Jen & Jan's Box (Chapter 1)
***AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story was orignially called, "The Box." Some of you may remember. Since then, it's undergone a few changes. Enjoy!
Dear Watson Sisters
“Snow, snow go away, come again some other day…” The young girl sang, gazing out the fogged window into the frozen, white world beyond her home. This year’s winter season has been extremely brutal, blanketing the small town of Auburn Hills in the thick snow, piling as high as their knees. Auburn Hills normally sat in a warm climate, with extended sun hours and short winters. However, since the month of January began, a constant, heavy blizzard set into town, leaving it frozen and barren. Unbeknownst to the townspeople, Mother Nature was not the force driving this furious snowstorm.
The young girl hummed the tune over and over, drawing images onto the fogged window with a finger. In a brightly lit living room cluttered with gray shelves of plants, old photos, and beige leather furniture, the blaring television sat next to her in the living room, echoing random commercials into the dim, jungle like kitchen where Jenelle, her older sister of seven years, washed dishes. The two resembled each other very closely; both had dark bronze skin, deep ebony colored eyes, and covered in silky black braided locks that fell to their backs. The only difference was age; Jenelle was taller and more mature looking with a slightly curved teenage body, while her younger sister Janice, still had the cute, childish toddler-like body. Though the two girls are close appearance, their behavior and train of thought are worlds apart, like night and day; Janelle is the more responsible and caring, while Janice, thought appearing cute and innocent is the rebellious, laid back type. For as long as Jenelle could remember, she and her sister have been living alone with their beloved grandmother near the edge of town, until they found out the truth. Their parents died in a terrible car accident coming home from shopping one night When Jenelle was barely able to walk, and Janice was a newborn infant. How can one react to such news if you barely remember or if you have never seen your parents?
Both sisters were numb, and because of that, they felt pain. Being their only family member left, the two girls were picked up by their Grandmother, a kind hearted woman who works at the city’s shelter downtown. She mended the void by filling it with what the two were missing most. A Parent. However, her taxing efforts to save the homeless and bring home a decent salary have her barely at home, leaving the sisters to fend for themselves most of the time.
“Jenelle,” the young ebony girl called out, bouncing into the kitchen, her long, dark braided locks flopping behind her shoulder. She gave her big sister the saddest puppy eyes with all the strength a seven year old could muster, her big hazel eyes watered and she stuck out her bottom lip. Jenelle frowned; drying her hands on a nearby cloth and folded her arms, glaring down at her younger sister.
“What is it, Janice?” Jenelle asked irritably.
“Can I… Go play in the snow?” Janice clasped her hands together pleadingly, asking her older sister in a baby doll voice.
Jenelle gave her sister a stern look.
“No.” Janice didn’t flinch, reinforcing the puppy face.
“No, you’ll freeze as soon as you open the door.”
“I’ll put on extra clothes. Please?”
“I said no. Even extra clothing won’t help you in this weather. You’ll be buried alive in the snow.” Jenelle shook her head, emphasizing her answer.
Janice pouted and crossed her arms. “You’re sooooo boring!! You never want to do anything fun.”
“No, you need to learn the difference between fun and life threatening. And I am not boring!” Jenelle said frustrated.
“Are too.” Janice grinned.
“I won’t argue with you. Go back into the front.”
“See? That’s what I mean! You won’t even argue with me, and that’s the nature of all the sisters in the world! Face it, you’re boring!” With that, she stomped back into the living room. Jenelle rubbed her temples and sighed.
It was around post noon when the howling blizzard reached its peak, the thick, white snow was at its highest, the frigid winds at its strongest, and the chilling icy weather was at its coldest. That was the time. The only time when the force responsible for prolonging the brutal storm would reveal itself to the town. A droning howl filled the town, followed by slight tremors that rattled things along the house. The two girls froze. Jenelle bolted into the living room, joining Janice by the fogged window.
“Did you hear that?” they asked one another at the same. Boom. Boom. BOOM. Each step became stronger as pictures dropped from the walls, the droning roar thundered throughout the town sounding as if it came right down the street from the girls’ home. The fierce storm prevented them from seeing an inch from the window.
“What is that, Jenelle?” Janice asked her eyes glued to the window. Jenelle opened her mouth to reply but was cut off as a massive dark shadow engulfed the entire window covering half of the entire house, on both floors, in darkness. Both girls were stunned, their mouths hung below them. A hard thud shook the entire neighborhood, causing both girls to tumble to the floor, the furniture jumping inches into the air. A deafening howl rattled the flexible glass from the windows as Jenelle grabbed her sister.
“Get away from the window!” Jenelle yanked her stunned sister, crawling away from the window. The doorbell suddenly rang. The two girls jumped, their hearts in throats.
