Short Piece #4 – Thirteen by Ten by Six


                Steven filled up a glass with water, dropped a couple ice cubes in it, and set in on the tray with all the food.

                “You really think it’s come to this?” Jeff asked.

                “Yeah. He hasn’t left his room in two days. He’s gotta eat.”

                Jeff shrugged. “I guess. Good point.”

                Steven picked up the tray and headed to the stairs. He called down. “Chris? Dude, what’s going on?”

                No answer.

                He took a deep breath and went down, carefully balancing the glass of water. Jeff followed.

                Steven motioned for Jeff to open the door to Chris’ room when they reached the bottom.

                Jeff reached for the knob, turned it, and pushed. Chris was sitting on the floor in the middle of his room.

                Jeff and Steven walked in, perplexed. Chris’ room was filled with cardboard boxes. Stacks of different styles and sizes sat, organized around his bed. Steven set the tray down on a stack labeled “XD2.”

                “Isn’t it amazing?”

                Steven spun around when Chris spoke, his elbow knocking over the water. He didn’t care. All he saw was the open box on the floor in front of Chris.

                “What’s in it?” Jeff asked from the door. He seemed almost afraid to enter the room fully. Chris didn’t answer. He only inhaled deeply, his head directly above the box.

                “Chris?” Steven asked again.

                He simply continued gazing into the box, his grey eyes hidden under brown hair longer than he normally kept it. Several days’ worth of stubble darkened his jaw.

                Steven scowled and really noticed the spilled water for the first time. He righted the glass.

                “It’s the last one we have. The very last.”

                Steven nearly knocked the glass over again.

                Chris finally looked up, his eyes sad and hopeful at the same time, and lifted the box. “See?”

                Steven looked down into an empty box, save for the markings in the bottom.

                “Thirteen by ten by six?”

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