Chapter One: The Box
Every day felt so blank for Joel Winsley. Always the same routine. Wake up, go to school, suffer. Joel was your average boy, he had average looks and acted average. He had messy brown hair, dull green eyes. Joel was tall and lean. He did things normal boys did; played games, did sports, everything he could to blend in. But no matter what, he always stood out. Only because he was gay. Honestly, he tried to convince himself he wasn’t but it’s always been something so blatant about him. He liked guys, therefore he was alone.
Joel picked up his pencil and began filling in answers for the math worksheet he was given. He had zoned out the entire lesson and had no idea what he was supposed to do but as his dad always said, “Anything is better than a zero.” He felt a tap on his shoulder and he spun around quickly, looking straight into the eyes of a blonde boy, Lucas. He was the most popular guy in the 9th grade, maybe even the 10th. And, unluckily, Joel’s biggest hater.
“Can I borrow a pencil?” Lucas asked quietly. Joel stared, confused. Lucas rolled his eyes. “What? Do you have a crush on me or something? Nobody else has extra pencils. Can I borrow one of yours?” He snapped at Joel. Joel quickly grabbed one of his spare pencils and handed it to Lucas. Joel then heard his name get called by the teacher and he jumped up, “Sorry Ms. Jane!”
Joel slammed his locker shut and began walking outside. His house wasn’t too far from the school so he typically walked home. The walk was long and boring, but it always gave him time to think so it didn’t bother him too much. As he was walking, he tripped over something. He quickly caught himself with his hands and swung his head around to see what he tripped on. A…box? He picked up the box and stood up. He tried to open it but it wouldn’t budge. It looked so valuable, he was determined to get it open. But he quickly found out it wouldn’t open any time soon. He continued walking home, thinking maybe he could open it with his dad’s work tools.
After what felt like years of walking, he got home. He immediately walked to the shed and pulled on the door. “Crap..” He whispered. The door was locked. He knew he’d have to sneak the key from his dad’s room. He walked to the front door of his house, and carefully opened it. The aroma of food hit his face and he smiled weakly, “Hey mom, I’m home!”
His mother came rushing into the living room. Mrs. Winsley was a kind-looking woman, her blue eyes were slightly squinted but still round and full of happiness. She practically had a permanent smile on her face. Her brown hair went nearly to her waist. Her personality fit her looks. She was nice, kind, and generous. She went out of her way to make her only child happy but, sometimes her attempts didn’t work.
“Hey Joel, how was school?” She asked sweetly. Joel shrugged and flopped on the couch, “The same as always..” He replied. Mrs. Winsley sighed, “Alright. Dinner will be ready in a bit.” She said before walking back to the kitchen.
Joel then stood up and walked to the hallway. He walked to the room right past the bathroom and pushed it open. A wave of warm air hit him hard. His dad’s office… his dad had passed away years ago when he couldn’t have been any older than 10. He hadn’t been in his father’s study in such a long time… nobody had. This is where his father spent so much of his time… Joel shook the thoughts away and began searching. He searched everywhere but after 10 minutes, he began giving up. Then he opened a drawer, Keys! He saw a thing of keys and began digging through it, desperately searching. Until something made him jump out of his skin.
“Joel?” His mother called, noticing him in the room. “What are you doing here?” Joel quickly spun around, looking at his mother. “Nothing!” He quickly responded. His mother smiled softly and walked towards him. “What are you looking for?” She asked softly. Joel sighed, “The tool shed key..” Mrs. Winsley raised a brow but quickly reached into the drawer and pulled out a key, handing it to him. “Be safe… your father had a lot of dangerous tools in there.
Joel opened the shed and laid the box down of the work table. He examined it curiously, wondering why someone would just ditch such a lavish box in the middle of such a run-down neighborhood. “Peculiar, someone abandoned a box in-” He was cut off by a loud click. Then the box began to glow…