Sandbox eight was sealed off for a good reason, but occasionally someone’s kid would ignore the caution tape and unwittingly wander off and play in it anyway. Seven other sandboxes had been built around sandbox eight in a failed attempt to keep the kids out, but sandbox eight was a siren to the kids, it’s song continued to bring them into the sand until one last child was left in the city, Joey.
Unfortunately, this sandbox could not be destroyed, or the parents of Orinville county would have done so long ago. Short of dropping a nuclear bomb on it, they tried everything. They covered it in cement, set off C4, covered it in mud, built a church on top of it, tried magic spells, and flooded it with water, all for the sandbox to magically reappear minutes later, with whatever obstacle they put in its way miraculously gone.
Joey’s parents had not mentioned the sandbox to him in the hopes he wouldn’t find out and get sucked in like the rest of the children. During the night, though, sandbox eight had called to Joey. Joey had a dream about playing in sandbox eight. In the morning, Joey waited for his father to leave for work, then had managed to crawl out the doggy door and find his way to the sandbox.
Sandra, Joeys mother, woke up a short while after Joey had snuck out. She went to his room, and when he wasn’t there, she called for him. When Joey didn’t respond, she frantically searched the house, and when she still couldn’t find him she called for help.
Sandra called her neighbors Karen and Galen to help look for Joey. She suspected he had run off to the sandbox like the other children, so they headed in that direction.
They got to the sandbox and Sandra saw Joey just in time.
“No, Joey don’t go in. It’s dangerous,” Sandra yelled at Joey as he made his way over to the sandbox.
Joey walked on top of the sand and slowly started sinking.
“Help me pull Joey out,” Sandra shouted as she ran to him and grabbed his arm.
“It’s ok, mommy. The sandbox just wants to play. Let me sink and stay,” Joey shouted excitedly at his mother. Galen and Karen grabbed on to Joey’s other arm and tried to pull him out.
Despite there best efforts, Joey sunk beneath the sand. Sandra kneeled down and cried.
“Why? Why did you take my baby?” Sandra shouted at the sandbox.
“It’s taken all of our children, Sandra. We’re so sorry,” Galen said and patted Sandra on the back.
“We built several other sandboxes. How does this one keep drawing them in?” Sandra asked lugubriously through tears.
“It’s cursed! That’s why we can’t destroy it, it’s cursed. It’s taken all our children because this whole town is cursed, we’re all cursed,” Karen shouted.
“Shut up, Karen. Now’s not the time,” Galen said.
“Cursed,” Karen said one last time while pointing at them before walking off.
“You should call your husband,” Galen said.
Sandra called Jack and explained what happened.
“I’ve got an idea. I’m bringing shovels, we’ll dig him out,” Jack said.
“We’ve tried that before. Nothing works,” Sandra said and started to cry again.
“I’ve got another idea. Don’t go anywhere,” Jack said.
An hour later Jack pulled up to the sandbox in an excavator.
“This damn sandbox is giving us our kid back. And all the other kids too,” Jack shouted.
Jack used the excavator to move the sand out of the sandbox. He did this for several hours, but the sandbox never seemed to have any less sand, despite a growing mound of sand outside the sandbox.
Sandra had finally told Jack that it was time to go home.
“No, no! I can’t give up on… Joey. Our little boy,” Jack shouted, a tear dripping from his eye.
“If only we had moved sooner. Moved far away from this damned sandbox,” Sandra said.
“We were moving as fast as we could out of here. We had the new house in escrow,” Jack said.
Sandra, Jack, and Galen stood in mourning over the sandbox, wondering where their kids had gone.
“Would you like to see your children again?” The sandbox whispered.
“Did you hear that?” Sandra said.
“I sure did,” Jack said.
“I heard that too,” Galen said.
His face green, black, covered in brass and looking statuesque, Joey rose from the ground.
“Joey?” Sandra asked. Joey nodded, Sandra gasped.
Then Caleb, Galen’s son, looking like Joey rose as well.
“Caleb! It’s been months, where have you been?” Galen asked.
“Come with us,” Joey said and held out his hands for his parents.
“Yes, come with us,” Caleb said.
Sandra and Jack grabbed Joey’s hands. After Galen got over his shock, he grabbed Caleb’s hand.
“Where are we going,” Sandra asked as they all began to sink beneath the sand.
“To a greater plane,” Joey said.
“What kind of plane?” Galen asked.
“A greater one,” Caleb said as they continued sinking beneath the sand
“Maybe this was a bad idea,” Jack said nervously.
“Don’t worry, father. The sandbox knows what’s best. The sandbox knows all,” Joey said.
“Yes, the sandbox is god,” Caleb said before all of their heads were fully immersed in the sand.
Copyright © 1/8/2023 by A.H. Mittelman. All rights reserved.
About the Creator
I love writing and just finished my first novel. I’ve been writing since I was nine. I’m on the autism spectrum but that doesn’t stop me! If you like my stories, click the heart, leave a comment and a tip! Make a pledge! Thanks! Read more!
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme