The Emperor of Lost Things

11:07p: A guest walks across the lobby through the sliding doors and out to the parking lot. He walks to his car to grab his cigarettes, when he realizes he left his car keys in his room.

11:09p: He walks back through the lobby and to the elevator and back into his room.

11:12p: He walks across the lobby through the sliding doors and out to the parking lot. He walks out to his car, keys in hand, to grab his cigarettes. He reaches to the cup holder, where his pack usually is, only to find it empty. He looks in the various nooks and crannies in his car for the cigarettes, checks the floors, even checks the glove box, searching only in vain. He figures he must have taken them upstairs to his room.

12:35a: He walks back through the lobby and to the elevator and back into his room.

1:00a: He walks across the lobby, through the sliding door and out to the parking. He is on his way to a gas station to buy a replacement pack of cigarettes.He plans to use his phone to look up where the nearest gas station is. He reaches into his left pocket for his phone and realizes it isn’t there. He reaches into his right pocket and realizes it isn’t there. He decides to just drive aimlessly in one direction until he hits something.

1:07a: He rolls out of the parking look onto a dark road, surrounded by trees. On the horizon a traffic light erupts out of the darkness. To the right of this light is a gas station. He turns right into the parking lot. He pulls into a parking space in front of the door only to then he realizes that all the lights are down and this store has been put to bed. He turning his head to back out when he hears a knock at the window.

“Hey kid!”

Knock. Knock.

“Hey kid!”

Knock. Knock.

“Open the window.”

For whatever reason the young man opens the window for this old man. The man outside of the car stands about 3’5″. He has a salt and pepper beard flowing down almost to the pavement. His hair is in tight ringlet curls of a crisp purple hue. It’s held out of his face by a bandanna, that is so low his eyes cannot be seen.

“Can I help you with something sir?”

“Hey yeah yeah I got a riddle for you.”

“Excuse me?”

“Poor people have it, rich people need it, and if you eat it’ll you’ll die.”

“Sir do you need help? Can I do something for you?”

“Nothing!”

He cackles.

The young man begins to roll up his window.

“Wait, wait. I need to give you something.”

The young man ignores this.

1:15: The town slowly emerges starting with a Chili’s and crescendoing into a large Walmart Super Center, ending with a local sports complex. He pulls into the gas station between the Chili’s and the Walmart. Uneventfully he goes in and purchases a pack of Newport 100s and starts to walk outside. A woman who looks to be about forty, well dressed and tired, hold the door open for him.

“Hey someone told me to give these to you.”

She hands him something and walks inside right past him.

In his hands are his phone and the pack of cigarettes he thought he lost. He looks out into the parking lot only to find the only car in sight is his. He turns to ask the woman where she got his things, only to find the store completely empty and all the lights shut off.

1:26a : He gets in his car and head back to the hotel.

1:37a: He arrives back to the hotel and stand out front to smoke his cigarette. He keeps a constant watch all around him.

1:44a: He walks back through the lobby and to the elevator and back into his room.

 

 

 

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