Brought to you by morbane and the word 'box'. 200 words.
Secret Life of Acorns
He kept the acorns in a cardboard box, and explored the woods around the house every day. It was better than getting under his mother’s feet as she cooked, or asking his father curious questions that occurred to him. It was never a good time.
He went out every day, looking, sometimes victorious, sometimes not. When the light turned gloaming, he would turn back towards the house, and smell his supper as he came close.
He filled the box for six months after they moved to that lonely place, with the children who he did not know and did not care to know him.
In December it snowed, surprising everyone. School closed, but he still went hunting acorns. One night, the dark came too quickly and caught him, as he had always thought it might.
The acorns remembered him when everyone forgot. They knew why he collected them. In the cellar, they pulled at bricks, pushed through floors, ceilings and pipes, for a century. The house was a ruin, but the oaks struck out through the foundations, standing tangled together, a memorial to the forgotten. When the wind rustled through their branches, the oaks heard his laughter, and felt joy.
© Ellen Couch, 2010