By Dan Leicht
There was something eerie about the lone crate
tucked into the corner of the room. He entered
his new cramped apartment, placed his boxes down, uncertain
what might have been left for him by the previous tenant.
The crate was fitted with gold trim, bound tightly by silver screws. In
one of his boxes was a toolkit his parents had given him
years prior, he’d since used it only once before to repair a kitchen chair
he ended up throwing out before moving.
From the toolkit he removed a screwdriver –
he then slowly approached the enigma;
he imagined ominous music filling the room.
He placed his screwdriver into the first screw on the top of the waist high crate.
The screw fell to the floor with a clank. As he began to remove the last screw
something in the crate moved. He stopped,
placed his other hand firmly on the crate,
placed his ear onto the wooden lid, listened.
A slow rhythm. Faint.
He lifted the lid slightly to peek in
and noticed glowing blue eyes. The last screw fell
to the pile on the floor. He pushed the lid off.
He peered down inside. It looked back at him.
Their eyes meeting one another. His heart sank –
he stepped back – he walked forward – he took in a deep breath –
placed his hands into the crate – the scaly skin was slimy – his grip loose –
it slipped –
he picked it up again – placed it on the kitchen table.
The two were bemused by one another.
It looked back at him as if smiling.