The Fantasy Writers Reddit posted a contest: “…As usual, your challenge is to write a story (or vignette/manuscript excerpt) of three hundred words or fewer inspired by today’s image. This week’s image comes from Il Corvaccio on Flickr…”
Humbly, this is my submission.
“Eggs and oaths are easily broken.” – Danish Proverb
Oh no, no, no… Jamie, what have you done? I knew you could not be trusted. I should not have listened to Mark. Mark was wrong about you. Mark was wrong about everything. Where are you now Jamie? You never understood what it was or how powerful it had become. Jamie, did you sell it for drug money? No, the last I heard you had kicked that habit and turned your life around. Maybe Randall knows. Randall vowed to be the last. Randall loved you, but he hated Mark. You enjoyed making them fight. Jamie, what have you done?
Stop. Think. Max, you can figure this out. Jamie must be close. She doesn’t know how to use it. Did Jamie learn to use it? Did Mark teach Jamie to use it? No, Mark didn’t believe it worked. Randall. Randall must have taught her how to use it. Randall knew how to open the box before the timer expired. Yes, Randall. He must have given Jamie the secret to opening the box. No, Randall would not speak to Jamie after she left him for Mark. But then Jamie left Mark too. Jamie, what have you done?
Look at the rust. The box has been open for a long while. There is no rain water in the box. When was the last time it rained? Jamie, why did you leave the box open? Did water damage it? Can it be damaged? Jamie what have you done?
“Max. Hey Max! Earth to Max. Where did you go? Did you hear my question?”
“Sorry Mark. That old lunch box triggered another episode. They are so real.”
“Max, I am here for you buddy. Let’s continue the walk. OK?”
“Sure, let’s walk.”
I will find Jamie and make her put it back in the box.
UPDATE: 24-Jan-2018 16:01 MT
Redditor: “I like the way this is written. Does the box contain the oath? I like the idea of that.”
Ruairí: “Thank you. The box contained an object. A tontine is a time-bound agreement amongst a group. Generally the premise is: At a specified future date, the last, or those left, of the group, share the agreed to item(s) (usually money). Max is worried about the object and it’s power in unstable hands. :)”