'The Crate' by Carly Tremayne

  The small door creaked open with the wind. A yellowing net curtain rustled, billowing out like a ghostly veil. Rosie sat at the table, watching.

  A strong gust blew the curtain almost horizontally into the room, revealing a small crate.

  How long has that been there?

  Rosie sat, staring in wonderment. The breeze seemed to be whispering, enticing her outside. The sky was cloudless. The sun beat down upon the grass like a malevolent god.

  Slowly, she rose out of her chair. She drifted towards the door, eyes locked upon the mysterious crate. She stopped when she reached the porch, pulled the curtain aside, hesitated. She tentatively placed one foot outside, felt the heat of the sun radiate on her skin.

  The wind had stopped.

  There was no sound. No birds, no distant traffic, the leaves in the trees were completely still.

  As she stepped closer to the box, she saw the wood was damp. It had been sat outside in the recent storm. There was a note taped on the top, concealed in a plastic wallet, almost like they knew. There was no name.

  ‘I know we should have done more for you. You will have many questions, and I regret that they may never be answered. I pray this arrives to you in time, and that you may better understand why we left the way we did.

I love you. I always will.


  She had received no word from her parents for ten years.

  The crate was nailed shut. She went back inside and retrieved a claw hammer. She used the claw to prise some of the nails out, and lifted the lid. The crate was full of hay.

  She carefully felt around inside, half expecting something to bite, when her hand fell upon something small, soft, fake leather. She pulled it out. A small shoe, that of a young baby, white besides a large, red stain on the toe. She felt she’d seen it before.

  Was it one of hers? A doll’s?

  She continued searching. She pulled out a small cardigan, torn, stained. In another plastic wallet, a child’s drawing. Difficult to make out, it appeared to be a large, black scribble with eyes, surrounded by tiny stick-men. She found an envelope, addressed to someone named Josephine.

  Why do I know that name?


  I know this is difficult darling, but you must try to remember. Think back to before we left, back before the world began to burn, back when there were four of us. 

  Try to remember what happened to Rosie. 

   You don’t have much time. They’re coming for you. They’ve been hunting for years and we couldn’t keep you a secret any longer. I’m sorry, darling.

  Run. Try to remember, and you’ll know where to go. We’ll be waiting. Please, just run as fast as you can. 


She paused. She thought about the eternity she had spent indoors. When was the storm?

It hadn’t rained in two days. Time was running out.


  1. This is a powerful piece of writing. Well done!

  2. Well done, Carly. Intriguing piece!


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