22
Jan
21

Writing Prompt: Box

The box has lain quiet in the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean almost since the dawn of time.

It seems simple enough, at first glance. A metallic rectangle, six feet by two feet, with little to distinguish it from the other detritus floating around it. But take a closer look and you might notice the engraving.

Dozens of capering figures, animals and designs that look like primitive drawings of fire ring both the top and bottom edge. Carved through across the middle is a series of panels depicting two men. In the first, they are holding each other’s shoulders. In the next they are bowing before a fire. Another panel over shows one carrying leaves and fruits towards the fire, while the other brother carries a lamb. The next shows the brother with the fruits walking away with a dejected expression. The last shows the two at each other’s throats, the brother who bore fruit with a blade in his hand.

Written across the front of the casket in hundreds of styles and tongues is what appears to be a single word with dozens of different spellings. “Cain. Caine. Cagn. Kain. Kaen.” A multitude more.

The box has lain here for millennia, untouched and safe – or perhaps the world was safe from it – but time and tide have worn away the edges, and now a single crack has formed at one corner. Through that crack an occasional bubble emerges, defying that the pressure and length of time it’s been submerged should have ensured nothing living or breathing could be inside and alive.

Inside, Cain lies waiting, knowing that soon enough his seal will be broken, and he will be free.


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