Jack In The Box
A short horror story.
Jack sat in his box like a good toy. He never made a sound. One day the child of the house came nosing around. Jack was happy to finally have a friend. Someone to crank the handle, so Jack could jump into this world. Round and round the handle turned, Jack, waiting for his time.
Alas he popped, but the child did not smile.
The child screamed with terror at the sight of his face. His white and red clown suit was old withhold.
A putrid smell of rotten flesh emanated from his yellow-toothed grin. Jack didn’t understand why the little child didn’t want to be his friend. Jack felt hurt and a bloody tear dripped from his eye. He didn’t like this child at all, he wanted it dead!
The child ran and escaped from the room. Jack was stuck to his box as usual. He bounced up and down his springs were still tight, waiting for someone to stuff him back into the box at night.
No one came for Jack as the sun began to set. He heard a whisper coming from behind him. A voice dark and eerie telling him to go back.
“Go back, go back” whispered in his ear. Jack was so confused but felt its presence near.
“I cannot go back unless someone pushes me down. I am nothing but a little toy clown.”
The demonic whisper grew louder “You can if you will, or simply ask me. I will push you down into your box for a tiny fee.”
A chance to go into the box without a human hand. Jack was thrilled and smiled his toothy grin.
“I would love a demon as strong as you as a friend.”
The eerie voice materialized in front of the little toy box. He was nothing but black mist until a long slender claw came forth.
“If I put you in the box, you become my pet. Do as I say or I will shut you in, never to be let out!”
Jack was staring at the finger hovering above his head. He knew that taking this offer meant a deal with the dead. Jack forgot that he was once a little child. Playing with a tiny box and always with a huge smile. Jack had made this deal before, though he did not remember.
The child that loved the box grew into a man. The man was a toymaker. He had a son that died in a horrible wreck. He was so distraught that the demon came and made the man an offer.
“Do my bidding. I will give you a son. A child that needs a father.”
The toymaker was fast to agree but was tricked by the devil. He was locked inside the box only to be opened when the demon saw fit. He was the demon’s toy to kill and steal for it.
Now the little Jack, all memories gone stared at the demon considering his offer. He always says yes.
This time the little doll stopped before speaking. The door creaked open and the demon disappeared swiftly.
The little child poked in his head to see Jack dancing and smiling. The child stepped in and slowly approached Jack with his arms wide open.
“I am sorry I was afraid of you little Jack. You are not so bad. I can make you look new with some water and new clothes!” The child picked up the little box and kissed the forehead of the demonic Jack.
Never had Jack felt love like that!
Now Jack was under the arm of this child. He looked at the demon behind him that was beguiled. Jack’s eyes were black as night, he was not an innocent toy.
He yells to the demon loud and clear “No! I will go with this child and leave you behind. I am not your pet!”
Jack’s little head twisted in a mangled way, looking up at his holder.
“But I tell you now, this child will be mine!”
Tas is an autistic, queer, nonbinary, person of color that a neurodivergent writer. They are advocates for social justice, and equality, and are scholars of life.
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