Tag Archives: flash fiction

The Man in the Box (expanded)

I got such interesting responses for this piece, I decided to play with it a bit more.

There is a box within my brain where I store bad memories and forget about them. Only I have the key. The other night I opened the box to shove the reluctant cartel kicking and screaming into my stronghold. Unfortunately, a man, who will not be named here, but who has been locked in my box for many years or even decades, tiptoed past me as I was distracted and scurried down the corridors of my mind. I pushed the door shut, sealing off the memories, and pursued the escapee. I ran down the avenues of my subconscious peering around fantasies and memories long forgotten until I found the culprit hiding behind a sweet dream of my departed cat, Ari.

This was a dilemma. How would I get to him without damaging Ari? I did not have to ponder long, because as Ari moved away, walking in circles to get to some destination farther in the folds of my memory, the man turned with that look in his eye. I sighed, turned, and started to run. The nightmare followed me as he had in the past, but this time I did not feel the panic, only irritation. I knew that he could not, would not catch me. This time he was not armed with knives or guns or chain saws. This time I was bigger and stronger. And I was smarter. He could not hurt me anymore.

I danced across my neurons and ducked under a bridge of time. He nearly caught me as I squeezed past a dimension of truth I had created years ago. I leapt away, just out of his reach, and dove into a stream of stories I tell myself. Jumping up the bank of old realities, I nearly tripped over the child me who was playing hopscotch by herself in a hidden alley of the past. I paused and told her to hide, the man was coming. My child self ran in terror and disappeared into the recesses of my memory. I continued my journey, a destination in mind. I knew these thoughts better than the man- he had been locked up for many years. I darted behind a boulder of resistance I had since put to rest and waited. A moment later he appeared. We faced each other.

“You can’t touch me now,” I told him and smiled.

He hesitated, confused, and I used that moment to snatch him up and shove him back into the box that was sitting next to the boulder of resistance. He hadn’t noticed we had run full circle around my psyche. I leaned back exhausted, listening to his howls of frustration emanating from the box. I must be more careful next time when putting things away. I tucked my secret key into a safe place and left my box of nightmares where it lay.

©2010 frayedges and http://www.frayedges.wordpress.com

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