A short story by Felipe S.
Midas checked his watch and then promptly went back to doing nothing. He pretended working for ten more minutes before he decided to accept the obvious: the joke was on him. Apparently, his co-workers had ditched him again.
Unfortunately for him, this acceptance was a few seconds too late. As he left the building and ran toward the bus stop he saw it pull away. Just then as he continued running a thought entered his mind: maybe he was supposed to meet them at the bar for happy hour.
Gretchen had just finished fixing dinner. Her first attempt had been a disaster of burnt proportions.
As she kept dinner warm in the oven, she decided to phone her husband, who was running later than usual. There was no answer. As the time passed her patience began to run thin. As more time passed she felt a draft of worry.
Suddenly, a knock on the door startled her. As she opened the door her cycle of emotions had turned to stricken horror: at the door stood two police officers.
“Excuse ma’am”, one officer began and then paused.
“Ma’am, I don’t know how else to put it this way but we have bad news, good news, and great news,” the other officer broke in.
Gretchen still frozen by the prospects of the situation was further befuddled by the odd statement and could only utter the one large thought stuck in her mind, “bad news, bad news…. what’s the bad news?”
“Ma’am, excuse my partner,” the first officer started again.
“Your husband’s dead,” the second officer stated directly.
Gretchen gave a quiet gasp of acknowledgment. Simultaneously a numbness ran up and a chillness down her body.
The officers stood there counting to twenty, the number they had previously decided to let her absorb the information before continuing.
“Then what’s the good news?” Gretchen squeaked out. “And there’s great news?” Her voice got louder.
“We-ell…” the first officer began.
“When we pulled his body out of the bay we also pulled out a lobster,” the second officer finished.
“What!?” Gretchen replied in more of an exclamation than question.
“And the great news is we’re putting him back in tonight.”
An awkward silence followed. The officers weren’t sure whether to begin a new count when storm before the quiet came.
“Are you fucking serious!”
“Listen, Mrs. Yablonski, always look on the bright side is what I say”
“Yeah, we’re willing to share… we’re er, um, not shellfish.”
“What did you say!?” Gretchen snapped, this time more of a question than an exclamation.
“Look on the bright side?”
“Maybe we should have went with a longer count?” the second officer whispered to his partner.
“No, you said Mrs. Yablonski?”
“Yes, Mrs. Yablonski”
“Is that not you?”
“She lives down the street…oh my god, oh my god, you had me so worried.”
The two officers look at each other with an expression of “oops.”
“Well then ma’am sorry to bother you this evening and good night,” the first officer quickly muttered before quickly spinning off to join his partner who had already began toward the correct house.
“So do we go with the same routine?” the first officer asked his partner.
They both stood there looking at each other.
“Yeah, why not? It didn’t go that bad.”
“Well I wouldn’t say we were on a roll.”
His partner laughs. “Ha Ha, yeah but the lobster is going to be.”
Next: The Chase