Olivia Low, Grade 10, Telopea Park School
The box was sitting innocently in the centre of the stark white room, it's sudden undisturbed presence balancing the area. Scattered around it were other boxes of varying size and shape which gave off faint expressions only Ren seemed to notice.
The boxes pulsed with life; with feeling.
Ren counted them as she did every day, and each time, their number grew. Some, the ones that were soft pastel colours, were tiny things that radiated simple feelings, like they were content to sit in the background. Others, the bright colours, seemed to scream 'look at me!'. They sat at the front, fighting for dominance.
Every box looked like it was made from simple cardboard, and gave off a different expression, though they all fit together to complete a puzzle. The newest addition to the odd collection was a large white cardboard box which, no matter how hard she tried to avoid it, drew her gaze.
What intrigued Ren most about it, was it's feeling. Rather than supplying an expression like the other boxes did, it gave off nothing. It was quite simply just there. Its presence lingered behind the others displaying no wish to be noticed or ignored.
She hadn't noticed before, but without its presence the room seemed unbalanced and incomplete.
Ren frowned, and tapped her finger lightly on the glass, wishing absently-mindedly that they would do something.
Her tap resonated, its sound augmented by the random positions of the boxes, and magnified ten times as it resonated through the simple white room.
Instantly, when the sound reached its peak the bright boxes shook. The lids, which were just four flaps crossed over each other, opened quickly and silently, releasing their expression into the room. Although they did so silently, the room exploded with the sound of intense emotion.
Ecstasy, terror, grief, rage.
More slowly, just like their simple emotions, the smaller boxes opened carefully and let their expressions out to join the growing confusion.
Pensiveness, distraction, boredom, interest.
They added to the disturbed, wrong feeling the expressions gave the room. The walls themselves quivered and shook slightly, overwhelmed. The confusion didn't quieten or retreat, but nevertheless Ren sensed they were waiting for something.
Hesitantly, she tapped the glass twice more.
The large box stirred purposefully. Instead of springing open as the others had it unfolded itself gracefully. Ren felt no new expression come from within, but it's presence dominated the room calmly.
Slowly the expressions returned to their boxes, quiet now, comforted by the white box's company. Only when the last box was closed, did the white box once again come together.
Before Ren's eyes it reassembled itself.
The room pulsed lightly with the mixture of expressions, all contained safely within their boxes.
In the centre, the white box was again, simply there, ready to act if the balance of the room was disturbed once again.