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The Affliction Box

The affliction box

Estimated reading time โ€” 5 minutes

The booming knock on the door was deafening as it echoed throughout the house. Having just arrived home, the sound startled Alan Holloway while he casually threw his coat on a nearby chair. Recently divorced after catching his wife cheating, Alan now lives alone, completely consumed by his work as a local ad agent. He wasn’t expecting any visitors, which raised questions when the abrupt knocking on the door continued.

“Hello?” he answered the door, somewhat annoyed. Standing before him was a small-framed man with short, black, disheveled hair. His eyes were dull and almost lifeless. Alan stared at him, confused at first, then he slowly started to recognize him as an old classmate. “Lonny?” he smirked, remembering him as a scrawny kid he used to bully. “Little Lonny McCollin. How the hell are you? It’s been forever!”

“I forgive you,” Lonny muttered in a low, monotone voice, while offering up a small wooden box as a gesture of forgiveness. His lips slowly started to form a hellish sneer that turned into a distorted smile. He stood motionless, with his arms outstretched like some grotesque statue offering up a bizarre gift.


“What’s wrong with you?” Alan reluctantly reached out, accepting the offering. “Do you need any help?” He watched as Lonny merely turned around and started walking off into the distant, calm, dark night. Confused and startled by the whole thing, Alan called out to Lonny for some sort of explanation, but Lonny simply disappeared from view like a ghost in the night. Alan had always felt bad for having picked on Lonny as kids. He chalked up his behavior to playful hazing and teenage angst.

Puzzled by the eerie encounter, Alan locked the door and glanced down at the box. The small wooden box was adorned with strange hieroglyphs and lettering. It was no bigger than a shoebox and surprisingly lightweight. The lid of the box was held down tightly by a single metal latch that locked it, but Alan noticed that the lock had no keyhole. He shook the box, but it made no sound. Finding it extremely bizarre, Alan disregarded the oddity and tossed it aside without giving it any further thought.

Alan made his way towards the kitchen, deciding to pour himself a drink to help loosen up and get comfortable. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the same wooden box now resting atop the kitchen counter. Alan quickly glanced back to where he had tossed it and saw that the box was no longer there. A feeling of uneasiness swept over him as he slowly started to approach the mysterious box. Suddenly, he started to hear scratching coming from inside the box. It sounded like nails grinding menacingly against the wood. The sound got increasingly louder and more desperate the closer he advanced. The feeling of uneasiness he had swelled to a wave of panic now.

Alan decided to arm himself against whatever creature was trying to escape from within the box. He figured it must be some sort of rodent or stray animal inside, a harmless prank being played on him in retribution for his bully-boy antics from years past. He walked over and firmly grabbed a fireplace poker, determined to put an end to the bothersome stunt. He turned and walked back towards the kitchen, aggravated by the entire situation. Once again, he stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of the box. This time, the metal latch locking the box had somehow given way to the will of whatever lurked inside. The wooden box now sat there on the counter with the lid wide open, and whatever was clawing inside now had the freedom to escape.

The scratching sound intensified, seemingly drowning out all other noises. The air turned frigid around Alan as he stood still, his nerves tensed with anticipation like the strings of a bow. Alan held his breath as the smell of sulfur filled the room and watched in horror as a single hand emerged from the depths of the box. Slowly, a figure-like creature surfaced out of the box. The cracking sound of its limbs contorting sent shivers down Alan’s spine as it sluggishly crawled completely out. With a thin frame and dense charcoal skin, the nightmarish creature towered insidiously over Alan.

Paralyzed with fear, Alan felt his heart pounding directly out of his chest. He wanted nothing more than to look away and run as fast as he could, but his primordial fear gave no quarter. The creature’s eyes flared out with an orange-yellow glow and reptilian-like pupils that burned a foul gaze through Alan. Barbed quills rested atop its shoulders, slightly covered by the creature’s long and black matted hair. It slowly raised its slender arm and pointed towards Alan. With a sinister growl, the creature brandished its teeth, forming an abnormally large and twisted smile across its face. Razor-sharp, triangular, and interlocking rows of white death were all that greeted Alan.


Stuck in his throat, words failed to escape Alan as he stared directly at the monstrosity before him. He mustered up every bit of courage and broke free from the suffocating grip of his paralyzing fear. He darted in a frenzy across the hallway and towards his bedroom. Alan could feel his heart beating through his chest, pounding like war drums in his ears. His mind raced wildly, trying to make sense of what was happening. It was too overwhelming to grasp. Instinct and self-preservation were the forces driving Alan’s will now.

The bedroom doors slammed shut as Alan frantically entered, desperately searching for an escape. The windows were tightly latched, and he knew in the depths of his soul that he didn’t have much time. Outside, he could hear the floorboards creaking underfoot as the creature stalked closer. Alan made a mad dash to a nearby closet, hoping to make a last stand or find refuge from the creature outside. He gripped his hands around the fireplace poker so tightly that his fingernails dug into his flesh, causing the skin to break. The creature was at the door now. Alan could hear it scratch and claw as it made its way inside the room. His body trembled with the anticipation of soon being trapped alone with the horrid abomination.


Light from the bedroom scarcely filtered in through the thin vents on the closet door, barely illuminating the darkened room. Outside of the closet, Alan could vaguely see the shadow of the creature stalking its way ever closer. Alan held his breath and raised his weapon, ready to strike. He could see the shadow of the creature pacing back and forth at the threshold of the closet door. A wave of terror washed over him; a fear so powerful that it consumed his entire being whole.

Suddenly, Alan’s heart stopped as he could feel the creature’s warm, drawing breath on the back of his neck. It was in the closet with him now. Even though he couldn’t see it, every sense of his body felt its presence. The creature let out a low, ominous growl as it closed in with every dreadful breath. Sweat trickled down Alan’s brow as the feeling of impending doom crawled up his spine, making every second feel infinite. He turned around and swung wildly like a madman, lashing out in the darkness. It was over in a matter of seconds. A horrifying, gut-wrenching scream bellowed out with deafening intensity, sealing Alan’s fate.

The knock on the door abruptly came, sounding like a thunderous roar. It had been weeks since Alan’s ex-wife, Grace, had heard anything from him. Things had ended badly, and the divorce had been messy. However, it wasn’t like Alan to just disappear without telling somebody. She made her way toward the door, and once again, the foreboding knock rang out louder than before, filling her with a feeling of great apprehension.

“Hello?” Grace opened the door and was stunned to see Alan standing there. “Alan? Where on earth have you been? Everyone’s been looking for you,” she exclaimed. She stared at him, standing in the doorway with a dull and vacant look in his eyes. His hair was unkempt, and his face was drawn, as if a great albatross hung around his neck, weighing him down. His hands clutched tightly around a small wooden box that he slowly raised up towards her, like a peace offering. Visibly shaken, Grace accepted the small box while unleashing a barrage of questions on Alan.


He stood motionless, almost statuesque, and with a monstrous smile, simply declared, “I forgive you.”

Credit: Michael Castillo




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