The Tale of the Box Creature

I had spent most of my life inside a box, not quite fully formed; little pieces of skin and bone, nails and hair, held together in a web of partially fashioned membrane. My space was dark and warm, mostly unknown, but comfortable and inviting- there was little room to move, but space enough to exist. I did much of what I wanted most days, glorious variables of nothing. I existed merely to exist, in the most comfortable way possible. Did I have a mind, I might have known that I was entirely happy, essentially limitless, essentially.

One day however my box was knocked, and what might have been my stomach informed me that my gravity was changing direction at an accelerated speed. The roof of my box became a wall and fell outwards into the dim, unfamiliar outside. There I lay still for many hours before eventually my indistinct sense of curiosity led me to emerge onto the street, the damp asphalt glimmering slightly as the rain continued to tumble from the sky.

I crawled with inquisitiveness from my box into the world beyond, and was greeted immediately by the vivid colours of the streetlights, their rainbow facades seemingly melting in the onslaught of rain. Growing sodden and cold, I dragged my body towards the building with the most allure, the brightest lights. Grandiose arches of artificial trees greeted my timorous frame as I pulled myself towards the doorway, and upon passing the threshold a great sweetness arrested me and caused me to stop still, for just a few minutes. A few pious minutes.  The hallway into which I had entered brimmed with richness and promise. Even the very floors themselves were dazzlingly bright, and the people who stalked their polished tiles would stop at every window and gaze upon posters of unfathomable beauty and unobtainable happiness. Then they would slowly draw their eyes upon the next window, more extravagant than the last, and know in their hearts that their grey lives paled in comparison. They might go home and notice that bumblebees had attended to their tiny pink flowers, or they would go home and wait for the morning sun to crack open their skin and spill the blood concealed beneath.

I allowed myself to rest in a dusty corner on the middle floor, a space apparently forgotten in the daily bleaching of the whole edifice, and found some comfort amongst the dead skin cells and discarded food packets. From my quiet place I could see quite plainly the people who made their way through the great hall, as they did every day, the absurdities of life having left their marks across their faces. I could see little difference between them, though their clothes would represent to each other the markings of a separate existence. I saw them all at various stages of their demise, their calloused minds unfound without the deepest regrets. But it was these melancholic notions which provided the most vibrancy and sincerest compunction, the most fascinating and shared aspects which linked them all secretly, in their solitary dances across the shimmering floor tiles.

The corpulent would fret over their weight and consider the benefits of a gym subscription, as the emaciated found their lives to be just as empty as their bellies. All would return to their homes, rented and beige, or owned and languishing in debt. Mothers found solace in the success of their children, and ruin in the ultimate oncoming of death; the great leveller had much to answer for. Lovers would sit in the arms of those they had once been in love with, but now merely felt the prerequisite to love. Routine would regurgitate unspoken feelings and chicken dinners, eaten under a grey sky, holding the hands of a corpse. Each person would work until their frail bodies could no longer function, forever dreaming of something more. The frustration at the unobtainable over the years would slowly decay the mind, a preferable alternative to the basic ineptitude of living with sanity.

I had seen the standardisation of humanity, the irony of constitutional freedom. Unable to comprehend the legitimacy of such a world, or the complacency of those who inhabited it, I steadily made my way back into my box, and into the warm darkness that lay within. I could not quite get used to the suffocation outside.

12 thoughts on “The Tale of the Box Creature

  1. “….the basic ineptitude of living with sanity” (that whole sentence, really) is so good, so right. A more prosaic version of that would be the theory that we are actually sane only when we rail at the horror and boredom of the everyday, then about Wednesday, for a lot of us, we go “hump day is here” and look forward to the little pleasures of the weekend, and get busy with daily lives and shove our little insanities under the rug (but really, truly, life is the horror and banality we feel on a Monday or Tuesday morning). Or something like that.
    Well, “I love this story” just isn’t enough sometimes, but I do.


    1. Thank you so much! I rather liked that sentence too. It’s sometimes difficult to put everything that my head is exploding with into a single sentence, so that one did feel like a small achievement, and I’m so glad that you liked it :) Thank you so much for all the nice things you say- you do make me smile.


  2. Ha, p.s. Stopped by FP just now… there is another writers’ block cleverly disguised as “what do I do with a blank page?” and a misleading Douglas Adams insinuation that takes you to… yay! pictures!


    1. I saw that too! Sorry I haven’t been around much the last week, I’ve just been so busy with work and having a general dance-battle with the nastiness in my head. I did see that as I regularly check the front page when I’m on lunch at work, and it made me think of you- and I giggled a little as I ate my ham sandwich.


  3. Stupid WordPress. I unfollowed and refollowed and this still doesn’t show up in the reader. Grr!

    Good job, Anna! A very dark look at life, but at a glance, it’s so seldom the happy stuff we see, or that grips our memory. Seems like every silver lining has a cloud. I especially liked, “Lovers would sit in the arms of those they had once been in love with.”

    Seems like about once a month, I just feel like crawling back in the box.


    1. Thank you Anne, it does certainly seem like all the happy things recently come with a huge does of complete sadness, too. But maybe that’s just how my head is wanting to treat me at the moment. I’m sure the happy bunnies will come back soon, even if they’re weilding machine guns.


  4. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be FREE to download on Sept. 10 – 11! Check it out on my Amazon Kindle page.. You won’t be disappointed. And if you can slip me a review, I’d be forever grateful…


  5. Wow, that’s one of the best one’s I’ve read by you… In the top 2 or 3 for sure… Pretty speechless on this one… You are Eloquent, and Visceral… Elegant, and True…

    I Come out of the Box for Music… For Poetry… For Family… For Love… For Light… For Nature… For All Things Beautiful… If I don’t like someone, I don’t hang around them… If I don’t like something, I avoid it…

    I don’t live in the past, and I don’t spend all my time thinking about the future… I am here… I am now… I make the best of every moment… I am the purifier of my own life… Life is as good as I let it be, and make it be

    I come out of the Box for People Like You

    Lovely Anna… Simply Lovely



    1. Hey Anna, on another Note, I just E-mailed you a PDF Copy of the Edited/Completed Version of “I Died Once”, which I Just Self Published Today!!

      So Woo Hoo!, Lol



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