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The Box on Riverdale Street

A tale of three men

This is a tale of three men, an educated man, a glutton and a greedy man. Unfortunately for you, this happens more than you would like to believe.

There is nothing remarkable about Riverdale Street, except for the town’s yearly parade that would march down that street. Besides that day, it was an ordinary street, a road for people to travel to get home and get to work.

One evening, there was a man driving down on Riverdale. He was a professor at the local college. He was educated, but education does not necessarily equate to intelligence. There was nothing exceptional about him except he was thin but a well learned-man. Years of being cooped up in his study room surrounded by books took a toll on him. He had no family or friends because he lacked the social skills to maintain and cultivate such relationships. He was not popular at his work. He was an invisible man. He was neither ugly nor handsome; he had a regular face. He was easily forgettable and thus invisible.

On a fateful evening, the Educated Man left his office and decided to go home.

He had no other choice. He did not have friends to go hang out at the bar or anyone expecting him anywhere else. As he rode home, he saw a curious thing in the distance on the street. It reflected brightly against his headlights. It was such a curious thing that the Educated Man stopped his car in the middle of the road to see what it was. It was a brown box with gold trimming, and under the lock were markings that he had never seen before, but he suspected that it was another language.Where did this box come from? Who was the owner of this magnificent box? Bitten by his curiosity, the Educated Man picked up the box, threw it in his car and hastily drove home.

That box was the most exciting thing to happen to the Educated Man in a long time. He brought it to his study room and placed the box on his desk. He scanned his bookshelf and looked for all his old language books. Despite the night and chilled sky, the man left his windows open, for he liked the night air that came through and in the mornings, the fresh dew would wake him. It was all he had. He had nothing else. He often woke up in his study, tired from work with no one to greet him, nothing but the sun and fresh dew air. He took a seat, rapidly reading to identify the marks carved in the box.

As most people do, the Educated Man had a neighbor that lived next to his house. The neighbor was a large, fat man who lived all alone in his home. The Glutton worked at a local bank, and spent his afternoon and evening watching foreign cartoons and stuffing his face with all types of treats and food. He was a gross man who sweated profusely most of the time. He was a slow walker, and when he did walk, he breathed heavily with thick, gasps of air. He had long thin hair; his hair was so thin it was easy to spot his white pale scalp underneath, which contrasted against his pink blotchy skin. Despite his grotesque appearance and his burden of poor impulse control, the fat man continued to glutton and ate constantly. He had nothing else.

That night while watching his cartoons, he smelled something delicious in the air. It was such an enticing and gorgeous smell as if he was in a three star restaurant. His stomach rumbled, and he decided that he should find the source of that delicious smell. He wobbled to his kitchen, but his kitchen was dirty and there was no new food. He had not cooked anything that day. Nevertheless, the smell of what was cooking was so strong and demanding that he followed the smell to his window across the Educated Man's study. He opened his window, leaned his head, and inhaled deeply. The delicious smell was coming from his neighbor’s house. He squinted his eyes, witnessed the brown box, and realized that the delicious food was in the brown box.

Pushed by his hunger, the Glutton wobbled out of his house and dragged his heavy body to the Educated Man’s house. He knocked on his neighbor's door. A few minutes later, the Educated Man opened his door, wondering why his neighbor would knock at such a time of night.

"Hey, sorry to disturb you at such a time but what are you cooking? It smells delicious," the Glutton asked. The Educated Man did not smell any cooked food and stared, clueless at what the fat man was telling him.

“I am sorry, but I am not cooking anything," the man replied, and he shut his door. The fat man would not accept that answer, and the delicious smell was driving him wild. He picked up a rock from the garden and knocked on the Educated Man’s door once more. When the Educated Man opened the door, the fat man smashed the rock against his head, killing him instantly. The fat man entered the home, closing the door behind him. He followed the delicious smell to the study, and he found the box. He leaned in close and thought he would die from ecstasy from discovering this delicious treat. He tried to open the box, but he could not pull open the lid.

Now that the box was in his possession, his mind cleared somewhat, and he realized that he had committed murder and for a terrible cause. He killed a man for his food; he would certainly get the death penalty. Well, if the state could prove that he did it. He decided that he would leave while everyone was still ignorant of the crime. He grabbed the box, took the rock that he hit the thin man with and bobbed quickly to his home. He grabbed more food from his kitchen and wobbled to his car. He drove casually into the street hoping that he would not catch the attention of police officers. The box was next to him in the passenger seat. The smell was so enticing, and he could not resist. He tried to open the box at a red light, but the lid would not budge.

The honking of cars behind him interrupted his attempt, and he continued to drive down the streets until he reached Riverdale Street. By this time, he tried to pry open the box while driving. He stopped paying attention to the road and his car drifted onto the other side. His hunger overtook him so much that the sound of horns never caught his attention until the very last second. He served his car violently and crashed into the trees on the right side of the street. His car flipped and drove so deep into the woods that no one could find his car.

In his mangled car, the Glutton was trapped, and no one could hear his yells and cries. After perhaps an hour, he was exhausted, and he thought to himself that if he was set to die in a car crash he could at least eat what was in the box. In his confined space, he searched the best way he can open the box, but the opening was nowhere to be found. Distressed, he realized he was going to starve in the car and die. He cried out for hours screaming for help, but no one would come. The portly man would eventually rot in his mangled, metal coffin.

Back on Riverdale, the box returned to its original spot, but it was opened. A Greedy Man was walking on the paved road. He had recently fought with his girlfriend. He had a quick get rich scheme and he needed a partner, but his girlfriend did not want to be involved. Hoping to get her upset enough to manipulate her to helping him steal some money, he stormed out the house in a dramatic manner. He was the only one on the road, and he noticed the opened box. He noticed small slips of paper in the box, and he quickened his pace until he stood over the box. The box was filled with hundred-dollar bills, and the Greedy Man nearly squealed at his fortunate. He closed the box and tried to pick it off the road, but it would not budge. Frustrated, he tried to open the box to steal the bills but the lid was locked shut.

What kind of a fool he would be if he left this box? There were rolls of cash in this box. He kicked the box. He tried to lift the box, but it was much too heavy. He feared that if he left the box unattended, someone else would take it. After ten minutes the frustrated Greedy Man laid on the street to kick the box, hoping to budge the box. It was a foolish idea, really, but he was blinded by his greed; so blinded that he did not see the car that ran over him like a wheel on a rug. The car stopped in the street, but since there was no one else on the road, the driver figured she would not be caught and she drove home to her husband where the pair made love furiously that night.

Riverdale Street was quiet once more and the Greedy Man lay dead in the street. The trees rustled, and a child-like creature quickly scaled onto the street, picked up the box and ran back into the woods. He met up with his two friends. All three of them resembled children, three boys, all magnificently beautiful boys. They were shirtless and wore dull colored shorts; instead of human legs and feet, they had goat legs and hooves.

The boy with the box laughed with his friends and said, "Ok, I did my dare. It’s my turn," he turned to one of the boys and said, "Convince a human they are going insane and have them burn their home with them and their family inside."

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