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<  Vanitas  ~  The Wooden Box (Vanitas-based story)

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:10 am Reply with quote
Joined: 25 Oct 2007 Posts: 1190 Location: Alabama, USA
For Michael and Auriea

While walking down the street, I saw that my neighbors were having a yard sale. I looked at the individual items and found a little wooden box with VANITAS written on it. Opening the box, I found two twigs and an acorn sitting within. "Oh that box is very special.", my neighbor said, "It has the power to inspire and create."

"Interesting...", I said, and then asked, "How much are you asking for it?"

"For you, only $1.99.", she replied. I had two dollars in my wallet...exactly two dollars, and I gave it to her. "Don't worry about the change.", I said, and taking the wooden box, I walked on the sidewalk to my house.

I went in, greeted my dogs, and let them outside. Holding the box, I opened it again, but was surprised that the twigs and acorn were gone...well, replaced, by a bird's skull, key, and a ladybug. The ladybug flew out of the box happily. I was surprised to see it, actually, since ladybugs are not common where I live. Then I picked up the skull and studied it. I had no idea what kind of bird it was from. Lastly, I took the key out, inspecting it as well - it was worn, silver, and had a "V" engraved in it.

"I wonder...", I thought to myself. Letting the dogs back in, I pulled down the step ladder to my attic and climbed up, pulling down an old lock box that I had found a long time ago. I sat the box on a table and tried the key. It fit, and turning the key, the box unlocked. I had been waiting a long time to open this box, and as I did, I found bones inside. I had no idea what the box was there for, what it's purpose was, but instinctively, I took the bird skull and placed it inside, closing it.

I returned to the little wooden VANITAS box, only to find it was closed too. Sliding it open, I found two strange-looking eggs as well as another twig like before. I considered the twig being there, and then decided that the eggs may need to be put into a nest. The trees were stripped of their leaves for the winter, but it was the only idea I had for the eggs.

Taking a ladder, I walked outside with the box, finding an old abandoned nest still sitting on the tree limbs. I set up the ladder and climbed to the nest, carrying the box with me. When I reached the top, I placed the eggs in the old nest and put the twig in with them, which seemed to support the nest a little more. I climbed down, taking the ladder and putting it away. When I returned to the room where I left the lock box, I noticed it was open, and looking in, I saw a standing, fully formed bird skeleton. It startled me at first, as I wasn't expecting to see it there, but looking closer, I felt more calm. I returned the skull to it's owner, and it seemed to be thanking me in a strangely symbolic way.

I then saw the VANITAS box was once again closed - it had closed in my own hand. Did I dare open it again? My curiosity overcame me, and I slid the box open to find three new items - a nail, a little sleigh bell, and another twig. "Again?", I asked, but complied with what I thought I should do - I returned with the ladder to the tree, climbing up with a hammer, but this time stringing the nail with the sleigh bell and driving it into the tree just above the nest. The eggs remained untouched, but I placed the twig in the nest to reinforce it once again.

Climbing down, I returned once again and noticed something strange - the bird skeleton was missing from the lock box. I then faintly heard the little bell begin to ring from outside, and looking out of the window, I saw the bird skeleton standing on the nest. But that was not all I saw - two baby birds were chirping and crying to the skeleton.

It was their mother, who had returned to see her babies even after death. The birds seemed to be growing quickly, I watched as feathers seemed to grow upon them in a matter of minutes. Then right after, the two birds flapped their newborn wings and flew away. The mother bird skeleton fell forward, gently landing in the nest and coming apart as it was before.

I was in awe at the spectacle. I watched both death and birth intertwine in a beautiful way. Sitting down, I began to wonder about the VANDITAS box. How was it able to create such miracles? What was it's ultimate purpose? Who made it?

Looking toward it, I saw it was once again closed. I took it and opened it one more time, finding two large green feathers and a small book, wrapped in red yarn. The feathers were reminders of the gifts of kindness I was able to provide to the birds. I then took out the book, unraveling the yarn and opening it to find all the answers I ever wanted.

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Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Jun 2008 Posts: 116 Location: Canada
Now that was an inspiring piece of writing. Surprised
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Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:57 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Nov 2009 Posts: 148 Location: RI, USA (teehee, acronyms)
That was lovely. Fantastic, I'm impressed. And It's refreshing to see action in this topic aside from spam "=__=
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Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:13 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you. Beautiful story. Did this really happen?
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Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 25 Oct 2007 Posts: 1190 Location: Alabama, USA
Haha I wish it did! But I used the items the app gave me for the story, so I suppose that is close enough to it actually happening Wink
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