The Evil Within the Beholder

You sat in the kitchen with thick, sticky gloves of blood coating your hands. You wondered how it had come to this, how you could let everything get so out of control. It was only 13 hours ago that your life was normal, and then the box showed up on your doorstep, changing your life forever.

Sitting there, you felt madness creep up on you as you tried to make sense of everything. It was just a box or perhaps it wasn’t. At that point, you couldn’t be sure. All you knew was how it looked and felt. It had a deep maroon exterior like that of a full-bodied wine. It felt soft and skin-like, and the body of it vibrated, sometimes violently but most often just a subtle, constant shiver.

You looked up, and drew in a deep breath. The light filtered through the window, illuminating the small motes of dust and feathery filaments floating languidly in and out of those golden bars. The sun pressed against the wall, acting as a spotlight to the filigree of blood splattered upon the paint. Dripping from the ornamental violence, were long lines that seemed to represent the slow death of the man lying on the floor.

It wasn’t just any man dead on that once cream but now deep red carpet. He was your husband. He was the man you adored and never once felt ill toward. His smile was the thing that brightened your day and his soft, rhythmic breaths were the things that sent you packing to visit the sandman every night. He was understanding. A protector. A lover. Such a blessing in your life that there was no mortal by which you could convey your emotions.

Now, he was dead. And the thing moved. The box. You watched it from your peripheral, and it writhed as if excited by what you’d done. Your vision quickly darted away from his matted and bloody blonde hair to catch the box moving, but it remained still. You felt only the soft vibrations through the table.

The sirens called from afar. They grew closer and closer, but you didn’t care. If you had not felt like you’d done all this, as if none of it was your fault, you might have tried to run. That wasn’t the case. This was you. You knew within your heart of hearts that this was something you would never do, and yet, you were convinced that you did. Not convinced. You were sure that you did it. That you wanted it, as if you’d desired to kill him all along.

And the box moved.

And you looked.

And it stopped.

And the sirens grew louder.

You brought your trembling hands to your face, and pressed the cold sticky blood to your skin. You didn’t care that it was your husband’s blood; you just wanted to be close to him. Feel some part of him one more time. You thought how crazy it sounded, but you missed him. You couldn’t shed a tear for something had stopped you, but you cried. You wept internal tears of memories that bled deep into your soul. Still you could not feel guilt.

And still it moved.

And still it stopped.

The sirens bled into the scream of rubber against the tarmac. Sudden human screaming at your door confused you because you couldn’t understand what they said, but you knew why they were there. You remained seated, waiting for them to arrive and take you away from this place. You needed to rid yourself of this darkness, rid your heart of the death in this house. Soon, the police granted themselves access through the front and back doors, and conferred your desire to leave.

And it moved.

And you looked back.

And it stopped.

For now, but soon it would start again.

The officer took you to the car and stuffed you into the back seat while I, the Detective who captured you, stepped into the room. I thought for a moment that something on the table moved. Was it the box? That strange green box?

I picked it up, and it felt velvety, like the petals of a lush flower. It felt warm. It vibrated.

And it whispered.

And I listened.

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