The Treasure Chest is a short horror story about a man with a taste for unusual furniture who buys a very weird wooden box and lives to regret his purchase.
A middle-aged man named Trevor Bailey had just moved into a new apartment in Seattle. He was in the city, shopping for furniture, but couldn’t find anything that took his fancy. He was a man with a taste for unusual furniture, but every furniture shop he entered seemed to have nothing that interested him.
Frustrated, he wandered down a narrow side street, and eventually found himself outside an old antique shop. On the spur of the moment, he went inside to see if there was anything worth purchasing.
He was browsing through the aisles when he came across an odd-looking treasure chest. There and then, he decided to buy the curious piece of furniture. Handing over the money, Mr Bailey asked the antique dealer to have the chest delivered to his apartment that very evening.
Hours later, he was sitting on the sofa in his living room, watching TV, when he happened to glance to his left and saw something that made him gasp. Peeking out of a hole in the side of the treasure chest, he was sure he could see a pair of bloodshot eyes. They seemed to be staring directly at him and glinting maliciously.
Mr Bailey was overwhelmed with a sudden feeling of inexplicable fear and sat motionless for a few seconds. Then, overcoming his terror, he jumped up and ran to the chest, flinging open the lid. Inside, he found the chest was completely empty.
Puzzled, Mr Bailey returned to the sofa and tried to calm his nerves. He told himself that it was just his imagination, but he found it hard to get the hideous image of the menacing eyes out of his mind.
For the rest of the night, he felt strangely ill at ease and made an effort not to look at the chest. He was simply terrified at the thought of what he might see.
At the end of the night, Mr Bailey was beginning to forget about his unusual experience, and put it down to a trick of the light. Just as he was about to go to bed, he stood up and couldn’t resist taking one last look at the chest.
He froze and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. There were the hideous eyes. They were peeking out of the same hole as before and staring at him with evil intent.
In a state of shock, Mr Bailey let out a strangled scream and the eyes suddenly vanished from the darkened hole in the side of the chest. When he cautiously approached the treasure chest and carefully opened the lid, he again found it completely empty.
By now, he was at his wit’s end and he decided that he must rid himself of the mysterious piece of furniture. Mr Bailey picked up his phone and called a removal service. He told them to come bright and early the next morning. He said he had an old treasure chest that he wanted them to pick up and cart off to the city dump.
As he hung up the phone, he breathed a sigh of relief. Feeling a little more relaxed now that he had arranged to get rid of the chest, he went to bed.
That night, Mr Bailey lay in bed, tossing and turning, his brain plagued by tortured nightmares. In his dreams, he saw the bloodshot eyes again. They were peeking out at him from every crack and crevice in his apartment. The disgusting eyes seemed to follow his every move and it felt like there was no escape from their evil gaze.
He awoke suddenly, in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat. His heart was pounding at an alarming rate. The memory of the horrible eyes was tormenting him and he found himself unable to fall asleep again.
Filled with an uneasy sense of forboding, he got out of bed and tip-toed silently down his hallway. Quietly opening the door to his living room, Mr Bailey saw the treasure chest sitting ominously in the corner. Everything seemed peaceful and undisturbed, just as he had left it only hours before.
But something about the chest still bothered him. When he had gone to bed, he was sure he had closed the lid of the chest, but now it stood open. A sudden chill surged through his body. He felt as if the treasure chest was waiting for him, daring him to approach it.
Like a man in a trance, he felt unable to resist and walked slowly towards the open chest.
The next morning, workmen arrived to pick up the chest. They found the front door standing open and the old treasure chest standing in the middle of the room. The workmen lifted it onto a dolly and wheeled it outside to the street where their van was waiting.
As they loaded the chest into the back of their van, the men never heard the muffled screams coming from inside. As they drove to the city dump, they never heard the desperate knocking coming from the old treasure chest.
When they got to the dump, the workmen backed up their van to the edge of a cliff and pushed the chest off the side. It fell straight down, crashing against the rocks and turning end over end as it plummeted to the bottom. With a mighty splash, it hit the water below and sank quickly, disappearing beneath the surface.