Being a member of the “Masters of Horror” Facebook group, I was exploring it on Thursday. Joann Hamann-Buchanan (The Eclectic Artist Cave - Fate Radio) was requesting 500 or so word flash fiction pieces that included "the little black box" to read live on the air on Wednesday June 8th. This is my tale which she enjoyed and will include.
The Little Black Box
By Thomas Scopel
The argument was over and he stormed out slamming the door behind him. Marie’s tears fell like rain. When the car’s headlights shown in through the picture window as he pulled out of the driveway, she turned away and he drove off into the night.
In the morning she awoke and rolled over. He wasn’t there and a solemn settling sadness came over her and she wept silently.
Over the next few days, between sobbing tears, she constantly tried to contact him. She vowed to plead to no end for him to come back home, promising to never fight again and convey her unconditional love. But, he never answered.
By the end of the week, Marie was a nervous sniveling wreck, cooped up, unable to eat or sleep and for lack of a better word, desperate. Trying hard to pull herself together, she took a long, hot shower and snuggled up lonely on the couch in front of the television
Flashing through the channels, she hit upon channel thirteen, a local one and became intrigued by the somewhat outlandish, brightly clad and frail looking woman staring directly back. “Are you seeking money, health or love? Call Madam Jessinia…I can help.”
Marie didn’t think twice, picked up the receiver and dialed the number. The woman answered and Marie proceeded to explain, in between constant sniffles, that she wanted this man back for good. Madam Jessinia continued listening attentively until she finished.
“I can help you find and keep this man you seek. How far are you from Vine and Oak streets?”
“Just across town,” Marie lit up with hope. “I can be there tomorrow.”
“Well my dear, to be perfectly honest you do seem rather distraught. Why don’t you come tonight?” the woman inquired. “All I need is a photograph and a strand of his hair.”
“I’ll be there in thirty minutes,” Marie replied
“Good…very good, I’ll be waiting.”
Marie dressed quickly, latched hold of the framed photo of her and him she kept on her nightstand and put it in her oversized purse. At the bathroom she opened the mirrored medicine cabinet, took out his hairbrush, tossed it in alongside the photograph and headed out the door.
Before long she was pulling alongside the curb beside an average looking single story white picket fenced house. She went to the door.
Inside the woman offered Marie a seat on a red velvet sofa and asked for the items. Marie handed them to her.
“Now, you just go back home dearie and I’ll take care of everything.”
Somewhat perplexed, Marie didn’t argue and followed the woman’s instruction.
Marie awoke with a startle at the early morning knock, rushed to and flung open the door. The man, oddly dressed similarly like Madam Jessinia asked, “are you Marie?”
Marie nodded and the man handed her a tiny brown paper wrapped package, turned and walked away. With the door still ajar, she tore at it, opening it and not noticing the small folded pink note fluttering to the floor.
Inside was a little black box. She lifted the top off of it. It contained a rather large diamond ring, exquisitely cut, reflecting and glistening in the morning sunshine. Taking it out, she slid it onto her ring finger, felt joy immediately replace her heart’s sadness and saw the pink paper lying beside her foot.
Look closely at it in the light my dear…I told you I could help.
Marie held the ring up into the sunlight and gazed into it. There he was…ever so tiny…peering back…trapped inside like a person with their hands pressed against a window.
Marie smiled and closed the door.