Black Tin Box

The mood was grey. The floor was gritty and the huge metal shutters gleamed dully as the train arrived like a monster returning to its fortress. The man woke up in a pool of sick; his face was wet from sweat and his mouth tasted of something sour. He was very sleepy, and then very much awake. A group of passer-bys had crowded around him, speaking in hushed whispers. For a while he could only stare blindly at them, his huge bulging eyes reflecting their faces that were green with disgust. His throat, as well as the part leading to his stomach, felt like it was on fire. There was a sharp pain in his chest as he slowly regained his breath, followed by a weird churning in his stomach. For some strange reason, he felt that if he was able to fill his empty stomach, all this discomfort would go away. He scooped the sick from the floor and ate it violently. Someone made a gagging noise; another gasped for air. A schoolgirl screamed at the top of her lungs, “Kyahh~~~!!”

Once he was done, he felt the pain retreating, and the colour slowly returned to his face. He was no longer that sweaty and could stand on his own. The people scattered away, but some still gave him a side glance or two. He picked up his briefcase and fumbled clumsily for a while. As each step became more stable than the other, he started walking home. At this point, nobody was looking at him at all, for all they knew, he was just a normal salaryman with a slight perspiration problem.

When he reached his house, his wife was right at the door as if she had been waiting there for some time. He gave her a slight peck on the cheek, took off his shoes and coat and proceeded to the dining area. He sat down at the dining table which was lined with empty plates and cups.

The man suddenly had a strong urge to vomit. He threw up into the coffee mug, which was then filled with something that smelled like coffee, but looked blacker than the usual.

“Honey, don’t forget your coffee. You’ll get drowsy without it.”, the wife said.

“It was good, thank you?” asked the man.

“How was the breakfast.”, the wife replied.

The man then proceeded to vomit a toast buttered with cheese and an omelette, filling all the empty plates that were lined neatly in front of him on the dining table.

The wife took the plates back to the kitchen. The man went to the shower room and started to mess up his hair meticulously. He took off all his clothes, used a damp towel to wet his body then bathed and changed into his pajamas. He brushed his teeth and crawled sheepishly into bed, huddling beneath the blankets. Before he could fall sleep, he pressed a button on the alarm clock and it rang for about 1 minute before becoming completely silent again. After that, he dreamt of  being in a very dark place where there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

The wife was still in the kitchen, staring at all her expensive china, now filled with a sumptuous spread . With her slender fingers, she picked up a black pill from the dark pool of coffee in the mug.

She took out a black tin box from her pocket and carefully placed the black pill into the box. She took the box and kept it in the safe.

After she was done with the work in the kitchen, she loosened her hair, changed into sweats, and slipped into bed beside the man. He was dreaming too vividly when she hugged him tightly from behind and whispered into his ears.

“Today, I will give you life.”


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