Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall 2014 Story Starter #1

As I look for my husband among the Blackjack tables, I realize that I am being followed.  Specifically, by a tall thin man wearing a University of Michigan sweatshirt, jeans, and a black fedora. Aware, but unconcerned yet, I continue scouring the tables for Steve.

The Blackjack tables are full. I am worrying. I am worrying about the time, Betsey, our babysitter needs to get home.  I’m worried about the fact that I CANNOT find Steve. He promised he would stay at the Blackjack tables if I wanted to walk around. 

My awareness of the man in the sweatshirt following me is quickly moving into the concerned zone. The man in the sweatshirt continues to pace me from one aisle over and I am nearing the end of my aisle. I am definitely concerned. As I near the end of the aisle, I slow my brisk walk to a stroll. So does Sweatshirt Man. Damn.

I stop between the final table and the next to stall for time and “look” for my cell phone in my purse. Thankfully, Sweatshirt Man isn’t in the next aisle over. I blow out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding.   Sweatshirt Man takes this opportunity to grab my by my elbow. How did he get over here?

“Please come with me quietly and we’ll meet your husband, Steve, in the parking lot.  Don’t worry. Betsey is on her way home.  Alice is sound asleep in her crib and being watched over.  It’s best to let sleeping babies lie. We wouldn’t want Alice to be woke at this hour do we?” Sweatshirt Man whispers in my ear.

They say you see stars before the lights go out and that is exactly the last thing I remember before waking up in a small cell, grey cement walls surrounding me and a single bulb above my head intermittently blinking on and off.  All I could do was lie on my back and stare at the bulb and then marvel at the dots repeatedly created before my eyes.  It was better than thinking.

Slowly I sat up and took stock of my surroundings.  I half expected to be tied up but no, I was not.  I got up off the floor of the cell thinking that jails should at least have one bed.

And then it struck me.  This wasn't a jail, was it?

Panic seized me in the name of Alice.  Was she still at home safe?  Who was watching her if Betsey was on her way home?  And who told her she could go home before Steve or I arrived?  And where was Steve?  Sweatshirt Man had said we'd see him in the parking lot.  Did we?  

I don't remember.

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