Late for work
I don’t think I’m ever eating Chinese food again.
Not because I don’t like it. I love it. And not because I’ve been stuffed in the trunk of this car with a bag over my head and I’m about to be murdered, no. But because I’ve been stuffed in the trunk of a car with this bag over my head and it’s all I’ve been breathing for 15 minutes and it’s making me sick.
I don’t know where we’re going or who exactly grabbed and bagged me, but I am acutely aware that I’m probably going to be late and I absolutely hate being late. No call, no shows are the absolute worst. I need to calm down.
My hands are zip tied. I check for my phone. Good, it’s still on me. Either they were too rushed to check for it and take it or the mind knot charm I etched on the phone case did the trick.
Mind knot is a charm you stick to anything you want others to not mind. Say your phone-nazi boss at work.
I hear a muffled back and forth in the car's cabin. Two men. All I can make out is a frustrated “fuck” which probably sums up the plot line to that character.
I can’t help but think these men were horribly ill prepared. I mean, not that I can speak; here I am, brilliant mage extraordinaire, with perception altering tools at my very fingertips, and I get nabbed outside of Chen’s buffet II.
I kinda knew something like this was going to happen. I just didn’t take it seriously. I took the call last week after letting it go to message twice. I let the weird video play.
But I was at work and I kinda just let it run like I do all the training videos at work, while I did my actual job. I just thought it was some weird ARG the MagePunKs were cooking up. But here we are.
The car slows to a halt. More frustration. It’s lunch hour. These guys done fucked up.
I pop the trunk because magic. And I just book it.
I run faster than I’ve run in a long time.
I might pull a hammy but I don’t give a fuck.
I run. I hear yelling behind me. One guy is on my tail. I don’t look back but I hear wheezing under his angry shouts. I keep going.
My hands are still bound. It reminds me I miss having sex.
I’ve run across exits and at least one busy highway through oncoming traffic. I still don’t quite know where I am. My over reliance on my gps might actually be my undoing. I keep going.
In the distance. I see it.
My Shangri La, my sanctuary, my temple on a hill.
I found a Waffle House. I make another break for it across the highway. I might’ve been hit by a car in several alternate realities by now.
I get to the Waffle House entrance.
I don’t have any chalk or any markers, so I can’t guide where I’m going. I don’t have any gum or anything to anchor me to this one- which isn’t really what I need right now, anyway. I knock thrice at door frame, hold my breath and step on through. I rush on inside, grab a newspaper off the rack, sit at a table and hide my face behind the daily. Zip tie untied, ahem, magic.
A server walks up and asks if I’d like anything. I tell her water without putting the paper down or so much as looking up from it.
I’m not trying to be rude. My eyes are more so glued to the header on the paper. Also, I’m hiding.
The top of the paper reads PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.
Waffle Houses are like little inter dimensional gateways, but with hash browns and grits.
They’re all built the same. If you’ve been in one, you’ve been in all of them, and that’s the point. You can walk in one and walk right out of another and you wouldn’t know the difference.
Except maybe that you’ve lost your car or hopefully the burley well-dressed gentleman, presumably armed.
I’m in Pittsburgh. Or at least close to it. In Pennsylvania somewhere. Or close to it. You know where I’m not close to? My job.
I text my boss.
[Hey, I’m sorry I can’t come in today, there’s been ... an emergency.]
To be continued...