Okay so it is my turn to be a rebel and I am modifying the starting line ever so slightly…She touched the box in her pouch and smiled. It always made her smile. She walked slowly over to the twisted tree on the hill. Her bones seared with pain, she was not as young as she was when she was given the box. She sat beneath the tree and watched the sun beginning to dip on the horizon. In the bay below she could see the tiny blurry fishing boats moving with the breeze.
She pulled out the wooden box with its’ elaborate carvings. Her fingers brushed over the ridges and indentations of the tree carved into the lid. She felt the grooves with the scratches that he had taught her so long ago; knowledge, that is what it meant. Her fingers ran over the other scratches. This scratch it meant good; this scratch it meant evil. She was the only villager at the time that had learned the scratches. He was a good teacher.
She looked at the sharp colors of orange and yellow brushed on the blue backdrop near the horizon as the sun dipped even further below the horizon. It was almost an evening like this when they first showed up. Her people called them gods now but then they were just strangers. They had come down from the mountain wearing shiny suits and wielding strange instruments.
She gave a slight chuckle from the next memory. The tribe’s warriors had attacked these strangers. The tall bearded one had shot lightning out of his hand and the warriors dropped like flies, convulsing on the ground for a few minutes. The tribe stayed away from the strangers after that, except her. He had called her a curious cat. She learned quite a few words of their funny speech and their scratches from him. He in turn learned her words.
He called himself a healer. He showed her different flowers and roots from around the area that could be used for treating ailments. She was grateful for that, for she had helped her village for some time as their healer. He once told her that his people were from the same place but a different place. It had not made sense to her. He soon gave up trying to explain. She gave a small laugh. Those were such good times. They didn’t last though.
The strangers had finished fighting the dark ones; the giant man-beasts with no depth or color. He had called them something but she couldn’t remember, it had been so long ago. Her people called them titans. The strangers left after that, including him. A tear rolled down her cheek as she remembered that day. He had hugged her and gave her the box. He told her to be good and to remember him.
Her fingers began moving the bits and pieces around of the box. It was a puzzle. He had known her too well. A box that in order to open you had to solve, he couldn’t have given her a better gift. Her fingers now knew the secrets of the box, long committed to memory. It was open and she could see the scratches carved into the bottom, another single word.
She brushed her fingers along the familiar carved word below. She smiled. It simply read, HOPE