Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Opened Box

This was from another writing prompt I did with Leslee. We switched genres -- I had to write a romance, and she had to write a horror story. Since this was just a prompt, we both ended up with snippets, and mine still leaned towards the horror side (the dolls are the people, at least in my head).

The Opened Box

Muriel and James lay flat on the bottom of the mahogany box. They were covered in plastic popcorn.

Amanda shuffled her fingers through the packing material. She wondered what the box contained. The contents were her inheritance from her grandmother. The note had stated that she was bequeathed the greatest romance of all time. Amanda had never known her grandmother personally but had heard stories of her eccentricities from other family members, so the note had been no particular surprise.

Her fingers touched the top of Muriel's head, Amanda grabbed the doll's hair and pulled it out of the box. the doll was small, dressed in a gingham dress and white apron. It looked like it had belonged to a dollhouse at one time. Amanda set the doll aside and reached back into the box. She rustled in the plastic then felt James. She pulled him out. He was dressed in denim overalls and looked to have a somewhat dour expression.

Amanda wondered if these two were the great romance. Surely her grandmother had meant more than a pair of toys. Amanda reached into the box a third time, pushed her hand deeper, then she felt it, the corner of a leather bound book. She picked up the corner, but it was heavy. She eagerly plunged her other hand in and withdrew "The Greatest Romance of All Time", the words written in a graceful script in faded ink on a piece of paper glued to the front cover. It was her grandmother's hand writing.

Amanda tipped the book up to examine the script in better light and a photograph fell from within the pages. She set the book down beside the dolls and picked up the photo. She dropped it almost immediately in shock, then bent down to the floor to look at it again. She looked over at the dolls then back at the photo. Amanda shivered. In the photo were a man and a woman, holding hands and smiling at the camera - they were the exact likeness of the two dolls in human form.

Amanda turned the photo over to see if there was anything on the back. It read "Wedding Day: June Fourth 1932, James and Muriel".