The Box Makers

“Shhhhhh. Quiet over there. You are making too much noise.” The Box Makers told her.

“But I don’t fit inside this one.” She said. “There isn’t enough space in here for me.”

“Well that is the one that has been given to you.” They told her. “You aren’t scheduled for a new one yet.”

She shifted her body once again to find a comfortable way to sit.

But every time she tried a new position, things only got tighter and everything fit worse than before.

“Please, may I have second one, just for my thoughts?” She begged.

They laughed at her.

“Oh no no no, that won’t do. We’ve seen what you do with those. And no one gets a second box during this time. You know that. You will get your final box, just like everyone else, in the end.”

The end. That idea made her shudder.

So she stopped and thought for a moment. She could barely exist in this one. She felt like she was already suffocating. How would she survive in this one? Maybe if she just shifted a bit more, everything would fit better.

And she tried.

She really did.

She shifted, she moved, she stretched, she even tried sitting still.

But the more she tried, the less she fit.

So she took a deep breath and pushed.

And just like that, her feet came barreling out of her box. Ever so naturally, she stood up and started to run away.

“What are you doing?” The Box Makers demanded.

“You’ve got everything you need in there. Why are you causing so much trouble?”

She wasn’t sure if she heard the sirens first or saw the tape first. Either way, more Box Makers came rushing in and taped her feet back in.

They sighed. “Now isn’t that better? Don’t you feel more secure? You’re much more likeable this way.” They smiled at themselves.

But she didn’t.

She actually felt worse than before.

“May I have another box, please, just for my desires?” She pleaded.

They laughed at her again. “You know it is too late for a desire box. Try closing your eyes and be thankful for what you have inside there.”

They seemed annoyed with her again. She really didn’t want to cause any trouble. She did feel guilty about that. There was a time she enjoyed her box and everything that was in it. She would try to find solace in that.

So she closed her eyes.

And she tried.

She really did.

She shifted, she moved, she stretched, she even tried sitting still.

But the more she tried, the less she fit.

So she took a deep breath and pushed.

And just like that, her head popped out.

She opened her eyes and saw.

Everything.

It was splendid. And awful. And beautiful. And terrible. But she could see it all. Even as the sun was rising, it seemed to shine brighter from out there. She breathed in the wonder of it all.

And then she heard the sirens. And she saw them coming. With rolls of tape bigger than anything she had ever seen before.

This time she was scared.

“Please don’t.” She begged them.

“Please give me another moment out here. Please don’t put me back in.”

She began to cry. Her tears poured out of her and her box became wet. Soaked to the brim. She started to get cold in there and began to shiver. So she hugged herself as she heard the Box Makers muttering to themselves.

“Give her a distraction. It works every time. Use even more tape than last time.”

And just like that, she was taped up once more.

They covered her eyes this time.

They covered her mouth shut.

They bound her feet together.

They also taped over the top and the sides so that even if she managed to remove the tape from her eyes, she would be blinded for that much longer.

She let her box fill up with her defeat.

She wallowed in her own downfall.

She let her distractions keep her distracted.

But she kept thinking…

Wasn’t she stronger than this?

Wasn’t she more than this?

Why didn’t they let her be what she wanted to be?

She thought of the Box Makers. She thought of their boxes. Most of them didn’t fit very well inside their boxes.

And then she remembered. There were others. When she popped her head out, there were others, just like her, trying to get out or already out of their boxes. She remembered their faces. For just a brief second, she saw their faces! Some looked scared, some looked determined. Some looked sad and ready to jump back in. But they were there…without their boxes.

And her distractions kept distracting her. They kept reminding her to stay inside.

And she tried.

She really did.

She shifted, she moved, she stretched, she even tried sitting still.

But the more she tried, the less she fit.

So she took a deep breath and pushed.

And just like that, her heart came tumbling out.

Her head popped through the top.

Her feet barreled out the sides.

And she stood up.

She ripped the tape from her eyes and looked down.

Her heart lay on the ground, silently beating and waiting for her.

She scooped it up gently–apologized profusely–and hugged herself back together.

And then she heard the sirens. And she saw them coming.

She quickly ripped the rest of the tape off of herself and stood as tall as she could make herself.

“I’m not going back in.” She told the Box Makers. But her voice squeaked…so they moved slowly in closer to her.

“I’m not going back in.” She told them again. They stood and looked her.

“We know where you belong. We know what you need. We know what to give you to make you more comfortable in there.” The Box Makers proudly handed her a dream box.

“Just take a look inside,” they coaxed her, “we made it especially for you.” They softly pushed her head down so she would have to take a peek.

It was bigger than the last one. She would have more room in there.

The distractions were endless.

“You will feel secure again. You will find gladness in there.” They told her everything she needed to hear.

She took one foot and put it in. Maybe this is the one. Maybe I do need a box to live in. I was happy in mine for a time. I can be happy in there again, she tried to convince herself.

Her feet had barely made it in when her head began to get dizzy. She took one last look outside. She could see the sunset this time. Just before she was about to sink in, her eyes fixated on the all the glorious colors it made. She took a deep breath. Inhaled the wonder of it all.

And just as she started to fall down, her heart began to beat wildly.

It told her to stop.

It begged her to reconsider.

It pleaded with her to not go in.

The Box Makers were just about to tape her in when she looked up at them.

“I tried.” She told them.

“I really did. I shifted, I moved, I stretched, I even tried sitting still.”

“But the more I tried, the less I fit.”

They just looked at her like she was a problem to be fixed.

“I’m not going back in.” She told them.

“I’m never going back in.” Her voice didn’t squeak this time.

They looked at her with pity. And a little bit of disgust.

“Here is our warning:”

“You’ll be an embarrassment.”

“You’ll never succeed.”

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

And for the first time, she saw them for what they really were: trapped and frightened in their own boxes. They only know how to do three things: make boxes, put people in and keep them taped inside.

She looked at them with pity. And maybe a little disgust.

And then she realized…they were still in their boxes and she wasn’t.

She opened her eyes as wide as she could to see…

Everything.

It was splendid. And awful. And beautiful. And terrible. But she could see it all.

And then she heard the sirens. And she saw them coming.

Her heart stopped for just a moment.

She looked over at them and said:

“Shhhhhh. Quiet over there. You are making too much noise.”

And ever so naturally, she stood up and ran away.

 

 

 

 

 

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