Black and heavy, the box was black and heavy. Not terribly heavy so that she was unable to lift it, only heavy for its size. She was able to cup her two palms around it, so that only the black top was exposed.
“No matter what, do not open it; Do not open open your box.”
That was what the old man had told her when he gave her the box. She hadn’t accepted it, she had even tried to return it to him after he had given it to her; he hadn’t collected it. She threw it away several times, but it only appeared next to her after a while.
So now she held her box. Her black box, as dark as the secrets it contained. Her dread had worn off, although not completely. She still felt fearful whenever she looked at the box, but it was nothing compared to how terrified she had felt when she had first gotten it. Twenty years, and she still hadn’t gotten used to the strange box.
She lifted one hand and rubbed the top of the box. It was smooth, with only five dents. No, not dents; they seemed intentional. Five holes so dark she it was impossible to know where the hole ended. Four of them were aligned, with the last lower.
She had kept her fingers in all the holes except the one that fell out of place. Somewhere deep down in her, maybe her heart, she knew that that was how she would open this box.
She had been curious before, she had been curious her whole life. But this time, it wasn’t to be quenched.
She felt a thrill, an excitement; How people feel when they do something they shouldn’t. She slipped the first finger in, the second, the third, fourth. She fingered the fifth hole slowly before she finally slipped it in completely. None of her fingers touched the end.
For a moment, nothing happened; Then everything happened, at least it seemed so.
Everything about the box still looked as it had, but it felt nothing alike. She thrust her head back as she experienced a whole lot of new things: Anger, despair, misery, sickness, turmoil, strife, jealousy, hatred, passion. She knew that wouldn’t be all, because more had been released that had not yet manifest. Her black hair turned grey in seconds, her smooth skin becoming wrinkled. For the first time, she experienced ageing.
She pulled her hands back to her. The box was not black and smooth anymore, it had become rusty brown and rough.
In the midst of her despair and misery, she felt something new that wasn’t evil; she felt hope.
She held the box once more, cradling it, and she somehow still felt hope locked in it. She had unleashed all manner of evil into her world, but she had not let go of hope.
Pandora, for the first time, felt hope in her newly-found misery.