The Chest

brown wooden box
Jouwen Wang

It couldn’t really be called light.  It was more of a glow of energy, but its presence was real.  Oskar gestured to Jan to sweep around the chest, and the two would approach it from opposite sides at the same time. 

“On three,” Oskar mouthed, a command Jan acknowledged with nod.

At the count of three, Jan jerked the chest open from behind while Oskar steadied an arrow should something untoward emerge from the chest.

Nothing – there was nothing in the chest.  Its interior was dark and vacuous, yet the exterior of container continued to glow.

“What do you think?”  Jan asked.

“I’m not sure,” Oskar responded.  “It looks empty.”

Jan rifled through a pouch on his belt and withdrew a silver coin and tossed it into the chest.  It rolled around the bottom of the chest and came to a stop and fell over.  Suddenly a second silver coin appeared next to it.

“Hmm, try again,” Oskar instructed.

Jan dropped in a copper coin, and brass token.  These behaved much as the silver coin and again multiplied.

“I think we are on to something,” Oskar said with excitement in his voice.  “Throw in your gold.”

As Jan loosened his coin pouch from his belt, Oskar did the same.

“On three,” Jan said. “One, two, three.”

Both brothers tossed their pouches into the chest at the same time, and they landed with a heavy thud.

The chest shuddered and then the lid slammed shut.  A couple of seconds later the lid opened only wide enough to expel the brass token and the empty pouches before closing again with a firm click.

Try as they might the siblings could not open the chest. 

As they stood back to consider their options, Jan could swear he could hear the chest chuckling to itself.


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