-pandora's box-

you all know the myth.

the one with pandora.

you know, the idiot who

opened the box.

stupid, you thought

to yourself

as you read.

why did she do that?

it would be so much better

if she'd had the sense

to just leave that box

shut.

there is another story.

it isn't grand, or mystical,

and it has no moral

that i can tell.

it's just a story,

like so many

of the stories

that never get

told.

it's not about people

or animals

or a fairytale land.

it has no knights

in shining armor,

no damsels in distress,

crying out for help.

it's just a story, unlike

any other.

this story is special

because it's about a

box.

before you stop reading

overcome with disgust

and say to yourself

what junk is this?

listen. just a moment

for I have never told this

tale before, and

never will

again.

are you listening?

you know the myth.

you thought it was dumb,

maybe a little sad.

but you never heard

the story in the story.

you read about pandora,

but you never read

about the

box.

that box was me.

you don't believe me.

i can tell.

i don't blame you.

after all, how could a

box write a story?

anyways, what story could

a dumb box

tell?

let me tell you.

I was created by the

gods, given to

pandora as a gift.

it is said in the tale that

the box was beautiful.

that's a lie.

the box was ugly,

carved of twisted wood

and stained mottled

blackish brown.

but pandora kept it.

pandora, lover of pretty

things, beautiful woman,

kept a simple, hideous,

box.

why did she do it?

you ask.

why not throw the box

away and be done with

it? and you laugh

and shake your head.

what kind of idiot was

she? you say to yourself.

a pretty box I can

understand, but an ugly

one?

because it was a gift

from a god. mighty

zeus, thrower of lightning.

he was clever, this

zeus. he understood

pandora, heart and

soul. and so he gave her

a twisted, horrid box.

and she was curious.

so she kept it, always

wondering what lay inside,

that a god had deigned to give her

something so ugly,

and tell her to keep it shut

always.

that box was me.

and so i sat, year after

year, and slowly i

began to change.

the gods had put much

magick into me, so

that i might contain the

secrets placed within.

i do not know if what

happened because of it

was intentional, or a

foolish mistake. those gods

could be terrible fools sometimes.

don't get me wrong, they were

clever and sly,

cunning as well.

but they were fools.

all.

i was becoming sentient.

i could think, feel, hear,

touch. but i could not see,

nor move. all i

could do was sit

there, as i became

less and less of a

box, and eventually

something else entirely.

i was alive

in one sense. at first I was

filled only with joy and

confusion, but soon I became aware

of something else.

deep inside me,

evil was

stirring.

i could hear them whisper,

visitors to pandora's house.

i wonder why she keeps

that ugly old box. said one.

i heard it was a gift from a

god, remarked another.

wonder why it's so ugly, then.

wouldn't you think zeus would give

nicer gifts?

their words washed over me like a

flood of acid, eating away at

my newly developed mind.

it hurt, although i had no heart.

i have no soul, no blood,

no body other than that of

wood, torn from the trunk of

a long-dead tree.

my mother, i suppose you could

say.

so i remained,

day after day

week after week

year after year.

and the evil grew.

at first i did not know,

felt the same way i always

had. but it was growing,

that cluster of monstrous

darkness that haunted me.

did i know, then, what would

happen? somehow, did i predict that

pandora's stupidity and the

shadow that dwelled

in me would be

the cause of all evil in the

ages to come? i could not

have known, yet somehow

i think i must

have.

they whispered about me,

sharp, cutting words.

i heard them, from

my place high on the shelf.

i heard them, and

even now their words haunt

me. even after all these ages,

i have never

forgotten.

i heard pandora speak of me

sometimes, in that high,

lilting voice of hers.

beautiful voice. she spoke

of me proudly, but i could feel

her disgust. i could feel that she

detested the twisted box that

marred her lovely house. of

course, i never saw it.

i was just the box,

special only for the god,

who had given it as a

gift.

pandora had many faults.

first woman, great beauty,

but one of her faults was

curiosity. it was that which

would be her downfall. and mine.

foolish woman, great lady,

came one day to me.

of course, i was surprised.

her gentle hands never

touched ugliness. never

chose to hold

me.

i was glad. for the first

time in years, the darkness

receded, and i thought that

i was experiencing true

happiness. i was a fool.

why would great pandora take

a simple, ugly box from the

high shelf, but to open it?

for the first time, my catch of

rusty, tarnished metal was carefully

undone.

for the first time, and the last, i

felt the sensation of light,

shining down into the very

corners of my being.

it was wonderful.

but the darkness escaped, flew to

plague the world. for all of

eternity.

pandora slammed me shut,

and i nearly cried out. but

of course, i could not

speak. naught but

a mute box,

purpose finished,

fit only for the rubbish

heap, or for the

fire.

it is said that hope was trapped

when pandora closed the box.

but why, do i ask, did the evils

not affect anything

until they escaped,

but hope lives in the hearts of

mortals, even as it was shut in the box?

hope fled with the darkness

that left me empty,

nothing but a gaping hole where

i used to hold everything that was

me.

the unintentional gift

of life, given by

foolish gods,

had one other affect.

like the hands that crafted

me, that made me

who i was, i am

immortal. so i have

remained over the centuries,

drifting on the currents of

the universe, empty of

hope, empty of dreams,

empty even of darkness.

all that remain, are

memories.

so you have heard my tale,

listen even now. if

you looked for a moral

in this story, a

plot, a point, stop.

there is none.

it is not fiction.

it is not fact.

it is simply my story.

the story of a box. and

pandora.