Pandora Taunting

Pandora had always taunted him, flitting in and out of the shadows of his life. In third grade she was outside his classroom the day they discussed the moon landing. At the end of sixth grade she was on the sidewalk as his bus went by, Jimmy Elkers talking about radio astronomy. By high school he knew.

There were hints, mainly the timing of her many brief appearances. Once she left a magazine article on SETI by a park bench for him; he knew it had been her. Her eyes told the rest, windows to a soul so vast he could lose himself within for a thousand years. Sum total he’d seen those eyes for a few minutes over his life, but that was all he needed.

She was appearing more often. She was coming closer. She had chosen him. She was Pandora, timeless Princess of curiosity, and her box, magnificently dangerous, all rolled into one.

Others called him mad. Others called him a loser. Others failed to see what she so obviously did, his own limitless potential.

The TV fell silent. The light flickered out.

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