Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Voices from the Box


There was a box on the table. I never knew who put it there or why, but it looked nice and I liked it, so I kept it. I never opened it. Whenever I had friends round, they'd ask about it. I'd smile secretively and say, "It's just a box. Why does it need to be anything else?"

One day, I heard some rustling. Then a small voice. It was coming from inside the box. "Help me," it cried, "help me."

Well, what could I do? I tore it open and peered inside. "Hello?" I called. No answer. I put my nose a little deeper into the box. I called out again. Again no answer.

I stuck my head right inside the box, and suddenly I could feel myself being pulled in. I was powerless to stop it, and - stranger still - I didn't know whether or not I wanted it to stop.

It was pitch black when I came to rest. I heard a voice say "thank you", and I heard the sound of fluttering wings. It was gone.

And I was trapped in the box.

Who knows how long I was down there, rustling about in the darkness, looking for a way out. "Help me," I cried. No answer. "Help me," I cried. Maybe months. Maybe years. I don't know. Slowly I could feel my insides turning to jelly, but there was nothing I could do, except rustle around in that box and cry for help.

One day, I heard a voice calling hello. I stopped. I didn't answer. In the darkness I heard the noise of somebody falling down, falling in. A bang, a thud, a crash.

That's how I got my wings.

Looking back now, it was a terrible price to pay. I spent half my life down there and lost half of myself.

But when a voice asks for help, we offer it. That's what we do.

Would I do it again? It's a moot point. I didn't know what I was doing the first time and yet I did it. I didn't think about the consequences. I only thought about the voice crying for help.

That's what we do. We're only human.

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