Whispers In The Box

Author : MD Parker

The sound of clinking dishes dominated the air as he sat across from the old man. Jason placed his digital recorder on the table.

“I told you that won’t work.” The old man stared with apathy.

“Why not? Could you explain that again?” Jason rolled his eyes.

“What I have to tell you can only be heard. You cannot record it. It cannot be written. It won’t allow itself to take form in any place other than the memories of the soul.”

“Just humor me? You asked me here, I’m humoring you. A little quid-pro-quo? Give and take?”

“Fine.” The old man stifled a laugh as Jason pressed the red button.

“Let’s start with your name?”

“My name hasn’t relevance, your mind is still not open…”

“…Quid-pro-quo.”

“Of course.” Another chuckle. “My name is De…”

He gave his name and place of birth, but no dates. He set a box, with small wooden slats held together by age-encrusted iron bands, onto the table. A tarnished golden buckle inlaid on a leather fastener held the lid.

The man spoke for ten minutes, but the story seemed to come from the box. Each minute, each word, the sound grew louder and louder. Jason’s head rang with the sound of a thousand voices whispering all at once.

“So, you see…” The old man turned the box and pulled the lid, its contents facing Jason. A blue-green light emanated from the box, lighting Jason’s slack-jawed expression.

The old man continued, “… I saved the world once. You know why we’re here now, don’t you?”

Jason sat speechless staring into the box.
A single tear fell from his eye.

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