Drabble · Stories · Writing

Out of the Box: A drabble

Zi stared down at the tiny box, eyes narrowed in concentration. There had to be a trick to opening it and getting at whatever was inside. It was small, barely the width of her hand, and the wood dark and smooth with age. It had been two hours now, and she was nearing the point of simply carving in some very illegal sigils and letting the thing explode. There was no latch, no seam in the wood’s perfectly uniform sides. Her instructors hadn’t even told her what was hidden in the box, just dangling the mystery in front of her like a carrot. She pushed a stray strand of dark hair back behind her ear.

Maybe I’m not supposed to open the box, but just pretend that I did. That wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Her memory echoed with Agent Larch’s constant refrain of “think outside the box!”

She grinned suddenly, glancing around the small, bare room. Each corner had its own set of engraved rings, adjustable standards ready for most spells. She grabbed the unopened box of chalk, standing and making her way over to the closest set. Why should she try and unlock the cage, when she could just move it out of the way, instead?

The chalk dropped into her hand, and between the outer two rings she drew crow sigil. Crow, her mind offered absently. Sign of the tricksters; of travel, change, and illusion. The tiger was a more finicky sigil, and she took her time making sure the angles were perfect. The tiger; strength, stability, wealth and treasures.

Filthy hands left streaks of white on her jeans, but Zi barely noticed, reaching down deep into the earth to pull at the power she could always feel buzzing beneath her feet.

Whatever was in that box, it was hers.

Just a little drabble as a homework assignment. Zi is a character from a novel I’m working on though. I do like her quite a bit. 


S.J. Penner

Author of the upcoming series #Tyrant, artist, and inveterate dabbler. Creator of #guiltfreeswag for writers and gamers at Coffee Ink where 100% of proceeds go to Red Cross Emergency Services.

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