Writing Prompt for this short story was: Note on your Car - There’s a note on the windshield of your car. The note says, “I’ve taken your most prized possession. If you want to see it again, intact, meet me tonight at baseball field around the corner of the local high school. And bring your glove.” What makes this note so curious is that you’ve never played baseball, though you take no chances because your most prized possession is extremely valuable to you. Write this scene. ------------------------------------------------
Today was shaping up to be the worst day of my life. I had woken up late and stumbled into the bathroom, only to realize there wasn't any hot water. I had forgotten to call the plumber for hot water heater service the day prior…crap. I had to endure the worst shower of my life; it was like standing naked in front of a fan pelting ice cubes at my body.
Because I was running late, I had to skip getting my morning coffee. If you think that’s bad, what happened once I got to work – well, it was just icing on top of the fan-freaking-tastic day I was already having. I had just set my laptop bag on the top of my desk when my boss, Joe, asked me to come into his office. I obliged, of course, and followed him into this office.
“Have a seat, Laura.” He said.
I sat down on the chair facing his desk. It was very small and made of white resin. Almost like a child's chair. It did not have any cushion either, so I kept shifting my butt from side to side in order to get comfortable. No luck.
“Laura, there isn't really any way to break this to you easily, but we have to let you go. It has nothing to do with you and is strictly a business decision. I am sorry… you don’t have to finish out the day. You can go home now.”
I sat there for a moment, shocked. Hell, I had thought he had called me into the office about the advertising project we were working on. I still hadn’t moved when Joe cleared his throat… and nodded sullenly to me. Basically code for – “You can go, now. This is awkward enough.”
I had slowly gotten up from the chair and left his office. I grabbed my laptop bag from what used to be my desk and high-tailed it out of the office. I bumped into a few people as I made my way to the stairs, mumbling, “Sorry,” as I passed. I finally made it to the stairs and took them two-at-a-time down to the first floor. I flung the door open and stepped out into the cool air of the corridor and turned towards the exit.
The air outside was hot and clammy. The bad morning slowly fading behind me, I began walking towards my car, trying to think about what I was going to do next. As I approached my car, I noticed something white on the windshield. As I got closer, I saw that it was a piece of paper. Freaking great, a parking ticket, I thought. It wasn’t a parking ticket though, it was far worse.
It was a note that read:
“I’ve taken your most prized possession. If you want to see it again, intact, meet me at the baseball field around the corner. And, bring your glove.”
I looked into my car and immediately noticed what was missing. “Dammit,” I said out loud.
Unfortunately, I did not own a baseball glove. The best I could find was a pair of mittens stuffed inside of my glove compartment. They would have to do. I hopped into the driver’s seat; mittens stuffed inside of my pockets and started up the engine. At first the car didn't start. I began to panic, thinking that my car battery was dead. Fortunately, the engine roared to life on my second try. I slowly pulled out of the parking lot and made my way to the baseball field around the corner.
This morning I had woken up late, was forced to take a cold shower, showed up at work without my morning coffee and was fired; I was not going to let some jerk-face get off with taking my most-prized possession. No way in hell that was going to happen!
I made it to the field and pulled into the first parking space I could find. I jumped out of the car and slammed the door, hard. The sound echoed throughout the park. I looked around; the park was almost empty except for someone far off in the distance, standing in the outfield, just behind second base.
“Is that the creep?” I thought. And, then another thought came to me… I didn't tell anybody what happened or where I was going. What if this person truly was a creep, intent on attacking me or worse?
“Hey!” the person yelled and nodded towards me.
“Did you bring your glove?”
It was, indeed, the creep. I couldn't see him because the sun was too bright. He was taller than I was and wore a hat. I couldn't make out his face. It was like a shadowed man standing in the outfield, somewhat sinister looking, at least to me.
I stepped onto first base. “I don’t have a glove, but I have some catching…er..um…mitts?” I mumbled.
“I am prepared”, I said more loudly and with confidence.
I pulled the mittens out of my coat pockets and made a show of putting them on. For effect, I punched my right hand into my left palm when I was done, like you see boxers do right before stepping into a boxing ring. “Let’s do this.” I said.
What the hell was wrong with me? Why on earth was I encouraging this idiot?
“Good! I got your most prized possession right here. All you have to do is catch it. Ready?”
And with that, the creep threw my Rambo Bobblehead towards me.
“Nooooooooooooooo”, I shouted. As Rambo Bobblehead catapulted towards me, his head shook back and forth as if trying to decide his fate, “Yessss, she is going to catch me!” and then, “Noooo, I am doomed!”
“Rambo, I will not let you down.” I whispered. As he made his way towards me from across the field, I rooted my feet to the ground and got into a squat for some leverage. I reached my hands out towards him. As he landed into my hands, I felt his head stop shaking. I caught him! It was an absolute miracle. He was safe!
“You jackass!” I screamed towards the creep behind second base, but he was gone. What the hell?
I cupped Bobblehead Rambo, as I so adoringly referred to him, in my hands and looked into his eyes. I began to cry.
My brother Todd had given me the bobblehead just before being sent overseas to Iraq. His last words to me were, “You are one tough woman, Laura. Don’t forget it. When in doubt look at Bobblehead Rambo, remember who you are. Then, kick ass and take names. See you soon sis.”
With that, he had given me a hug and left. A few months ago, we received word that the aircraft he was in during a mission crashed and they don't believe there were any survivors. However, because they could not locate the aircraft, my brother is currently listed as missing in action. While today hadn’t been a good day, the day we got that news was the worst day of my life. I miss my brother so very much. He was my best friend. Bobblehead Rambo is how I connect with him, in my own silly way. If I had lost bobblehead, oh god, I just can’t fathom the thought.
I look around one last time, the field is deserted. I make my way back to my car. There is a note on the windshield.
It reads, “Laura…I felt like you needed to be reminded of how strong you truly can be when the chips are down. You have it in you to fight for what you believe. Kick ass and take names.”