“Don’t move, Janice” Jenelle whispered. The doorbell rang again, followed by a powerful knock nearly knocking the door off its hinges. Another loud knock. Silence. The tremorous stomping faded into the howling winds, along the giant shadow. All was quiet.
“Wait here.” Said Jenelle as she got up and ran to the door, looking out the peephole. Nothing. All she could see was white. She bolted back upstairs to the coat closet.
“I’m going out.”
“What? So you get to go outside? That’s not fair!” Janice screamed hotly.
“I’m only going out in front of the door, stop whining.” Said Jenelle, bolting back downstairs. She swung open the door, greeting a frigid blast of snowy wind. Jenelle shivered zipping up her coat and flipping on her hood. The winter winds tore through her clothes, chilling her skin as stepped outside. The snow hit like punches while she climbed through the icy snow, which engulfed her legs, numbing them. It was so cold…
Jenelle was lost in a cold world of white four feet from her own house. She couldn’t even see the mailbox. She scanned her surroundings, curling up to keep warm. Right after taking a step forward, she felt the snow give away beneath her and she dropped onto the hard, frozen grass. Grass? Groaning in pain, she rose to her feet, gasping in awe. She had fallen into an enormous hole, at least eight to ten feet wide and long. How did this get here? Jenelle turned around to see a thick wall towering over her. It was much taller than her, but equal to the length of her elbow if she raised her arm, a height that change any minute due to the rapidly falling snow.
“Jenelle!” a faint voice called out into the howling winds. It was Janice.
“Stay inside! I’ll be there in a minute!” She replied, placing a hand on the icy snow to pull herself up before something caught her eye.
Not a few feet away from her, lay a large box. Once approached it, Jenelle saw that it was a blue and white striped box, with a letter attached to it, which was addressed to both her and Janice in dark cursive ink. She quickly picked up the box, which was slightly heavy and hurried back into the house. Jenelle did not know that she was fated to pick up that box that afternoon. That striped box would from there on in, change her and her younger sister’s entire life, and the people around them. She also did not know that the giant hole she fell into actually belonging to a massive pair of footprints.
“Oooh, what’s that?” Janice asked with sparkling eyes as Jenelle carefully placed the box onto a wooden table in the living room.
“I found it outside after I fell into a hole. It’s addressed to us.” Said Jenelle, picking up the cold letter.
“Well, open it! Open it!!” Janice clapped her hands, bouncing all around the living room. Jenelle ripped open the letter and read it aloud:
“Dear Watson Sisters,
Please accept what is inside this box. If the two of you agree to accept this, then it is with great pleasure and honor that I bestow upon you my most precious gift. The gift of life. My only wish is that you treasure this sacred gift as if it were your own, and may it grant you peace and happiness for the rest of your days. Thank you.”
“That’s it?” Janice asked, raising an eyebrow. “What was that?”
“I… Don’t know.” Jenelle said puzzled.The thing that scared her was the fact that the person that wrote the letter knew who Jenelle and her sister were, but she didn't have a clue who this came from. She scanned the dark, cursive ink on the lined paper again before handing the letter to her sister and opening the striped box.
Lying on its side in the center of the box sat an emerald egg. It was at least two to four times bigger than a normal chicken egg, as it sat in the box covered in an icy frost. Jenelle shivered when she picked it up. It’s so cold… It was like holding solid block of ice in her hands.
“Eww, I hate the color green.” Janice groaned, wrinkling her face to show her distaste.
Jenelle wrapped her arms around the egg, pushing it to her chest, ignoring it’s frigid chill. Is it really life inside this frozen shell? What are we supposed to do with it? As if answering her questions, Jenelle snapped from her thoughts, as she felt sudden shaking from the eggs' inside. She raised an eyebrow. She felt something tiny snuggle against her chest before the egg began shaking once again. Sound began to fade from her ears, replacing it with a loud, droning thumping noise. Tha-bump… Tha-bump… It was slow and soft; it seemed to be getting weaker at each pump. A failing heartbeat! It’s alive!!
“Jenelle!!” The voice caused her to yelp, jumping several inches in the air, almost dropping the egg. It was Janice.
“Don’t do that!!!!” she bellowed, out of breath, her heart in her throat.
“Well I wouldn’t have to if you would’ve heard me the first time!” her sister snapped back. “You went dead for a minute- it was creepy…”
“Well, I’m okay, but the thing in here isn’t doing so good.” She explained, pointing to the dark green egg. “It's freezing from being out in the cold so long and I don’t know how much longer it can last. Quick, go get the heater from up stairs and a towel."
Her sister frowned. "Why do I have to go? You do it!"
"JUST DO IT!"
The young girl grumbled to herself, begrudgingly heading through the living room, stomping loudly up the stairs.
"I'm telling granny!" she retorted.