The Death Box
“The Death Box” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Samini d/o Ramuloo, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Badlishah, Malaysia.
The Death Box
The bell rang. All the students in the exam hall were shouting in excitement as it was the last day of their exam. Jack, Harry, Ron, Peter, and Susan breathed a sigh of relief. They felt as free as a bird but unfortunately their feelings were rather short-lived as they knew they do have one more task to do which is to discover the secret of the restricted area in their school library. They had actually planned to invade the restricted area even before their examination but they couldn’t execute their plan. But now they knew, it’s the right time to execute as no one will be going to the library as the exam was over. So, they sneaked out from the examination hall and rushed to the library or even more specifically to the restricted area in the library.
“Hey, does any of you know why the place is restricted?” asked Jack and Susan replied, “Well, it was said that the place was announced as a restricted area only a few years ago. Before that, everyone was allowed to enter the place until one day…..” she remained silent for a few minutes and then continued, “until one day a dead body of a student was found in that area. After that, more mysterious deaths began to occur and even the cops are unsure about the reasons of the death. At last, the school administrator decided to announce the place as a restricted area to ensure the students’ safety”. Jack and Ron shivered. “Guys, are you sure about what we’re gonna do? I mean after hearing to this story don’t you all think we should back off?” questioned Ron in a shaky voice. “Come on Ron! Don’t tell me you believe this story. This story is just a rumor to scare away the students and prevent them from entering the restricted area. Now, guys enough with the chit chat. Let’s move on” said Jack.
They went to the restricted area slowly after making sure no one is in the library and they began to search for anything that looks peculiar. Jack, Harry and Peter were busy searching for something interesting in the first three shelves while Susan and Ron were at the last shelve. Suddenly Susan shouted, “Guys! Look what I’d found! It looks like a treasure box! Oh my God! Could there be gold coins or jewels inside this”. “Oh Susan! Don’t be such a moron. It won’t be hidden in a place like this if it is a treasure box. I think it is not an ordinary box. Perhaps, could it be a magic box or a Pandora’s box?” questioned Harry. But no one knows the answer and they were quite puzzled.
Suddenly, they heard footsteps not far away from them. They were petrified. “Okay guys someone is coming. We have to hide now. Faster!” whispered Peter. They had somehow managed to hide behind the bookshelves. And they saw Mr Paul, Peter’s Chemistry sir, was walking around the library, making sure that no one is in. As he walked towards the restricted area, Jack and his friends began to fear. But luckily, Mr Paul stopped and just glanced through before walking away. All of them sighed in relief. Suddenly, Harry noticed that something was written under the box. “Guys, check this out. There is something written at the bottom of the box. It is ‘THE DEATH BOX’! hahaha. That is a funny name” said Harry while giggling. “THE DEATH BOX? So, will ghost come out from this box and strangle us?” questioned Peter. Susan, Ron and Jack began to laugh. They didn’t bother it as a serious matter.
“Should I open it?” Susan asked herself. Then, she decided to open it without hesitation. Peter, Ron, Harry and Jack were waiting eagerly to see what is inside the mysterious box. They felt disappointed as there was only a piece of paper inside the box with a note says ‘YOU ARE DEAD’. Jack and his friends looked at each other and started laughing. “You are dead! Seriously? This is ridiculous. Come on guys. Let’s go home. It’s getting late. Our parents will be worried if we are late.” said Harry.
Jack, Harry, Ron, Peter and Susan rushed downstairs. All the students were busy packing their books before going home. Susan decided to keep that box inside the locker. After that, she packed her stuffs and went to the entrance to wait for her parents to fetch her. While waiting for her parents, she was thinking about the note inside the box. “Hey Susan, are you still waiting for your parents?” asked Ron. She nodded her head and she saw her friends were also at the entrance with their books and bags.
After some time, Peter saw his father was getting out from the car and entering the school compound. “Bye guys. I’m leaving. My father is here” he said. “Well, I think my mom is also here. I can see my car over there. Have fun guys. See you all tomorrow. Bye” said Ron. Both of them left the school compound.
“Hey dad. Come let’s go home” said Peter to his father. But his father didn’t give any reaction or reply but he continued walking towards the entrance. “Dad! I’m here. Come let’s go home” shouted Peter. But, his father still didn’t notice his presence. Peter was confused. “Why can’t he listen to me? What’s wrong with him?” he asked himself.
“Peter! Peter!” Peter heard someone calling his name. He turned. He saw Ron was running towards him. He looked worried and terrified. “What’s wrong buddy?” Peter questioned. “I think something is wrong. My mom can’t hear my voice and she is unable to see me I guess!” “What?” “Yeah, I was shouting at her to open the car’s lock so that I can enter the car and go home. But she couldn’t feel my presence!”
Peter and Ron rushed to the entrance. They told about the incident to Susan, Jack and Harry. They were all at sixes and sevens. “Oh my god! Are we invisible?” asked Susan. “No. I think we are dead! No one can feel our presence except five of us. I think the note was correct. The box killed us!” cried Peter. “Shut up! Don’t be a fool. Where is the box now?” asked Harry. “It’s in my locker.” Said Susan.
They hurried to the locker. Susan opened the locker. She was shocked. The locker was empty. Suddenly, they heard someone screaming. “Security! Come here faster. There are five students’ dead bodies in the library! Call the police right now” shouted Mr Paul.