Clara's eyes, which looked more green than blue when rimmed with red, scanned over unfinished clocks and broken toys, and finally rested on the box. It was covered with a thick layer of dust, silvery and undisturbed. Clara wanted to dust it off, see what intricate details were carved on the lid, the darkness of the wood, and the patterns of the grain rippling across the surface. More than anything else, she wanted to open it and look inside. She believed that whatever was inside might be able to fill the gaping hole where her heart was, and now she wasn't simply wanting.
She yearned to open that box, just to sneak one look inside, regardless of whatever consequences there may be. Her mind idly wandered to an illustration of Pandora from one of her books, exposed and reaching for the forbidden gift of the gods.
Clara hung her mantle on the doorknob and walked towards the box with one arm outstretched, almost hypnotically.
“Uncle Drosselmeyer, what's in this box?” she murmured, fingertips almost grazing the lock.
Her fingers were caught in a crushing grip as Drosselmeyer pulled her away. She tried to gasp in surprise, but the wind had been knocked out of her chest as she collided against him.
“You vain, foolish girl!” Drosselmeyer snarled, teeth bared and single eye burning. “No one will ever touch that box, especially you! Is that clear?”
Clara squealed and tried to wriggle away, the pain in her stomach and hands sharp, but not nearly as fierce as the twisting in her chest.
The original prompts for this story were "My father broke my heart long before any boy had the chance" and "You know, you were the only person who'd never called me that."
This story demanded to go somewhere I never thought I'd ever go. It's ended up being one of the darkest things I've written, but it showed me sides to Clara and Drosselmeyer that I never would have seen anyway else. It's given me a ridiculous amount of insight, and it's something I want to share with you all, if you are willing to read it.
This story is much darker than what I've usually produced, so it will have an external link to my figment account. When the story is up and ready, I'll upload another drawing from this scene with a link to where it can be read.
It features that characters two years before the main storyline, when Hans's spell has just been cast upon him and Clara is twelve, so I promise, it will have a happy ending.