The Jar

The Jar

My family and I had taken a trip to a state we had never been to before. We did plenty of tourist activities, ate at well-known restaurants, and did a ghost tour. My mom loved a good ghost tour, her wavy hair bounced as she laughed and her eyes were wide with excitement at everything the tour guide was saying. Her nose ring gleamed in the moonlight as she nudged me and asked “Are you having fun?” I replied “Sure” with as much energy as I could muster, I didn’t particularly like ghosts. 

Something I did quite enjoy was when we went to a small lake, more of a watering hole really, that had countless rocks you could climb and different outlets of small water pockets. My parents watched after my little brother more than me, I was a teenager and they trusted me so I could wander off on my own without them questioning me too much, other than the typical “Be careful, don’t go too far!” Looking back now, I think I went too far.

I climbed up a few rocks and went through a few narrow passageways until I found myself in a beautiful clearing. The sun beamed through the trees, and a minuscule waterfall that was more of a trickle leaked crystal-clear water into a three-foot-deep pool. I excitedly stepped in, the water was warm, like being wrapped in a hug. I let myself float there for a while, the sun kissing my face. I had a glass jar with me, a family tradition to gather parts of where we visited to take home, like sand, rocks, shells, or in this case water. 

I grabbed the jar that I had set on the rocks nearby, I decided this was the piece I wanted to take home with me. I sucked in my breath and pushed my head under, scooping up water from the bottom of the pool. Satisfied with my catch, I screwed the lid on tight and allowed myself a few more moments in the pool of water before making my way back. My family was already packing up to leave.

“You certainly explored a little, didn’t you?” My dad said as he ruffled my already wet tangled mess of hair. 

I beamed up at him, “I did! I found this amazing little area, and look!” I held up my jar of clear water to him “My piece to take home!”.

He smiled back at me, “I’m glad you’ll have that to remember this place.” 

We headed back to the car. Once we got back to the hotel we took turns showering, my turn was last so I sat on the bed holding my jar. It was still warm to the touch, and when I moved it in the light the water shimmered beautifully. Suddenly I hear a voice in my head, it sounded groggy like it had just woken up from a nap.

Who are you?” The voice said. “Who am I? What do you mean?” I responded in my head, very confused at what was happening. 

How did you get me out of there?” The voice asked, ignoring my questions. 

Get you out of where, the water?” I asked still baffled at the voice in my head. 

Yes, the water, my prison.” The voice sounded annoyed now like I should know what it was and what was happening. 

I heard the shower water turn off and my mom shouted “Okay Les, your turn!”

I scrambled up and set the jar on the bedside table, hoping a hot shower would clear my thoughts, I was probably imagining the voice. I scrubbed every inch of my body like it would clear away whatever just happened. Soon I heard my dad and brother come back from getting pizza for dinner, I got dressed and joined them. After dinner, we all got ready for bed. I left the jar on the bedside table, it had not spoken to me since I set it here, and watched the water churn as I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning we checked out of the hotel and packed up the car to head home. I waited to grab the jar again until we left. The moment my hands touched the jar I was flooded with warmth and the voice returned.

That was rude.” said the voice matter-of-factly.

What?” I asked in surprised

I can’t talk to you unless you’re touching the jar you’ve captured me in, seems my powers have weakened over time.

Your powers?” I asked, slightly intrigued and mostly fearful.

Yes, my powers. I am not like you, I was forced into that water prison by a council that deemed me unfit to reside with humanity. Foolish really, I could have helped. I mean, look at the state of your world now. You humans once had castles of towering heights and magic beyond what you know of clearly.” The voice was sounding annoyed again. 

I don’t understand…” My thoughts trailed.

Of course you don’t, you’re a young mortal with clearly little intelligence.

Now who is rude!” My thoughts were turning poisonous. I reached to set the jar down but the voice shouted in my head. “WAIT! Listen, if you were to consume the contents of this jar, I could give you magical abilities beyond your wildest dreams.” 

I paused for a moment, we hit a bump in the road that jarred me from my thoughts. I set the jar down so it couldn’t talk to me.

“Mom, can we stop and get some food?” I asked quietly. 

“Sure honey, what are you and your brother craving?” 

“McDonald’s!” Shouted my little brother excitedly. I rolled my eyes but at this point, I was basking in the normalcy of our family road trip. 

I ate the hot salty fries and licked my fingers clean as I thought about the jar. Magical powers sounded incredible, but the voice was quite arrogant. I needed to gather more information from it, but first I needed a nap.

I peeled my eyes open after feeling the familiar turns that meant we were close to home. I guess I had fallen asleep for seven hours. We unpacked and headed inside our house. I left the jar in the car so that I could grab a towel to carry it with, not sure that would even work, but I wanted to gather my thoughts before I spoke to it again. It did work, and I set the jar safely on my lilac-painted wooden dresser. The water churned and shimmered brightly. I sat in my bed for a while pondering the possibilities. 

I grabbed the jar again and forced my thoughts strongly. “What abilities will I have?” 

Whatever you can imagine, you want to fly? Fly. Do you want to have the ability to heal your family? You’ll have that too. With me, we can do anything, together.”

Together? So you’ll be, like a part of me?

In a sense, yes, but you will have control.” Something about that statement sent chills up my spine, it felt as though the voice was smirking. Was it getting stronger?

The jar was warmer than ever as I reached for the lid, hands shaking at the possibilities in front of me. I could protect my family, I could do anything… 

Anything” The voice echoed.

I paused with my hand on the lid for a long moment, the warmth of it flooded through me, making me want to open the lid even more. 

Was this the right choice?” I thought as I unscrewed the lid.

What did you think of the story, would you have opened the jar and drank the contents? Let us know in the comments below! 

Thank you so much for reading!


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