I live in a box. It’s dark and lonely and cramped. Built by someone with no flair for design it has no redeeming features, in fact it has no features at all it’s just a boring box. No colour seeps into my world, no light shines through the cracks between the walls, no sunshine warms my face. It’s a sad and sorry existence and I feel small and feeble and afraid. One of the worst feelings in the world is loneliness, but worse is not knowing if it will end. If it will always be just me and the dark walls of my box…forever.
Once, a long time ago I used to be the life and soul of the party. Dressed in my nifty finery I was always called upon to inject some levity and fun into the proceedings, to make people laugh and to sometimes shock them with my antics. I was seen in all the best places entertaining young and old alike but those days are long gone. Now I rarely get visitors and I’m left feeling bereft and abandoned with only my shaky memories and my dark walls for company.
It’s difficult to remember when I stopped being wanted, when my bell stopped ringing with children wanting me to come out to play. Actually looking back it was always the children rather than the adults who extended the invitation, how extraordinary that I had forgotten that until now, I think it’s a sign of being alone for too long. But of course I didn’t mind, I loved the children as much as they loved me. They were always such fun and full of innocence, perpetually smiling and making jokes sometimes at my expense but of course I took it all in my stride and laughed along with them.
It was the adolescents who were cruel, poking fun at my clothes or my face or my smile, even calling me names, ‘stupid’ or ‘childish’ or ‘immature’ were their favourites, but I brushed it off, pretended I didn’t care and carried on as normal, entertaining the youngsters and the old folks, both of whom appreciated me for what I was and for the fun I brought to their lives. I wonder now if I will ever again have visitors, wear my best clothes and my painted smile with pride and confidence knowing I’m once again making people happy. Or if I’m destined to be forever in solitary confinement, in the dark, in my box.
I can hear voices! Giggling and laughing, excited happy sounds and they’re coming nearer. I know with a certainty that my bell will ring this time and suddenly there is light streaming in, glorious light and I’m doing what I’m made to do. I jump up and greet my new visitors with a huge grin on my face and I hear their exclamations of delight and they call my name and are so very pleased to see me, almost as pleased as I am to see them.
Oh forgive me, I just realised I never introduced myself… I’m Jack…
’Jack in a Box’
J. New is the British author of Cosy Mysteries and YA Magical suspense. You can find her online at all the usual places including her website: www.jnewwrites.com / and Facebook: www.facebook.com/jnewwrites /
All her books are available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-New/e/B00SLHW83G/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1436965780&sr=8-1
One response to “Suspense FF: A Dark Place by J. New”
Being the Numpty I am, I scrolled to the bottom of this short story to see how long it was and inadvertently spotted the last sentence. Had I not done this I do believe I would not have guessed the identity of the character. A lovely short story which is no more than I would expect of J. New.