The Box

Victorian style wooden carved box. Not like the box of the story. This just serves as inspiration. Picture courtesy

Some people said that you could be easily lost if you walk on your own. That it is better to keep at home because to play outside is dangerous… Let’s be honest: that is boring. Even more, if it is summer.

Sometimes I think adults have lost the sense of to have fun. They had become beings trapped in their mechanical lives and their insistence in to have 8 to 10 jobs only for to make more money than any other in the world. It is not fair. They say young lads like me do not understand. That we need to grow up and to be educated in the priorities of life but which life is one in which fun and joy do not have a place in the world?

Here I am, end of school, nice weather. Not summer camp or activities to make… And my parents consider that like I have 13 years old I am old enough for to start to have responsibilities instead of to pass the day “wasting my time” with other kids of my age. They say they are not a good influence because we want to play outside in the middle of the street to football or skateboard races. I do not understand why should they be so grumpy! But they are, and here is the story of the summer which to assume responsibilities for to start to become an adult changed my life.

Everything started when they told me to put in order my room, then the garage and… It ended being the attic of this old house we acquired so long ago. It was pretty scary with all those webs, dust, things covered with blankets. So besides the bad influence of my friends, I decided to call them for some help. There we went: Peter, Jen, Theo, Al, Jones and me: Mike.

Luckily for us, on the attic was fresher than outside that day but we made amazing discoveries about things which belonged to any previous owner of that house. Not sure when but it had to be so far ago for the old pictures, books and papers.

It seemed in my house lived some scientist who was travelling and taking pictures of himself around the world with people from different cultures, some of them dressed quite weird in those b/w pictures. It did not have so much sense already because it looked like if the same male had been in the Western but also in the World War I or even in that event I think they called The Battle Of The Flowers, but I am not sure of that. It seemed he had been everywhere at any time that photography had been invented.

Theo started to think that maybe that folk had been some conman or cheater or something like that… But it was weird because you cannot make those sort of photographic montages with so much realism and detail. We knew it because Jen’s father was the local photographer of the town and computers had not advanced of 16bits besides it seems this person had been in a moment when a black president with the United States of America flag was making a speech. Something weird indeed. Can anyone believe that could happen when now we keep deciding if a hippy is a good person or not? That is what television is saying at least. It is not very fun in these days at all. They do not broadcast cool shows.

Sometimes, my friends and I think that the problem our parents have pretending to give us so many responsibilities is that our parents are scared of the news. Like in there they are saying all sort of things about the hippies, they are scared we will become hippies or punks. Which is something it has shown up in Britain, I think… And for that, they give us this sort of annoying responsibilities, chores and orders about to do not go out. But that is just what we think. In reality, we do not know.

However, that summer afternoon of July the 15th everything changed for complete. It was Peter who discovered it while the rest of us looked at the pictures, documents and other strange devices or ugly and creepy things in jars. It looked amazing.

The box had the same size than a shoe box, but it was solid and made of heavy dark wood full or cravings. Besides the detail and clarity of the details, it did not look so special. It was just cool. We already thought that maybe we could sell it to Mr Thompson and to have a good paycheck with that peculiarity when Al had the idea to open it first before to sell it to know what was inside.

Big problem. It seemed to do not have a lock, not an opening from any side. At least, not the obvious traditional one. We were for long making a debate and deciding what would it be. I hold the theory it was a Dr Strange relic. Jen thought it was an African box for the pictures with African people the folk had. Al said it was not a box if not maybe something else. Theo believed it was a space device which the guy had found from the aliens and perhaps he was even an alien too. While Peter thought the guy was an observer. He was not sure what was that or if to call it a box but what he was sure is that would have some utility. We all agreed in that.

The thing is, the stranger things happen by chance not because they are pretended to happen. Not at least in our case. I am sure of that after what we saw in that afternoon. None of us was planning it like we were accused days after when we met Sir Harrington who happened to be a very bad guy.

It was Jen the one who opened the box. We had just sat in a circle on that sombre but fresh attic with the afternoon light entering eery from the bad binder covered window. We were passing the box one between the other and looking at it closely while we were making our theories when she decided to touch one of the lines with her index finger. She did not make anything else, but it was enough. The box kept on the floor, but it was moving like if it was a wooden puzzle which could change its engravings by a magical touch. While it changed, if in some moments it did not look exactly like a rectangle if not other diverse shapes it could be seen a pale blue glimmer coming from the inside. But soon that light was fainted again or covered each time another piece of wood from the inside or outside moved for to adapt to the position and shape.

Honestly, no one knows what she made, but we were all pretty scared ready to scream and to run away when, suddenly, the mechanical sound and lights of the box stopped, and it kept in its rectangle way but with other engraving or symbols around. It was weird, and we were looking at it closer again without to be sure what happened when it was Theo the one noticing something had changed around us. We were not in the old dusty attic of my house if not in the middle of a prairie with some Native American looking curious at us.

This was one of the so many adventures which became after the first incident. Just I have decided to start this journal like the guy of the pictures seemed to make with his trips too.

At that moment, we were worried. Not for our lives to be exact. Now, it seems stupid, but we did not think that at all if not what would happen when our parents discovered we were not at home. To our surprise, we could solve that. And that is not a problem or a worry anymore.

Now, our worries are to run away from Sir Harrington who has found a way to find us in our time too while we were exploring and learning how to use the box. In fact, he wants the box.

We have made four adventures since this first incident happened. We had met Native American, who were not bad people like so many thought in those western films. In fact, it was quite educative.

We were in China, in a temple where a kid was an Emperor. That was a bit more tricky. I think Al did not like that escaping adventure.

I had learnt things about war which would be useful for history class. Let’s see if this way this year I have better scores and I can convince my parents to get a bike thanks to that.

And we were in the Victorian times when we met our adversary. Not a nice guy.

It is the truth. Adventure can be found in the strange. Mystery is in the unexpected. And I am going to start to take better notes of what it happened or will happen in advance in our travels.

21st July 1977