[WP] You buy a large, wooden antique lock box at an estate sell. When you arrive home you find something suitable to store in it. The next time you open the box, only a note that reads, "Very intriguing, please send something else!" remains.

I stared at the box, empty save for a scrap of paper with the words "Very intriguing. Please send something else!" written on it in a childish scrawl, followed by a smiley face. It had not been empty last week, when I packed it full of old diaries and childhood trinkets. The box, carved with ivy and rosettes and stained a deep reddish-brown, was the perfect place to store old memories and things I didn't have the heart to get rid of - or at least, it was until it turned out to be some sort of multi-dimensional storage space.

I don't claim to know what most people would have done. Some, I think, would have looked around for something else to send through, to see how the unknown person (if indeed it was a person) on the other end reacted. Some would have immediately had an impromptu bonfire in the backyard, much like great-aunt Margaret had done when she'd caught me and my friends using a Ouija board at my tenth birthday slumber party. And if I'd told my friend Heather about it, her head would have been filled with visions of me and this unknown stranger exchanging letters through the box, growing closer as we wrote longer and longer missives and included thoughtful little gifts. Our unlikely friendship would blossom into a star-crossed romance that ultimately culminated in us meeting, realizing we'd been talking to our soulmates the entire time, and getting married in a ceremony where there wouldn't be a dry eye present for miles around. She'd be my maid of honor, and she'd get to give a speech at the reception where she could say that she got us together, and so on, and so forth. Heather was an incurable romantic that way.

Me, I just wanted my stuff back.

"Those are my private, personal belongings," I wrote on a Post-It note, making sure my penmanship was as clear as possible. "Please give them back immediately." I hesitated, then signed my initials at the bottom of the note. The person who had my diaries already knew my name, and far more than that. Then I placed the note in the box, closed the lid, and tried to distract myself by doing the dishes. The mindless chore gave me ample time to think over what was happening?

How long did it take for the box to work? Five minutes? Ten? An hour? A day? Would my note sit there until the person on the other end opened their box? Was it in both places at once until someone removed it from that space? More importantly, was I sure someone hadn't just broken in, stolen only my childhood diaries, and left that note to really fuck with me? Sure, it was completely implausible, but not impossible. Like the idea that the antique box I'd snagged from Goodwill was an inter-dimensional storage locker.

I resolved to check it at the same time every day. I then proceeded to check it every half hour, my disappointment growing every time I saw that little pink square still sitting there.

Eventually I forced myself to go to bed, though sleep eluded me as my mind kept drifting to the box on my dresser. My morning routine afforded me no time to check and see if the note had been delivered, and I spent the workday in a fog, absently refreshing my email every five minutes as if it would tell me when the box had something new for me. Thankfully my coworkers chalked my behavior up as a case of the Mondays.

The second the clock struck five I was out the door, racing home to see what the box had in store for me. I lifted the lid with shaking hands, my eyes squeezed shut. What if the note was still there? What if the box was empty? What was I going to do then?

I opened my eyes. A slip of paper, folded in half, rested at the bottom of the box. I smoothed it out and read it.

"Send me something else first."

I glared at the note. "Like what?" I scribbled on the back, tossing the note inside and slamming the lid shut. I waited five minutes, then opened it up again. A new note was inside.

"A picture of you."

I raised my eyebrows. This jerk already had photos of me growing up; what did he need more for? Besides, the only recent pictures I had were on my phone, and I sure as hell wasn't going to put that in the box.

Before my eyes, the paper shifted, and more writing materialized beneath the first message, written by an invisible hand. "Or maybe just your phone number. :)"

With narrowed eyes, I closed the box and shoved it under my bed. Old memories weren't worth putting up with a creep.

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