Book of Days: February 17, Time Capsule

The box had traveled with them from house to house, had been handed down from family member to family member, for about as long as anyone could remember. It was more of a chest, they supposed, given how sturdy the sides seemed to be, but it was the box and there was no losing the nickname, not even for the sake of accuracy.

It was assumed, by the family and by anyone to whom they mentioned the box, that it was a time capsule. After all, things left with explicit instructions not to open them until a specific date generally were. There had been many times over the century the box had remained with them where the family wanted to open it up and see for certain, but they did their part and carried it, knowing one those alive when the hundred years were up would have the answer to the secret.

Louis thought they’d all been cheated, given he was the only one left. His parents had met and married late, meaning they’d been old while he was young. They’d hoped to make it to his twenty-fifth birthday, so they’d be able to see the box opened, but it wasn’t to be. Fuck Cancer. They’d only ever had time for the one child, and his mother had been an only child before that. With the box only for immediate family, and any cousins he might have had unknown and scattered to the winds, it was Louis alone who set the box in the centre of his kitchen table and watched the clock.

His birthday. That was when the box was supposed to be opened. His twenty-fifth birthday, and his parents had considered that lucky. They hadn’t had any doubts he’d get to see what was inside, not with that coincidence. Or sign, if you preferred, which he didn’t.

In truth, he didn’t really care what was in the box. He was only opening it as instructed because it had meant so much to so many others. If it hadn’t been carried for so long, if their curiosity hadn’t been so great, he’d probably have left it sitting there for another twenty-five years. Unless he had kids and they begged him to open it.

The clock struck midnight and he sighed, entering the code everyone in the family knew, but no one had yet used, and heard the locks inside the box click. He raised the stiff lid and found the contents of the box covered with a grey blanket, but right on top sat and envelope. One with his name on it.

His hands shook as he lifted the thick paper. There was a wax seal on the back, some sort of bird, and he broke it to take the letter out.

Dear Louis,

In this box you will find everything I think you’ll need. If I’m wrong, well, you’ll know what has to be done.

I’m certain we’ve got it right this time.

I hope.

Louis

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by | Feb 17, 2021

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