A short story written for the Imaginarium House members first/last sentence prompt.


The Box

“What’s in the box?” Chloe was so inquisitive that she forgot her manners and did not even say ‘Hello’.

“Hello, to you too, Chloe,” Mark said with a smile. He was used to the young girl’s enthusiasm and knew that her attention would be drawn straight towards the large box he was holding. “What box?”

“The box in your hands, silly!”

“Oh, this box! I’d forgotten I was holding it."

“Is it for me?” Chloe was almost jumping up and down in excitement. It had to be for her, otherwise Mark wouldn’t be standing there with it, would he?

“Well, let’s look at the name on it, shall we? Chloe Walsh, it says.”

“That’s me! That’s me!” She really was jumping up and down. “Can I open it, Mark?”

He handed it over to her. “If that’s your name, then this is your parcel. Of course you can open it.”

Chloe pulled off the wrapping, tore off the tape and opened the box to find.....another box. Again, she tore off the wrapping, the tape, and found a smaller box. She frowned. “Is this a box of boxes?”

“Keep going, Chloe. You’re almost there now.” Mark bent down and picked up the scattered litter, stacking the boxes one inside the other along with the crumpled wrapping.

“It’s another box. There’s nothing in it, is there. You were teasing me, weren’t you!” The young girl’s bottom lip began to tremble.

Mark stepped forward. This was not quite going as he’d planned, so he’d have to help it along a bit. “Look, Chloe, this one has a lid on it. One that you lift. It’s not like the other boxes at all, see!”

“So, I lift it like this and....” Chloe was so surprised when something popped up that she almost dropped it. A white rabbit wobbled in front of her, a carrot held in it’s front paws that looked like it was being chewed. The giggles started slowly then the laughter built up so much the tears flowed anyway.

“Push it shut, Chloe....carefully....now, open it up again!” Mark was so relieved. She liked it; he’d worried after buying it that she might find it scary.

Again the rabbit popped up and again Chloe laughed. “Mom!” She turned and ran towards the door, holding the box carefully closed so she could trick her mother when she opened it.

Mark gathered the last of the litter from the side-walk and headed towards the door. He could hear them both laughing; that was something so rare to hear these days.

His mother reached out and gave him a hug. “Thanks, Mark! She needed cheering up. The chemo has been so hard on her this week.” Turning to Chloe, she lifted her up. “Did you thank your brother, Chloe?”

Chloe shook her head. “Sorry, Mom, I forgot. Thank you, Mark. It’s lovely. My very own white rabbit!” She pushed it shut and opened it again, and this time the three of them laughed.


Submitted: March 20, 2018

© Copyright 2023 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Jeff Bezaire

Beautiful story, Hully. What a touch of emotional content at the end! Wow, that suddenly struck with great impact. You captured the joy and eagerness of a child to a 'T'. The perfect representation of an excited kid. The dialogue was great, too. That ending, though, wow what a hit it is. Spectacular job turning something ordinary into something extraordinary! Life is not all sunshine and rainbows, but with a bit of love, someone can cast a rainbow over someone's cloudy day. Amazing story, Hully! Love it.

Tue, March 20th, 2018 8:31pm

Author
Reply

Well, thanks so much, Jeff. I don't really know where the idea for this came from, it was just one of those that popped up. I'm glad you thought it worked out okay.

Tue, March 20th, 2018 1:54pm

Sue Harris

A lovely story, Hully, one that pulls at the heart-strings. Very well written.

Tue, March 20th, 2018 9:40pm

Author
Reply

This was a story that popped out of nowhere. I'm really glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading.

Tue, March 20th, 2018 3:59pm

jaylisbeth

What a brilliant story, Hully. As Always, excellent writing.

Wed, March 21st, 2018 2:15am

Author
Reply

Thanks, jaylisbeth. Glad you enjoyed it.

Wed, March 21st, 2018 11:21am

moa rider

Just like an excited little kid, Mama Hullabaloo. And kids like that need a lift. Heartwarming. Usianguke

Wed, March 21st, 2018 2:52am

Author
Reply

Thanks for reading, Moa. Glad you enjoyed it.

Wed, March 21st, 2018 11:21am

J. R. Merrick

That one really got me. Beautifully written and touching. Very well done!

Wed, March 21st, 2018 9:37pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, J. R. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Wed, March 21st, 2018 3:06pm

Mike S.

Excellent story, Hull!

Sat, April 7th, 2018 8:27pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike.

Sat, April 7th, 2018 2:08pm

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