Monday, July 6, 2009

The One-Minute Writer (Monday)

The prompt:

"Imagine you will be sitting down a week from today to describe how your week
went. What do you hope you'll be writing?"

My response:

Hmmm...that is indeed a great question. Well, I hope that my entry would go something like this: I woke up Monday morning to find myself blindfolded and gagged as my captors drag me out the doors tied up in a blanket. They drug me to a vehicle, most likely a pickup truck, where the four of them threw me into the truck bed where I promptly whacked my head and was knocked out. I woke to a hard slap the next day in a small airplane hanger outside of Fayetteville as a tall fellow wearing a Marilyn Monroe mask faced me. He then picked up a small electronic device to mask his voice. He showed me a picture of my wife and said if I ever wanted to see her again, I would have to complete a couple of jobs. Then, all the men and women in the room piled into three pickup trucks and sped away.

Shortly thereafter, two police cars pulled in and the officers, saying nothing, cut me lose, handed me a manilla envelope, and then left just as quick as they arrived. I opened the envelope dispursing its contents onto a small metal desk. There was a photo, a small slip of paper which read 02 - 24 - 35, a Ford car key, and a hotel keycard for a Marriott hotel. Taped to the keycard was another small slip of paper which read 428.

A phone rang. It was the University of Arkansas fight song. My cell phone, so I reached into my pocket and answered. It was my wife although she sounded mechanical and a bit frightened. She said, "you have four days to complete the tasks they have for you or I will never see you again," and then a male spoke, "four days. Call the police, and we'll know. Do what we need and you and your pretty Mrs. B---- will be together and free again."

"Why me?" I asked.

"You're nobody, and you love her enough to do it," he answered and then the phone went dead.

Right, so four days to do what exactly? I looked at the photo and laughed. It was Kevin Smith, you know, Silent Bob? So, what did this have to do with my wife and me? I decided to call the Marriott hotels in the area. I eventually found two that had more than three floors and visited the first. Room 428 was vacant. Twenty minutes later, I was at the other. Room 428? Rented to a Mr. Johnson. I thanked the front desk clerk, and took an elevator up. The keycard fit, and I entered half expecting someone to either shriek or club me. Nothing. The television was on Fox News. "Hello?" I asked. No answer.

After shutting the door and quickly checking the room, I found myself alone. There was a mini-fridge on the squatty dresser and a small safe in the closet. I tried the safe: locked. I fumbled for the slip of paper and entered the combination. It worked, and upon opening the safe, I found another manilla envelope with my name across the front. I spilled it out onto a bed and found a plane ticket, a car rental reservation, and $500. The ticket and reservation were to New York and for a silver Ford Taurus at the Hertz counter. That must be what the key was for. Maybe?

On the back of the envelope were a few instructions:

Get on the plane leaving Little Rock tomorrow morning, fly to New York, get the car and drive to 12269 N. Johnson Ave in Trenton, NJ. Knock twice on the door and wait for Miles to answer. Tell him your there about Mr. Smith's appointment. He'll detail your assignment from there. Burn this envelope.

Halfway to New York, after a brief stop in Chicago, it had dawned on me that I had not once thought to call the police or FBI. How stupid? Who knows, but as the plane touched down, I began to sweat. I pulled out the carry-on and exited. I went to the rental desk and showed the bleach-blonde twiggy woman my reservation. She handed me a key, and pointed to a door as she simply said, "thank you for choosing Hertz. Enjoy the city!"

I stopped at an information desk to pick up a map of the area so I could get to Trenton. The traffic wasn't nearly as horrible as one might think, and except for a couple of stops, it was smooth driving the major part of the way. I pulled up in front of the address: a small deli that seemed closed. I thought twice about it before knocking, but upon ending the second tap, a squatty, plump and balding man answered. "Miles? I'm here about Mr. Smith," I told the man, half whispering.

"Come in," he grumbled as he yanked on my collar.

I entered and smiled as I took in the savory-sweet aroma of what smelled like spaghetti. I tried to open a conversation: "Cooking something?"

He didn't answer but pointed toward a table and chairs, motioning me to sit. As I did so, he ventured off into another room behind the large glass counters which were dark and empty.

A few minutes later, he returned with two large plates of fettucine with chicken covered in a red sauce. "Might as well eat while we're waiting," he huffed before he began inhaling his own pasta.

Twenty minutes later, three men entered the front door carrying briefcases. No, not those metal "spy" cases, just regular briefcases of fake leather. They joined us at the table and one of them spoke, saying with a small chuckle, "no dinner for us Miles? For shame, you don't have any manners do you, old buddy?"

Miles just smiled, exited to the kitchen, and returned with three more heaping plates.

--I can't mention any more of these three. Just suffice it to say that I received a generous compensation from them along with some documents which aided in my task which was to kidnap Kevin Smith. Yes, I know, this is the stuff of movies, but it did happen. Perhaps you heard of the car which flew from the 42nd level of a parking deck in New York into a hotel? Yes, that was part of the scheme. It allowed me to "escort" Mr. Smith from the Hilton where he was doing an interview about a new movie.

Don't worry, he's not hurt nor dead. Just "borrowed" as they put it. The wife and I are back in Fayetteville, and we never take for granted the time we have together. Other than that, we still go out; we still plan on traveling although it may be in a car or train instead of by air, but we enjoy ourselves. Overall, it was a bit gruelling and definitely not something I wish to do again. Either way, I was able to fly a helicopter, steal loads of cash, and kidnap Kevin Smith. Not bad for one week!

And then I woke. The cat was licking my toes again. Yep, all a dream, but what a dream it was!