Kyle Shultz is currently enrolled at Full Sail University for Creative Writing with a prior Certificate earned from Full Sail University for Media Communications. When not at his day job, Kyle spends most of his time writing in his office and spending time in the country, close to loved ones, near the Greater St. Louis area.
It was a normal day…or so it seemed.
I was renovating the house. Ripping tiles from the floor, replacing the sink and the cabinets as the hours went by. I was missing a few odds and ends and decided to run to the local hardware store. As the hours passed by, the day felt off; as if something was wrong. Couldn’t quite place it, but there was just that feeling, that intuition that something was off about that morning. The feeling slightly faded as I went on about my day. I finished grabbed the nails and screws I needed to finish my giant mess of a home and got in my truck and left.
As I pulled into my driveway I noticed a man in a suit in the distance, just standing there. I waved, he did nothing. “Creepy” I remember muttering under my breath. I step in the house and start working, several minutes go by then suddenly I heard a knock on the door. Soft thuds as if someone gently raised their hand and let gravity take control as their hand fell on the wooden door. I was several feet away and heard it through the commotion of my tools, by the time I got to the door the person was gone. All that was there was a box. Just a black box. No bigger than your typical shoebox.
I pick it up and sit down on the makeshift chair I have in my living room. I turn the box over trying to find an opening. Nothing. There’s no way to open this thing. No crease, no folds. Nothing. I get up and place it on the counter nearest to the kitchen and continue about my work. Hours go by and all I can hear is this noise inside the house.
“Dammit, what is that noise?” I remember saying. I remember hunting around the house trying to find the source of the sound. Each room I went it, the sound would dissipate or grow louder. I spent at least an hour looking and to no avail, I found nothing. I put earbuds in, thinking that would mute the sound. It did…for a second and it was back.
It was starting to drive me crazy. This sound would come and go. Now when I went to look for it, each room I entered the sound would stop. It would pick up in another room the minute I left that room I was just in like it was a game. Like this sound knew what it was doing. I go back to the room I was working on, put the earbuds back in, turn my MP3 on, I put another set of headphones on, some expensive noise canceling ones that I never use anymore, but they seem suitable now.
They seemed to work. Nothing but quiet. “Finally,” I remember saying with a heavy sigh. I continue work in the room for about two hours until suddenly the noise came back. No warning. It was just there, in my head like an annoying neighbor that doesn’t know when or how to mind their business. “Son of a bitch” I remember saying as I ripped the headphones off my head and the earbuds from my ears. I take my tools and I go room to room, tipping the carpet from the floor, tearing the drywall down. Nothing was out of touch for me. I was going to find the source of this sound.
It’s the following morning, I haven’t slept yet, I have the house stripped to the bare bones. You can practically look inside the house from the outside. I had an audience from the neighbors watching the show of me tearing my own house apart looking for this mysterious sound. Suddenly, I realize that not too long after I brought that box into the house, I started to go mad. I go back into the destroyed room where this started, I can’t find it.
I look under the rubble that is my kitchen just to find it, I know I look crazy now, but it has to be here & I have to open it. I know it’s there, but I can’t find it. Now I start to panic. First, the sound that haunts me and now I can’t find the box, the very thing that could’ve started this mess.
“Excuse me, sir?” I hear from behind me, it’s a cop and his partner. “What’s going on here?” he asks. “You don’t hear that?” I remember asking. The cop looks at his partner and looks back at me, “Hear what, sir?”. “WHAT?! The sound. QUIET!!! You’ll hear it.” As soon as I say that, the sound is gone. There’s nothing there. “OH, COME ON!!” I yelled. “Sir, you’re coming with us.” The cop moves closer to me, places handcuffs on me and they both proceed to move me to the cop car.
I look up and I see this man in a suit holding a black box, the very one I was looking for.
“LOOK!” I yelled. “There it is!!” The cops both look back and see nothing. “I’m not crazy!! LOOK it’s THERE!!” Now I’m in a white room with four corners and padding…though the sound is back. I look out the tiny crack of the door and I see that man in the suit, clutching the black box in his hands. He stares at me. All I can do is tremble. “It’s there” I mutter, under my breath. “It’s...he’s there.” I say softly, “Make it stop...what did I do?” The sound starts to become deafening and I cannot do a thing. I’m constricted to a straitjacket, my movement limited.
I lay there, succumbing to the sound and my own madness. I feel as if the world is closing in on me, as if I’m in the box and the Man in the Suit goes door-to-door collecting the madness of his victims. Maybe that is the point of his boxes, to collect the sanity of those around him as some sick trophy?