A Box Within

First place winner of the June-July Hidden Power Competition. Sometimes it takes an outsiders view to make real a life so tragic and flawed, that once shown its true colours revitalizes a need for change. It shows that sometimes the greatest power man bestows, is the ability to change their life for the betterment of something far more valuable.

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6. The Child

A school bell rang in the distance and swarms of children rushed out from every exit of the building, excited to be free. The happy faces scoured the playground looking for the familiar face of a parent or grandparent. 

With a screech and a giggle a small boy slammed face first into the stomach of a nearby women holding something tightly in his hand, winding her slightly.

Another parent and child walking past them towards their car stopped, the Mother looking at the little boys object.

"What an extraordinary little box he has there," she said smiling, her daughter wrapped around her legs.

"My Mom gave it to me," the little boy mumbled, holding the object with both hands close to his chest. "She says it's special." He looked up and smiled at his Mother, seeking approval. 

"That's great," the Mother turned to the women holding the child. "I'm Samantha, I believe my daughter is in your sons class."

"Hi, I'm Claire," she reached out a welcoming hand which Samantha shook. "Yes, Irvine is always going on about her."

"I am not!" The little boy protested, his cheeks reddening as he ran away to the swings at the far end, the little girl following.

"Kids," Samantha laughed. "So where did you get that box. Looks very expensive."

Claire looked at her and smiled a little, biting her lip. "I bought it the same day I found out I was pregnant. I bought it to remind myself of a truth I had forgotten. I got it to remind myself what I gave up for him, and that to never let him down. You know what I mean?"

Samantha didn't know, Claire knew she wouldn't be able to understand, not many people would.

"The box is empty, it's always been empty. It reminds me of what I have now. In a way the box is like my son. It is a beautiful box, I've worked hard to get it and I'll ensure it stays as beautiful as the day I first got it." Claire said, feeling proud.

"We'll I'd hurry over to your son," Samantha said pointing at the children. "It looks like he's collected bugs with it."

The two women laughed but as Claire realised she wasn't joking she ran across the play ground,  uneasily in her high heels.

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