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Short Story 17

Jack of All Trades Master of None

There was once a box. Like most boxes of its type, it was brown and had flaps and edges. It was held firm by tape and had the words ‘family room’ written in red permanent marker on its side. It was not a large box, instead rather smaller and was 16x12x12 inches respectively, it was unaware of how many centimeters that was as it was not aware of metrics. It was filled from bottom to top with books. It is a well-known fact that small box’s are best for books that way the weight is not too great for them to be lifted. The books it was filled with were all coffee table books. This of course made it instantly self-aware but stole from it the general logic that might have been given if a dictionary, or historical something had been included. In the boxes defense the homeowner was not much on reading themselves and preferred books for decorative uses. This is why the box identical to this one was now drooling in the corner, it was filled with nothing but out of date botany and cookbooks that were blue and green, some had even been cut up to appear like words or decorations when the pages were spread out, subsequently that box never stood a chance.

But this box as was already stated was filled with coffee table books, so it did not suffer as the other one did.

Being bestowed with levels of curiosity caused by many lovely volumes filled with images of scenery this box at once became curious as to why it was not capable of being like the decorative pillow on the sofa. It was still square, but was much flatter at the corners and had a protruding belly. This box was certain that if it had been cut through and two of its sides pressed together it could provide adequate decorative abilities and waist support. The coffee table books also endowed it with a supreme sense of self-confidence.

The box at once attempted the change but as it was not in possession of nerves, muscles, or connective tissues, not to mention bones and other essentials for bodily movement, it was not able to prevail over itself to do as it wished.

This mattered very little for soon it was diverted to a ball that had been left by one of the small people who inhabited along with the one that had constructed it. This ball was so incredibly soft and lovely. The box at once decided that should its sides be pushed in, and the outside given a bit of a rub it could achieve the necessary reconstruction to also become something smooth, orbular, and beautiful.

There was another attempt made to perform such an action and as the earlier qualifications were not met and as the books, in the box’s opinion, made it too heavy, it was incapable of performing the rolling action required to form itself into a ball.

This was again no real problem as soon it became entranced by some other object within the room, and always when it found this new thing it would devise a plan on how to achieve its appearance and then fail at being able to do so. However, the box always remained very confident, this was endowed to it via the art books that were heavily prominent amongst the ranks of those that filled it.

Another item took its attention, a lamp more cylindrical, with a soft yellow, shining glaze. Now this shape it knew it could do quite easily. There was no art to a cylinder, that much it was positive. It was the outer coating that would be harder. It had various fine art books filled with images of vases with mild explanations as to the process of their creation. It was positive that if it could achieve that appealing shape, it would be able to draw the attention of a great artist that would wish to have it glazed and immortalized for the rest of eternity. Not that the box was aware of eternity, it really had no sense of time.

This continued throughout the day and into the night. With every passing moment and with every new attempt the box was certain that soon, very soon, it would be able to achieve one of these new shapes.

When morning came the moving truck arrived. There was movement and chaos all throughout the house, or at least from the box’s perspective. This and that were taken away, those who possessed the shapes and designs it admired at any given moment, the box couldn’t remember or maintain interest in all of them for a very long period of time, as it was a box and thus had a very small attention span. It complemented those that went before, it knew there was a reason, in its odd self-awareness, that it was right for them to be taken first and then at once it forgot them. For a box has a very small memory for things, even those things that reside inside of it.

At last, the box’s time came. A fuss was made over it, loud voices, and all. When the rough hands reached beneath it to raise it from the ground, the box had a transcending sensation. Reality faltered around it and at last it realized its great purpose. It knew all the wonderful things it hid within it. At the end of the day, it was the most important item of all those within.

The bottom flaps of the box opened, and all the books came toppling out onto the floor. It is difficult to imagine what this would do to a box, but at once it’s thought processes ceased. It was no longer concerned with what was lovely or what shape it should take, for it no longer had a thought to think. Tape was wrapped around its outer self. It was refilled more clumsily for lack of time, little bits entering along with only two thirds of the books that had previously filled it, for lack of time a few had been put into a half empty box that was waiting in the foyer.

The box that woke was very different from the one that had been before it. It lacked even more sense than its predecessor. It didn’t care if it was shaped one way or the other or if it looked one way or another. It, like most if not all before it, was scooped up and put into the moving van. It didn’t care that some were round or not. It would be taken to its destination where it would be unpacked and folded. Maybe put in a garage or a basement or gathered with the others and thrown into a recycling bin. Ultimately, like the box before it, it would be forgotten and too forget it ever was.


Thank you so much for reading everyone!!

Prompt: Jack of all trade master of none

Word Count: 1154

©DecemberKnight 2022

Special thanks to Ana Benet from Pexels for the use of the image!

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