The mystery of the box on the beach

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by hullabaloo22

On a seaside beach a boy finds a mysterious box....

Years ago  a young cherub faced 10 year old boy,  Jon Julian Chesterton-JJ for short- would walk the sandy beach  near his home.

For JJ the early morning were the best time of the day. No crowds, no noise yet plenty of fresh sea air.

Exhilarating for JJ having the wind in his face and the sight of an endless ocean. He was an only child. He lived with his mother and father in a small bungalow style house located on the outskirts of a quaint seaside town.

Whilst JJ came from a humble home, there was always happiness around him. His family were all quiet natured  yet polite and courtesy if interacting with others. Amongst themselves they loved to talk and speak about the good things in their lives.

Whilst JJ was frail and sickly he  loved his parents and they loved him. 


JJ found many types of items on the beach. Shells, and shiny stones plus all kind of man made items washed up on the sea shore. Often if JJ believed he had discovered some "treasure," so on returning home he would be bursting to reveal to his folks the latest find. When he felt the time was right he would exclaim but not so loudly :


"Ma…Pa…look what I have found today!' And mother and father would  gather around the latest item picked up from the beach.  They would examine each and every new discovery and imagine where it had come from and who was the owner. Once JJ brought back an exotically shaped shoe and Ma on seeing it suggested:


"Oh this is from the leader of a band of pirates!"

And JJ would agree though Pa was not so sure.

The discussion would rage on for hours.


Another time JJ brought back a multi colored towel that he found covered with bits of seaweed.

Pa on examining the towel and feeling what appeared to be high quality material  said:


" It must be from the Titanic. The only ship in history that could afford such luxury!"


And then one high season boiling hot summer morning JJ returned with a baby doll which only had one leg but was dressed in silk like Victorian clothes with long drenched flowing hair still attached to the head. Both Ma and Pa told JJ they were sure this one a toy belonging a famous Princess who  must have lost it from Royal vessel sailing the high seas…


 But one day there was one amazing find which was particularly memorable and exciting.  The day was Sunday. And shortly before JJ's birthday.


The town was quiet being low season yet  the sea seemed fierce as JJ meandered along the shore. His eyes flitted between the angry waves and the sandy beach. As he quickened his pace suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks. For there just a few feet ahead of him partially buried in the sand was something the likes of which JJ had never seen before.


It was a box. Not any ordinary box but a unique one. Maybe-thought JJ- the box had magical powers. It was neither black nor white in color but in-between. It was perfectly shaped. Maybe 8 inches long and 2 inches wide and the same deep. It glistened with a beauty JJ had never seen before.

Without hesitation JJ knew he had something extraordinary. He took it in his hands and examined it closed. A perfect shape. It felt so good yet so mysterious.


JJ could not stop from holding the box. He wanted to get home. He needed to tell Ma and Pa. Within moments JJ got back to his house and shouted loudly for his parents. His mother came first but a short delay before his father arrived saying he had been busy in the carpentry shop near the back of the house.


"Look Pa! look Ma!" Screamed JJ with delight. "See what I have found!"

And he held out the box for his parents to see. They visibly gasped with what met their eyes. This was a work of art. A thing of beauty.

"You got this from the beach!?" quizzed Ma.

"Are you sure?" she added.


"Yes" said JJ, "in the sand, near the water".


Pa seemed puzzled and concerned but nonetheless believed his son as always and told him:

" well done my boy this is a wonderful find. It is yours to keep and cherish for ever."

And so it was.

This box. Neither white nor black. Not large  not small not heavy not light. Unable to be opened yet strangely compelling and secretive that held their family attention and discussion for years to come. Every birthday for JJ and many other times when he was feeling unwell or confused the subject returned to the box.

Where did it some from? How was it made? Who owned it?

Was it from another world? Another dimension?

Like something from Harry Potter?


As time went by the box grew in importance and served to bond the family ever more than ever. Five years, then ten years and more.

Then as Ma and Pa aged, so did JJ. His frailty  in mind and body was starting to overpower him.

And when the day- nurse specializing in downs syndrome visited him at home she would always see him clutching the black box close to his chest. On the bottom of the box the paint had frayed away and there  was the hand written message:"

Love and peace to our wonderful son on his 10th birthday, hugs and kisses from: Ma and Pa. "





Submitted: June 20, 2017

© Copyright 2023 robert radcliff. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



What a beautiful surprise they arranged for JJ! An excellent story, Robert.

Sat, June 24th, 2017 6:11pm


Thank u so much h-22!

Sat, June 24th, 2017 4:45pm

Serge Wlodarski

Loved it!

Wed, April 14th, 2021 6:58pm


Thank u very much !

Sun, May 16th, 2021 4:31am


Great story with a heartwarming ending!

Thu, February 3rd, 2022 6:12pm


Thank u the nice review.

Thu, February 3rd, 2022 5:52pm

Damon Nomad

Well crafted mystery, with a wonderfully surprising ending.

Fri, April 22nd, 2022 11:07pm


Many thanks you nice review!

Tue, April 26th, 2022 11:51pm


I don’t think I’m the only one that thought it was going to be magical. Excellent that his parents put it there on the beach. I do my best to try to figure out the mysteries, this one I didn’t figure out. Great job

Wed, September 21st, 2022 2:42am


Thank you!

Wed, September 21st, 2022 5:20am

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