Here, where my words mean the world but actions are meaningless. My eyes continue to deceive me as I toil about the broken home of my once happy childhood. Dishes still sat on the rotted wood of the dinning table. My toys, strewn about the floor; resting where I last abandoned them decades prior. I strolled down the front hallway that led to the kitchen; portraits of actors and actresses portraying members of a happy family adorned the yellowed walls of mold. Faces familiar yet unrecognizable, danced under glass and wood, infested with age.
Dust and rat feces clung to everything like horrid words on a dirty page, and in the midst of my exploration I stumbled upon a box; sitting untouched on the parlor floor. Not as unusual as one might gather. Boxes seemed to be all about the floor in different stages of decay. Yet this box was all together different. For one it was clean; devoid of dust and dirt. Not a single particle of misuse sat upon it. The box was of a dark wood manufacture, with a hint of red in the grain. Perhaps cherry or mahogany. It was stained to shimmering brilliance. So much so that I was startled to see my face as clear as a looking glass. It’s hinges were brass. That much was obvious. Brass of the highest quality. I dared open it then thought against it. What the damned hell do I care about some box? And yet, it was placed in the middle of the parlor. On the dusty floor for anyone to see. Anyone? No, not anyone. Me. It was placed her for me to find, wasn’t it?
My mind was aware of something just out of my line of sight. Blackish and without shape. Like an early morning mist, only more dark and malevolent. My eyes would not see it, yet I knew it was there all the same; watching me as if it were collecting information. I lifted the box to examine the weight and instantly felt something shift from within. The black shape that was still just out of my sight moved closer. I could feel its foul breath upon my neck and I turned. It retreated.
Holding the box with the utmost care, I lifted the golden hasp and noticed that it was crafted in the shape of a boar’s head. The hand-crafted hinges groaned in complaint as I worked the lid open. I set the box back down onto the broken floorboards and stepped away in haste. One step, then another. The black shape fell upon me and I was forced against my will to view the contents of the box. At once, I was confused by what I beheld. Blood, fresh crimson blood. As I watched, the blood began to pool around the edges, sloshing like a wild boat at sea. It spilled onto the floor and was absorbed into the moldy wooden floor. The old wood turned dark like the red sea and instantly the house quaked and I swore to the saints that I heard it take a breath. It spoke to me. I trembled with abject fear.
What are you afraid of Walter?
“Whose blood is this?” I asked out loud as the trebling of the old home increased. I became unbalanced and lost my footing. An opening in the floor appeared and I had the sense that it intended to swallow me whole. I reached out and grasped the leg of the oak sideboard that my mother had purchased and it broke off and disintegrated in my hand like wet dust. I fell, my hands – red with blood – grabbed hold of the ancient flooring. The black malevolence appeared above me as a swirling ball of evil. I asked again.
“Whose blood is this?”
Why, it’s your blood Walter. It’s yours.