The Time Capsule : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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Tony’s the one who found the message carved into the wall of the janitor’s broom closet. “45 paces north from the Old Well, 78 east, beneath the split tree.” We all ogled it, guessing when it was written, who went through the trouble, and why. Our school was over 100 years old, and the implications were intriguing.

At last, we decided to follow it—how could we not? It was an adventure! The kind every kid dreams of.

The Old Well was easy enough to find—it was in a wooded area behind the school, boarded up so no one would fall in. We weren’t allowed to play around it, but that wasn’t about to stop us.

We found north with Gerry’s compass and carefully counted out our steps. When we reached 78, we stood before a large, dead tree, split by lightning years before. All that was left was to dig.

None of us thought to bring shovels, so we used our hands. Luckily, the ground was loamy, and after half an hour, we found something: a rusty, antique coffee tin. It was sealed with wax, but Kevin’s pocketknife made quick work of that.

Inside were little trinkets: a little army man, a shiny coin, a cat’s eye marble. Treasures a boy would bury.

We each took one thing: Tony chose the army man, Gerry the coin, and Kevin the marble. I took the tin, though I wasn’t happy about it at the time.

It wasn’t long after the others started having dreams. A little boy, his face in shadow, stood beside their beds, demanding his things back. My friends started looking haggard, their faces gaunt from lack of sleep.

Then Tony fell down the stairwell at school.

No one knows why he was there—he should’ve been in class. The secretary found him when she went for a smoke break, his neck at a funny angle.

Gerry was hit by a car. He ran out into traffic, chasing something, and was in a coma for three days before his parents pulled the plug.

And Kevin . . . Kevin just vanished. To this day, his mother keeps his room exactly the same, in case he comes home.

And me? Well, I’m alive. Unscathed? That’s another matter.

After my friends’ deaths, I went through their rooms, found the toys, and buried them again. I know that’s why he left me alive—so I could return his things.

But he hasn’t left completely. I see him out of the corner of my eye, skulking in corners, hiding in shadows. He’s waiting like we should have.

There was a message on the coffee tin lid, in familiar block scrawl. We ignored it, on that day long ago.

“DO NOT OPEN UNTIL May 17, 2022.”

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