The Black Box

I ran. I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t know what was following me, but I did know that I didn’t want it to catch me. So I ran. I admit I’m not exactly in perfect shape, but I guess when you’re running for your life, you tend to run pretty fast.

I ran through alleyways and back streets, places I probably shouldn’t have been, but I knew that if it caught me, I was dead. I knew if I couldn’t lose it, I wouldn’t live to see the light of day. So I ran through restaurants, stores, anywhere, as long as I could try to shake off whatever was trying to follow me.

I stopped to catch a breath, and looked behind me. I was in an alleyway, and I could smell the distinct odor of trash from the dumpster next to me. But I had to catch my breath. I wasn’t going anywhere if I couldn’t breath. I didn’t see it anywhere. Did I lose it? Perhaps. I took out my cellphone and dialed the number for Frank. I desperately needed his help. I knew he would know what to do.

Damn. I got his answering machine. Now I’m really fucked.

Looking around, I realized that I wasn’t too far from his apartment. Maybe he was sleeping. Sleeping or not, if I got to his place and managed to get inside, I’d be ok. So I started to run in the apartments direction.

Thinking back, I probably shouldn’t have opened that box. I knew it was something mystical. I knew it was not for the uninitiated. But no, arrogant me had to think I could handle it and anything it might throw at me. No, I was wrong. When I found that box in front of my door, I wasn’t sure what to think. I mean, in this day and age, anything just left behind could be a bomb, or some kind of delivery system for the bubonic plague or something. But it looked harmless to me. It was only a black box.

It was a very black box. It almost seems to suck the light out of the area around it. It was really fascinating. I had to check it out. Of course, aren’t we all warned about “Pandora’s Box”? But that’s just a legend right? I’m gonna say no, because when I opened that box, the room got as cold as a freezer and a small mist escaped the opened box. I couldn’t even see what was inside of it because it was so dark. It was almost as if I was looking into the pit of the void itself. When I saw that mist start to form into some kind of … something, I ran. I knew better. I just ran.

Which brings us to this predicament. Arriving at Franks place, I looked around and I didn’t see what had been following me, so I took a breather and knocked on the apartment door.

Now I’m not expecting for anyone to come to the door, since I’m assuming that he’s not home. But when the door opened, it wasn’t Frank. I didn’t know who the hell this was at the door.

The old man looked at me all confused. He didn’t recognize me either, and why would he? “Can I help you?” he asked.

I was confused, “I’m looking for Frank? He lives here.”

“Um, I think you have the wrong apartment buddy. I’ve been living here for ten years and I don’t know any Frank.” He slammed the door in my face.

Now, I’ve been coming to see Frank for help on paranormal stuff for 3 years now. He’s always been here to help me out in a situation if I ever needed it. So let me just say I’m looking at the door thinking WTF?

I leave the building and look around. I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do now. I look around to be sure the thing is not following me still when my phone rings. I just about jump out of my skin.

“Julian, it’s Frank, you been trying to call me?”

“Thank god,” I said. “Dude, where are you? And did you move recently?”

“Uh, no I haven’t moved at all. I’m still living in the same apartment I’ve… oh shit.” I was not liking that tone.

“What, what the fuck?” I started to panic.

He sounded really anxious on the phone. “Did you go to my apartment and some old man answer the door?”

“Uh, yeah, what the hell was that all about?” I wasn’t liking this one bit.

He now sounded like he was about to have a heart attack. “Okay man, I’m gonna come get you but you gotta stay put. Don’t go anywhere! I can’t help you get out of there if I can’t find you. So I need you to stay where you are. You listening to me?”

“Yeah, yeah, stay here.” I was pretty sure I didn’t know where I was going to go at this point anyways. “But what do I do if it comes back looking for me?”

“What? If what comes back looking for you?”

“I don’t know, it was some kind of spirit or something. After I opened that black box, it came out in a mist and…”

“YOU HAD A BLACK BOX?” he practically strangled me through the phone.

“Um, yeah, it was at my door.”

If he was frantic before, he was in a frenzy now.

“Ok ok ok ok. You stay put, hide whatever. I’ll come get you and I’ll get you out of there. Stay put! And hide!” He hung up the phone.

So I went back into the building, hoping that I could hide there. I found a bench in the lobby and sat down. I was tired. I must have ran miles to get where I was. I didn’t even know I had it in me. I must have dozed off though, because before I knew it, Frank was bursting into the door all crazy.

“Julian! Holy shit man, I’ve been looking for you! You have gotta come with me right now! Come on! Hurry!”

I got up and we ran out of the building. We ran a short way and I started getting tired. It didn’t help that I was groggy from taking that short nap.

“Frank, we gotta stop,” I yelled out to him.

He stopped and turned and gave me a look of despair. It was as if he saw something behind me that frightened him to death. I slowly turned around and couldn’t believe my eyes.

It was a monster about the size of an elephant. It was like something out of Cthulhu. It had what could only be hundreds of tentacles, and a no visible head. It was like an octopus, except it was all tentacles. I could not believe my eyes. I turned from it and started to run. Frank started running too, and started speaking in tongues.

I knew he was about to cast a spell, but I couldn’t imagine what he could pull on something that giant! I couldn’t tell you what it was, but it scared the shit out of me.

All I knew was to keep running, and don’t stop no matter what. Suddenly, I started feeling light headed, and it was like a blanket of drowsiness had been laid on top of me. I felt myself collapse onto the ground, and I knew I had to have hit it hard because I was running pretty fast. Before I knew it, everything faded to black, and I lost consciousness.

When I awoke, I was in a small white room. There was nothing in there but me. There didn’t appear to be any doors, and I was laying on the floor. I looked around and couldn’t find anything. It was just white walls, white floor, white ceiling, and no furniture, nothing. Just a room. It’s as if the room were just built around me. I started knocking on the walls, and I could tell they sounded a bit hollow everywhere. So where was I?

Suddenly, the ceiling opened up, as if it was a lid lifting up. I looked up and saw the face of Frank, as if he was a giant! WTFl was my only thought.

“Frank? Is that you?” I yelled out.

He smiled and said to me, “Julian, welcome to my collection. I’ve been looking for someone like you to put into my black box. Of course, you realize it was all a ploy to get you into my possession. I’m really sorry, but I could use a human with your powers to add to my collection of power. I’m sure you won’t mind if you spend eternity in that white room would you? Oh don’t worry, you won’t be able to see the walls once I close the ceiling. You’ll get accustomed to the darkness. I’m told it takes a few years but you’ll get used to it.”

He laughed at me while he closed the ceiling and plunged me into total darkness.

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