I know, I know. Chaptered stories. But I have an excuse! Sort of...
Anyway, this came to me less than an hour ago. I was browing through my favorites, and a story entitled 'Puzzle Box' (also in the DW fandom) reached out to me. It didn't matter that the story itself was about River; the title was what grabbed me. I harboured a plot bunny for about five minutes before I gave in and wrote it.
I hope all of you enjoy this piece, because I certainly do.
P.S. Don't you dare leave this fic without reviewing. I feel the need to beg my readers for reviews, since no one seems to give them out these days. So...please?
It's just a box, he thinks. A huge, mysterious, stone box that's supposed to hold the most terrifying thing in the universe, but it's still just a box. It couldn't be opened. It would never show it's horrifying secret to the world.
It is a giant puzzle, he believes. When he solves it, the pieces will fall into place, and the Box will open. It is not supposed to open, but if it does, he will be there. He will be there when the mythical puzzle box opens to show its contents to the world. The intricate pictures and the myths involving it are as many and as few as history itself. There are so many versions of this myth; so many of them are nothing but lies.
It is the one problem he has never solved; the one mystery he never cracked. He has never opened that box. It stays hidden, eluding him all his extensive life. He has never seen it, never witnessed the immeasurable power seeping through its locked panels. He believes it is a fairy tale, one that may have existed before his time; before light and space and matter ever existed, it may have been real. But not anymore.
This puzzle box that has fascinated people for centuries never existed; it was a fairytale. A myth. A tale to explain the essence of pure evil to children, just as there are tales on Earth from thousands of years ago about the gods and goddesses, beings so powerful they created many of the phenomenon explained by science centuries later. It is not supposed to exist, it cannot possibly be real.
Then, he finds it. He stumbles upon it during one of his many adventures, drawn by writing in a cliff. The one person he's only beginning to trust pulls him in, urging him to search. She says it is opening. He doesn't believe her. Then again, he doesn't believe in a lot of things. Too many people and places have been lost to him for him to believe anymore; it's just not worth it. He doesn't believe his eyes as they lay sight upon it. He believes his eyes even less as it begins to open. It's not even supposed to exist, let alone open!
It is ironic, he thinks, as he's pulled along in the sand underneath one of the Earth's most famous monuments. He has always believed it was myth, that it never existed. Well, here's the proof, right in front of his eyes. The box was open. He had solved the unsolvable mystery too late; he was the being they meant to lock in its secure walls. He was the creature that was supposed to ravage the galaxy and kill billions of innocents. How could they possibly believe that? Oh, he was certainly their enemy, to be sure, but him, killing millions of innocents?
There was a goblin, or a trickster…or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it or hold it or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
That's what he had told his companions, just hours ago. How could all these creatures believe he was that monster? How could they sentence him to eternity inside that horrible puzzle box just because of a theory?
As he struggles, he pleads with them. He's the only one that can stop the universe from ending, but they don't believe him. All the suns will supernova at every point in history, and he's the only one who can stop it. If they will just let him go, he can prevent the end of the universe. But his captors are unyielding. They care not about the fate of the universe. They only care about locking this one man away.
He is fastened into the binds, secured in the walls of stone. He pleads one last time; they are unrelenting. They watch silently as the box closes; their greatest enemy is forever sealed inside the giant puzzle box.
It is ironic, he thinks to no one in particular as the doors close around him, sealing him in, silencing him from the world around him. The one mystery he fails to solve captures him and makes sure he will never save anyone again. The one thing he always believed was impossible has happened; he has lost.
He sits, bound and in darkness. He ponders over nothing and everything. Why him? He has tried to do only good things. Yes, he has done some terrible and horrifying things in his long, long life, but he likes to think the good outweigh the bad. He likes to believe all the lives he's saved outweigh all the lives that have been lost throughout the ages. Do they? He will probably never know.
Underneath one of the world's most mysterious monuments, a stone box as tall as a room is secured, holding one of the Earth's greatest secrets. People will wonder about it, try to open it; but they will never succeed. They will wonder, as humans are prone to doing. What mysteries lurk beneath its sealed walls? What would be so terrible that someone would lock it in this prison for all eternity? But they will never unlock it again. It was never meant to be opened in the first place, after all.
For above all, the Pandorica is a puzzle box. And puzzle boxes are meant to stay closed.
Yes, I'm well aware you're supposed to solve a puzzle box, but bear with me. It suited my purposes to have it be meant to stay closed, all right?