The Cardboard Box Assassin

      Oof knew nothing of the world outside his own. For all his life he had lived as a hobo along various streets of New York City.  Every day was the same to him: waking up in the morning, crawling out of his cardboard box, and holding out a cup to collect change from those who were caring enough to toss some in his direction.  Life as a hobo was hard.
    The worst part of being homeless wasn’t the lack of adequate food, clothing or other necessities. Most of all Oof hated his cardboard box. From the very day he pulled it out of a dumpster to use as his shelter he had loathed the battered object. There was something about it which enraged him every time he glanced at it. It was so…cubical…battered….a MOCKERY.
    Screaming at the top of his lungs Oof picked up his box and slammed it up against the brick wall of a bank.     “AAAH AAAH! AAAH!” he chanted and scraped it against the bricks, making sure that the texture of the bricks caused tears in the box’s side. After the box went limp and fell to the ground Oof ceased the beatings. Satisfied with the box’s punishment he retrieved and stood it on it’s side once more. Glaring at the crowd of people watching him with concerned and confused expressions on their faces did not help the situation any more. With a roar of anger he charged towards a little boy who was walking by down the sidewalk with his mother. The boy screamed and his mother turned around. Seeing Oof, they took off running down the sidewalk at a pace too fast for Oof to bother with. The remainder of the crowd screamed and darted off in all directions away from the scene. “Get off of my front yard!” Oof ordered.
    “You disturb me!” he shouted, diverting his attention back to the box. “You mock me! Insult me! You KNOW that I cannot live like the other, richer people with homes! Well…I don’t want one! Instead I choose YOU, you ungrateful rotten box! I was the one who fished you out of the dumpster one evening while searching for dinner. Yet, you still betray me! I ought to rip you to shreds!”
    Despite Oof’s lecture the box continued to ignore him. Scenarios such as this were common but tonight’s episode  was especially disappointing -disappointing so much, in fact, that Oof wanted to put an end to his box’s scorn right then and there. Summoning up every amount of anger and strength in his body Oof flung himself onto his box and began disfiguring it in any way possible. Using his teeth he tore at the box’s top flaps in which he used for a door. With his hands he stabbed the box’s sides with a stick found a few blocks away in Central Park. The commotion attracted the attention of everyone nearby. Oof cared nothing about them -the only opinions which mattered to him were his box’s and his own. In a matter of seconds his box was smashed to smithereens on the sidewalk. After laughing and stabbing its scattered remains with a stick for about another half hour he stood up. The box was finally dead! Yet, its thoughts were still present with him -ridiculing him in the back of his mind.
    A young man walking by caught Oof’s attention. In his arms sat the very demonic item Oof had dedicated himself to destroying: a cardboard box. Growling with fury Oof stood up, still clutching his splintered and dulled stick. The young man gawked at him. “Box!” exclaimed Oof and jumped at the man. Startled, the man dropped his box which Oof caught. The man watched as Oof ripped open the box and dumped its contents, bagels and cookies, into his arms.
    “I don’t want junk!” he shouted. After the box had been emptied he ripped the box into tiny pieces and threw them down onto the sidewalk. Surprised, the young man backed away. Clutching his pastries he took off and ran down the street. “You cardboard box assassin!”
    Oof LIKED his new title. “Cardboard Box Assassin,” he repeated over and over again. “I AM THE CARDBOARD BOX ASSASSIN!” Laughing hysterically at his deed he summarized his accomplishment by kicking the corpse of both cardboard boxes into the street.
    Deciding to continue his beloved career, Oof spotted a lady carrying two cardboard boxes. “I hate clothing boxes! They are weak!” he said as he pounced on the shocked lady and emptied the boxes of their clothing contents. The lady screamed and watched as Oof stabbed and tore at the boxes until they were reduced to tiny remains along with the other cardboard victims. “The boxes deserve to be SMASHED!” he exclaimed and glared at the lady. The lady, terrified, shrieked and carried her clothing items to the opposite side of the street. In no time at all his “front yard” was cleared entirely of pedestrians. Finding nothing else to do, Oof sat down on the sidewalk and chuckled at his actions until it started to rain slightly. The rain fell lightly at first and then quickly increased in speed and strength. Only at that moment did Oof realize that his box was not intact enough to shield him from the elements. In the back of his mind he heard the box’s laugh echoing through his skull. Fueled once more with anger and frustration he gripped his stick once more and ran out to the edge of the sidewalk where the remains of the cardboard boxes lay. There he continued to stab the box remains for the remainder of the night.


November 25, 2009


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