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The Choice

Submission for The Mystery Box Challenge

By ElsaPublished 6 months ago 6 min read
The Choice
Photo by Christopher Bill on Unsplash

The day was dreary and cold. Nothing but dark gray clouds lined the sky. It’s as if the weather mirrored the emotions lingering inside Scarlet. Her thick bushy hair in shambles, resembling a bird’s nest after being ruffled in hurricane winds. Her eyes sunk deep with sleepless nights and the aroma of stale whiskey seeped through her skin.

The crying came in waves. The weeping and panicked breathing came after. Her days were filled with Cheeto dusted fingers, dirty clothes, and empty bottles of the cheapest whisky spread around her small apartment.

She laid on the couch flipping through the channels of happy people with fake wide smiles. She lazily made her way and casted her wedding video to her tv.

This is all a lie, she thought.

It was all a lie, she wept as tears started to flow.

A smiling and happy Scarlet stares at her through the thin tv. Her flowing white gown shimmering against the greenery of the forest.

“Our wedding was beautiful.” She says aloud to no one but herself.

Tears still slowly streaming.

The video continues with her husband. Future ex-husband, his wide smile spreading from cheek to cheek as he puts on his bow tie with others all around.

“Asshole!!!!” Scarlet shouts as she flings her last bag of Cheetos towards the tv.

The panicked breathing starts and the weeping insues. Happy memories continue playing on the screen as Scarlet scrambles to catch her breath. She reaches for the bottle and takes a big swig of her latest and only friend.

She’s pushed everyone away, when she found out the truth. When her world came to a shattered wreck below her own feet.

Seth and Scarlet had a beautiful life together. They met in high school, had a long relationship in college, and then got married a year later. They were together for almost a decade when she found out the truth.

During most of their relationship, Seth had another woman. To be more specific, he had Isabella, Scarlet’s younger sister. The truth came out one day by chance. Scarlet left the office earlier than usual and headed home to make dinner. She walked in and her life completely changed. Nothing was the same after that. It’s been 9 weeks since she found out the truth and now Isabella and Seth are living together with not a care in the world. While she drowns in whisky and overly played memories.

Scarlet chugs the rest of the bottle and heads to the kitchen to find the next. She’s had many thoughts since she’s found out the lie that has been her love. She’s thought about doing many things, to her sister and Seth, but most of them would lead her in prison. Instead, she’s decided to drown her depression and avoid life. If only she never met him? Is a question that always pops into her mind. If she had never met Seth, her life would be completely different. For one thing, it wouldn’t be in shambles, her mother wouldn’t have gotten sick, when she found out Isabella is pregnant, she lost it. That’s another reason Scarlet can’t shake this damage, there’s an affair baby on the way. She doesn’t know how to feel about it, when thoughts creep into her mind she takes more and more swigs of the dark stuff to fade them away.

“If I never had said yes to him, none of this would be happening.” She whispers to herself as she shuffles empty bottles in search of some liquid morphine.

As she continues to shuffle through the kitchen in search of just one more drop, there’s a thud at the door. At first she doesn’t hear it but then it becomes a bit louder. She’s told everyone to leave her alone and let her wallow by herself. She angrily marches to the door to tell whomever is at the other end to sod off.

As she flings the door open, a small drone flies steadily in front of her. It’s small, black, and shiny, and at the end of it, it holds a small cardboard box.

Scarlet looks around to see if there is anyone flying the thing. She looks at the camera.

“What? You have the wrong door.” She says to the tiny camera.

The drone make a shaking gesture and swings the box to her, as if saying ‘take it’.

Scarlet looks around one more time and shrugs as she grabs the box and takes it off the drone in one quick yank. The drone looks like it gives her a curtsy and takes off.

Scarlet holds the box questionably and heads to the living room as she closes the door behind her. She pushes off empty food containers off her dirty coffee table and places the small box on it.

She examines it, no address, no nothing. As drunk as she is she gives it no other thought and opens the mystery box. A small crisp gold envelope is laid flatly. Scarlet grabs it and pulls out a thin paper that reads.

We know it’s been tough,

We come from far away.

You’ve had it quite rough,

You have two choices today.

In this box there are two buttons,

One black and one blue.

And here we give these choices to you,

Choose the black one and erase Seth and the pain from your past.

Choose the blue one and continue your current fate and finish last.

You have 30 minutes to decide a new fate,

Once those 30 minutes are up we will choose for you, don’t be late.

“What in the crap is this?” Scarlet says aloud as she rereads the note. She then looks down and in the box there are indeed two buttons, one blue and one black.

“I must be extremely drunk or dreaming” she continues talking to herself.

But then the thought pops in her head. “What if this is real? Weird stuff happens all the time. Right?” She nods her head and grabs the buttons out of the box.

She places them down on the table and she starts to think. She thinks of all the happy memories with Seth. Her mind then goes to the happy memories with her sister, before they were tainted with what they did. Those happy memories are taken over by dark and painful moments of when she caught them and then when they moved in together, when she was served papers, and when she found out they were expecting. The tears start flowing and the pain in her chest explodes into a heat that over takes her body. She stares at the wedding video still playing on the tv.

“If this is true and one of these buttons can make all this go away, maybe I should do it.” Scarlet says as she wipes her tears forcefully and stands up to start pacing.

She looks at the clock on the wall, tick ticking away. It’s been 8 minutes since she read the note. 22 minutes left. She thinks of happy memories again and decides not to push the button, the pain will fade. Just then the thoughts of her sister and him having a baby shoot through her like lava and she wants to push the button. No Seth, no baby.

Scarlet stands in between both buttons. She looks up at the clock and 8 more minutes have gone by. 14 minutes left.

The pacing continues and the memories flash through her mind like race cars.

I’ll push the black one..

No, no.

I’ll push the blue one…

No, NO!

11 minutes left.

Scarlet looks at the video, saying their vows under a beautiful oak tree. The pain spreading again through her.

The black one, definitely the black one..

8 minutes left.

The video now shows the bridal party taking photos in the greenery surrounding them. The camera zooms into her maid of honor’s face, Isabella. Scarlet’s heart breaks seeing her sister.

I have to push the black one.

3 minutes.

“But then I won’t have any of the experiences with Seth that we shared.” She says in a pain.

“I do.” She hears Seth say in the video.

1 minute.

Sci Fi

About the Creator


Teacher, traveler, fur baby mom, reader, and writer. I enjoy writing historical fiction stories, fiction, poetry, true crime, and nonfiction.

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