What if multiple histories and timelines are more than just an interesting theory? And what if some of those timelines intersect in a way that a person is caught between them?
Now, imagine that this person is a thirty-five-year-old woman who thinks of herself as a little too ordinary but is in no way prepared for the extraordinary. Let’s give her a name: Monica Crothers.
Monica is a responsible wife, mother and business executive. She also acquires odd items as a small rebellion against being conventional. This is not an accident. No, Monica puts thought into these items and has developed a well-considered philosophy around them. She appreciates that these oddities want nothing from her, and she thinks they give her balance.
Always on the lookout for new acquisitions, she enjoys the search as much as the items themselves. Toward the end of a long lunch break one September afternoon, she takes up the hunt by venturing into a store she’s never visited before. At first it seems the shop called Melvin’s has nothing special, but then life takes a strange and unexpected turn.
The white-haired shopkeeper understands Monica’s need for something odd and so cajoles her into buying The Everything Box. Although it appears to be a simple wooden item, the box can be a powerful tool in the hands of the right person.
Monica isn’t sure she’s that person, but the wily old shopkeeper picks up on the subtle connection to the box that she felt from the beginning.
Monica avoids showing the box to her office colleagues, but she won’t be able to bypass her husband’s curiosity so easily. Rob, who’s loving and practical, jokes about “Mrs. Crothers” and her collection when she brings home one of her odd items.
The Everything Box reveals history in novel and cinematic ways, and since Monica was a history major in college she at first appreciates a new view of her own life and key moments in the world at large. The more or less traditional historical sections are fascinating, and the personal little videos are benign and comforting.
As the days progress and Monica asks more of The Everything Box, its history lessons veer toward darkness, and soon she finds the box’s personal messages almost too difficult to handle. When she tries to remedy her situation, reality delivers more surprises and history proves to be far more elusive than she’d imagined.
|File size:||238 KB|
About the Author
WALTER RICE is the author of several works of crime fiction and is a former newspaper editor and reporter in the Pacific Northwest. He also paints, often digitally, and plays the piano and writes music. He lives near Seattle with his wife and pets.