Honors English class; period four. Ms. Smith comes to the middle of the room with a big smile and plops down an old cardboard box and says: Write.
If you listened hard enough, you could hear the music box sing. Though harsh a melody the song was, it wove a story that put the restless orphans to sleep every night. Like them, the song was a breathing story, chocking on sobs and dribbling out laughter. There was no crank to begin the music. The box gave birth to its song when a feeling of sadness reached its tattered edges. Every note stretched up and out, grasping around blankets of sorrow from each child, and making it vanish, as if by magic. Then they could smile on their own, and be as light as the wind itself.
When the room was empty, the music box hummed slightly all by its lonesome, remembering its own sad tales. Sometimes a happy child would walk by and only see an ugly antique, and hear only a slight droning beep. They might kick the box in annoyance. Of course it would never lash out in return, because it understood. And if that same little boy with dirty hair and scraggly clothes were to come by again, this time with his heart in two, he would sit with his feet on the gray and cold concrete floor, and with his knees pulled up to his barely beating heart. He would listen to the song played from the wooden cube with intricate carvings and highlights of dust.
Sometimes the children, or even the caretakers, wondered where the little thing came from. Truth be told, the thing had no maker, no beginning, no middle nor no end. It, and its magic, simply was. And to brothers and sisters and those who were absolutely alone, that music box was what made the echoing hallways of the orphanage a place full of color and life, a place to call home.