Thursday, July 9, 2009

Daily Story 85: Lost and Found

Desmond was angry.

He didn't feel angry about his car being stolen, since it had been giving him trouble all morning and so its disappearance mainly just meant he could skip his appointment with the mechanic. He wasn't even angry about the fact that he was going to be late getting back to work, although he knew he would be in trouble for it no matter how good his explanation was. Being mugged, however, seemed like adding insult to injury. Possibly injury to injury.

He began to walk back to the office, thinking about the mail-in rebate in his wallet and wondering if the mugger would send it in. It seemed better than it going to waste.

As Desmond reached the corner of fifth and Carmine, he was confronted with an interesting sight. His car, sitting in front of the Mexican restaurant he had planned on going to for lunch before accidentally missing his turn and ending up at a sandwich shop that had given him a soggy turkey sandwich with a side of food poisoning. The car had its hood up, and Desmond could only assume the thief had tried to drive away and had only gotten a block and a half before it broke down.

This assumption, was, of course, completely wrong.

He stared at the car for a moment, and then felt a little cold finger of doom creeping up inside of him. Now he had gone from having his car stolen to just having it be useless again, and this really felt like a downgrade. Sighing, he pulled out his phone to call in to work, since now he didn't even have a good excuse.
"Lake and Logan, how may I help you?"
"Alice, this is Desmond."
"Let me transfer you to him."
"No, Alice, I don't want to be transferred to myself!"
He was too late, because Alice had a hair-trigger when it came to transferring. Like most receptionists she gave off the impression that she didn't particularly want to be one, though at least she spent her time reading something rather than playing Solitaire. He had tried to be friendly once and asked her what she was studying, and she said it was cryptography. It turned out that Desmond didn't have any witty responses for that, and so after a few seconds of bobbing his head awkwardly he had gone back to his desk.

Like some sort of divine omen, a taxi cab pulled up in front of him. "Need a ride?" That seemed to cinch it, this was a sign from the heavens. Why else would a taxi driver offer to take someone somewhere? How would he know that a person standing in front of an obviously non-functioning vehicle and looking frustrated needs a ride? Desmond's already tired feet told him there was no logical explanation, that the Almighty Himself had arranged this and to not get in the cab was blasphemy. His stomach, still fighting the turkey sandwich, seconded the motion.

That logic stayed with Desmond until he reached Lake and Logan, at which point he remembered that he had been mugged and no longer had any way to pay the cab driver. Having not really driven him very far the driver handled it well, screaming at Desmond and threatening to tear various parts off of him. The cab pulled away before Desmond had even finished climbing out, and as he lay on the ground he couldn't help but notice his left shoe was missing. It didn't seem likely that it had just fallen off in the cab, since he hadn't been wildly waving his foot in the air as they drove, but there weren't any other obvious possibilities.

Desmond headed inside, limping slightly, and waved at Alice who ignored him entirely as she tended to an upset woman with electrodes attached to her forehead. Slumping down at his desk, he felt his foot bump into something and looked down to find his left shoe had beaten him back. On impulse, he opened the drawer where he sometimes left his wallet when it was grinding into his backside and keeping him from properly slouching, and sure enough it was there - rebate coupon and all. If only he could somehow get his lost time back. As he daydreamed, Jason tossed a paper onto his desk.
"Hey Desmond, thanks for heading straight into that meeting after lunch. Here's the summary."

Desmond was in shock. His car, his wallet, his shoe, and now even his time… anything he lost returned to him! Jumping up in excitement, he felt a lurch from his stomach and lost his lunch.