Saturday, 29 March 2014

Schrödinger's Box - A Story

So if you witnessed my previous rant on school, you'll know I do the elective Creative Writing.
Here is a piece of flash fiction I wrote for an assessment. Feed back would be valued.

Emily Schrödinger peels off the star stickers casually, sticking them onto the enormous yellow box in front of her. Her father fastens a crimson ribbon around it while her brother scribbles a message on a sticky note. “Thank heavens we thought of it, Maurice,” chatters a slim woman, tapping her manicured nails. “Imagine the fuss your grandma would’ve put up if we forgot.”
“Well, Myra darling, I’m known for my genius.”
Freja Schrödinger dodders towards her door, slippers shuffling on the vinyl floors. Carer Pauline smiles, taking her hand and leading her to the function room. “Where am I?” Freja Schrödinger’s diction is muddied by age.
“You are in Montview Aged, Freja. It’s your birthday today!” The carer’s polished voice recites scripted lines, calming and re-educating the old woman about herself.
“Oh, I love birthdays! How old am I?”
“90, Freja, 90 today. All your family is coming to visit!”
Her lined hands shake, lovingly straightening cutlery, bedecking the function room with gold balloons, checking on the cooking. Her lips infinitely mouth, “I love birthdays,” as she works.
A stream of relatives begins to flow. They come, some awkward, some at home. They come bearing envelopes or hauling gifts. Maurice Schrödinger and his family stride in slightly late. Smiles are plastered onto their faces, but Emily’s is hidden by an enormous box. The siblings join the line of children to obediently kiss their great-grandma on her papery, sweet-smelling cheek while she dithers over their names. After feasting on the array of cakes and titbits, Freja announces, “I want to open my presents.”

She embarks on a voyage of discovery into the recesses of the boxes and envelopes, helped with any difficult knots by her carer. At last she reaches the Schrödinger’s box. Maurice steps forward. “Can I tell you what’s inside, grandma?”
She nods, fiddling with her hearing aid.
“Grandma, you’re so special to us, so, so special. So for your 90th birthday, we decided we wanted to celebrate many more birthdays. What does this box contain? It contains life, grandma, pure life. So keep it safe. Who knows what would happen if you lost it…”
“What a good boy you are, Michael”
“Maurice, yes, such a kind young man. I shall treasure it with all my heart.”

The old lady shuffles to the chair beside her bed. She pats the box protectively, cooing to it to stay safe. The ribbon still fastens the box shut sternly; its star stickers glint silver. She settles exhaustedly into the chair, closes her translucent eyelids and whispers, “It was a nice day.”
She falls asleep.

Hope you enjoyed it, hope you got it, tell me what you think.



  1. Got a little confused by the family members at the start, I must confess. Does she die at the end? Is that the intended feeling?

    1. Ok, thanks for the feedback, I will try to make it clearer. Yes, it is the intended feeling, but we don't strictly speaking know - like the cat in Schrödinger's Box, she is both dead or alive unless proven either way.