The box said, ‘Do Not Open Until Doomsday.’ The girl received it last year as a birthday gift, arriving with her milk delivery. Just a small, plain, brown paper wrapped box.
She always thought it was a joke, but when she first looked it over, she found that it had no visible seam, no tape to show where to open it. It felt heavy, and had a slight sliding sound whenever it was moved, no matter what direction.
The box was put up on top of the bookshelf, behind the first row of books. Out of sight, out of mind, she thought to herself as she did so.
But that was last year, and a better one.
This year, people spoke of end times, and to her, it was the worst one she ever experienced. Not only did war suddenly erupt in most of the civilized world, but a wave of sicknesses and plagues spread their gory fingers into many people. Cities died, people died.
She sat through another news report when she remembered. Full of dread, she went up to the bookshelf and lifted out the package, then noticed in horror that one of the corners was gnawed into. She pulled out the books to find a mouse scurrying away into a hole that was meant for wiring.
She dropped the box, where it promptly broke open, showing nothing at all…


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