The Valley, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

Early one morning, when the boy was very young, he was exploring a raised area on the side of the Valley and dug up a beautiful and shiny box. He was shocked to find such a thing and didn’t know what to do with it. But as he held it in his hands, he noticed something… his own image was moving across the shiny surface of the box! This confused him, since it was not a reflection, as he would have supposed. The image was as if he were looking down upon himself.

As he knelt, viewing his image on the box, he noticed that the image was following his thoughts. He would think of it moving to the left, and it would go there; he would think of it moving up, and it would soon drift that way. This was an astonishing thing!

The happy boy sat for at least an hour, playing with the image of himself, until he started wondering what else the box might be able to show him. So, he began to imagine things that he’d like to see.

At just that moment a bird flew past him, and, for the first time, he thought how interesting it would be to see the Valley from high in the air, as the bird saw it. He began to imagine what his house would look like from above and how far he would be able to see. He decided that from the bird’s view he would be able to see many houses and many people coming and going. He thought that this would be a wonderful thing.

After looking across the Valley toward his house for a long time, he looked back at his box, expecting to find his own image again. But that image was gone. Instead, he saw the image of a very large tree next to his house. This surprised him, and he wondered what the box was doing.

Then, a thought appeared in his mind: The top of the tree was actually higher than the birds usually flew. “That would mean,” he continued, “that if I could be in the tree, I could see like a bird!!” This was a magic box!

But, as he thought about being high in the tree, he remembered that falling from a high place hurt very badly, and that being in the tree was probably not a very good thing. But then, for some reason, he looked back at the box, half-expecting another answer. And there it was! The image of the tree now had a ladder attached to its side and a platform built where several large branches split off to the sides.

Yes, this was a magic box! Now he knew how to live! He would use this box every day and tell everyone he knew about it! He had never understood that such things could be done. He didn’t think it would be easy to get the box to do everything he wanted, but he would now be able to do many wonderful things! Life and the world were opening up to him!

And then, as the boy was rejoicing in his discovery, something terrible happened. In fact, it was something so terrible that he wished never to remember it.

As he rejoiced, he heard them. He had barley ever heard the Remahs before; he didn’t know they were capable of making such intense sounds.

He looked up to see that the Remahs were coming toward him, and that they had changed. They were no longer transparent, but were a mix of black and red. And now they seemed very solid and very heavy. The biggest of them took a fast step toward the boy and locked its eyes onto his. The boy was unable to look away.

We see you!” the fierce Remah barked at him. “We see you, and we can make everyone see you!” The eyes of the Remah were huge and powerful – they seemed to push something like an invisible tube inside of him and were grabbing at his thoughts and memories. He was afraid that they would suck all of his thoughts right out of him – even his ability to think. He tired desperately to close his eyes.

An equally terrifying thing was that the voice of the Remah wasn’t only coming to him through his ears – it was being projected inside of him. With great effort, he forced his eyes away to look at his magic box for a moment, for help, but he saw, to his horror, that its shiny face had gone black.

Now,” said the Remah, “you will re-bury that abomination!” The boy knew that the creature meant the box. “And if we ever see it again, we will suction out your soul and crush you! And we will do this in front of everyone you know, and they will see what a disgusting thing you really are, behind your false appearance as a good boy!”

Then, the Remahs released him and he collapsed.

How long he lay in the field, he wasn’t sure, but night was approaching when he finally got up. He could still feel the voice of the Remah inside of him as he kicked the box back to its hole. He kicked it because he did not want to touch it with his hands. It was an object of pain. He quickly dug in the ground with his hands – like a dog does with his paws, to make the hole deeper. Then he pushed the box into the hole and covered it up.

Then the boy went home and never mentioned the box or what had happened.


Paul Rosenberg