What’s in the box?

Inside the box lie the worst fears of everyone. There it sat, in the middle of the room, like an executioner waiting for its victim. The four of us watched it, weary. It began to shake; then, ever so slowly the lid creaked open.  It turned to look at him. All of a sudden the room was filled with flames. They consumed me – choked me. The smoke viciously attacked the back of my throat, making it impossible to breathe as it snatched away every last breath of oxygen I had. My heart was pounding with adrenaline and I thought I was going to die. Then through the roaring of the flames a distant voice shouted, “Ridikkulus!” And the blazing inferno turned into beautiful fireworks. I took a deep breath of fresh air, as I watched them dance across the room, twinkling like stars.

It was her turn next. Adrenaline once again pumped through my veins as the room turned pitch black and a voice began to speak. “You’re going to die and there’s nothing you can do about it. Everyone you know and love will leave you forever, will leave you and there’s nothing you can do about it.” The voice continued to talk about impending death while I looked over at her. Our eyes met, and hers – though full of fear – showed resolution. She stood up and said calmly and quietly, “Ridikkulus.” The voice became high-pitched and began to sing in a comical manner, as the room became light once more. After the stress of the past few minutes and hilarious manner in which the voice was singing we all began to laugh. We stopped and the tension that had disappeared in the last few minutes returned. It was my turn.

My eyes flickered to the box. Sitting in front of it, arms curled around knees, was me. I looked at myself as my doppelgänger began to speak. “I’m all alone, nobody loves me, nobody cares. All the people around me are happy, but I’m not happy, how can I be happy when I live like this? No one will help me; no one cares, I’m all alone.” A feeling of helplessness swept over me; a single tear rolled down my cheek. I watched it fall to the floor – a single insignificant salt water puddle. I looked at little me sitting in front of the box, then pulled out my wand. “Ridikkulus,” I said quietly. The doppelgänger burst into a puff of smoke with a crack. I began to cry in earnest, the fear that had be held back only by sheer will, over-taking me.  Because inside that box was the worst fear of everyone. The one thing you didn’t want to face above all else. You might not know what it is, you might never find out. But if you come across this box you will. Because inside this box is… a boggart.

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