
The Red Cash Box
The few coins and paper money lay outside the box, staged like the lure in an elaborate trap. One did not know if disturbing the money would spring open the box, and from it leap a beast from the id, to wreak havoc upon the luckless pilferer.
As I watched the small box, I imagined that it moved ever so slightly, expanding and contracting like it was alive. Of course it must have been my imagination. Metal boxes do not breathe. Do they?
As I pondered, the lid opened just a crack. I saw the glimmer of two slits, of reflective tissue, that could have been eyes. They twinkled in the half light, a sparkling pair of blood red Saphires, looking outward at the money. Perhaps the Fowler was checking his traps?
I tried to look away from the small red box, but it's attraction was powerful. I felt myself moving closer and closer. The fine hairs of my neck stood on end, as if charged with electricity. I could feel the presence of something within the box, deep in my viscera, but was powerless to stop my inexorable slide towards the waiting coins. I felt the need to pick them up and feel their polished metal texture in my hands. It was becoming a need deeply felt. I wanted but to touch their cool surface for even the briefest of moments.
As I neared the box, its lid rose fractionally. A
smell or acrid sulfur escaped, in a miasma of malodorous stink that wrinkled my nose, like the smell of a skunk in the meadow.
My hands slid across the counter top and felt the cool touch of metal, as my fingers picked up first one and then several of the coins. They clinked together in my hand. The noise seemed overly loud. The lid of the box began to open slowly, the twin orbs of liquid fire glowing ominously.
And then, as my heart raced faster and the feelings of fear gathered in my stomach, like molten steel, the alarm clock rang. Half awake, I climbed from the murky depths of a deep sleep. Now what the heck was all that about a box and some money?
Joseph Xavier Martin