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black box

The small black box

As a student of science, 31-year-old physicist Sarah preferred facts over opinions. Yet, there was one fact she wished wasn’t true—you can’t rewrite your past. This truth about life had kept her restless for weeks. It was 4:10 am, lights were off, but like all the previous nights, Sarah was still awake thinking about the days that changed her life. Tired, she decided to go for a run along the shore.

There weren’t many people on the beach that morning, which was exactly what she had hoped for. Sprinting along the coastline, she saw a strange object nestled between the rocks. It was a small, metallic box, black in colour. It looked old and broken, yet well-preserved like a radio kept in an attic. Sarah felt a sense of déjà vu as she tiptoed towards the box like she had experienced this before. She stared at the box with her big brown eyes as if she knew it was not a piece of junk but something rare, not from this world.

She sat on her bed with the box in front of her. Could it be a time machine? She wondered as she smiled nervously. No, this is ridiculous! I am a physicist, not an author of a science-fiction bestseller, she brought herself back to reality. But logic and reason couldn’t stop Sarah from exploring the mysterious object. She closed the windows and drew the blinds. The darkness of the room made the air grim. “If this is actually a time machine, I should be able to change anything with it, shouldn’t I?” Sarah mumbled. Suddenly, her phone rang aloud that made her jump out of her skin. She answered it on the final ring.

“In the end, what matters is your actions in the present. What you choose to do now will carve your tomorrow,” the woman told Sarah.


It was an anonymous caller, who strangely knew everything about the young physicist. She also told Sarah about the black box and how she had used it to rewrite the past, only to make things worse. “In the end, what matters is your actions in the present. What you choose to do now will carve your tomorrow,” the woman told Sarah.

The mystery caller had concern in her voice as if her life depended on Sarah, who the other hand was listening to the anxious woman quietly. Finally, Sarah asked her, “Are you me from the future?” After a brief pause, the woman hung up.

Suddenly, the alarm rang in its full glory. Sarah woke up with the sunlight falling on her face through the window. She sat on her bed, thinking about the black box and the woman. Unlike the past few days, Sarah felt empowered, like she could achieve anything. “Just focus on the present, rest will unfold on its own,” Sarah reaffirmed, as she got up to go for a run along the shore.

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