When I left the house that morning, I had no idea how much my life was about to change. After the usual uneventful sleep-numbed journey to work, I spent all morning trying to avert a minor disaster with a client that only I seemed able to see coming like a slow motion scene from The Matrix. After the disaster (inevitably) hit anyway, I spent the rest of the day making apologetic phone calls and promises on behalf of the company that I knew we wouldn’t be able to keep.
I spent the return train journey stood with my nose unpleasantly close to an overweight man’s armpit, listening reluctantly to two young salesmen trying to out-bravado each other loudly. When I tumbled out of the carriage onto the platform, only to discover it was raining heavily, I almost didn’t bother to check my bag for a umbrella; the way my day was going, I knew it wouldn’t be there. It wasn’t.
Soaking by the time I got close enough to the house to see that the door was open, I assumed I had been robbed with an air of dejected acceptance and only hoped that yesterday’s Chinese leftovers would still be untouched in the fridge, the thought of having to pick up the phone and order more was simply too exhausting to contemplate.
I stepped in through the open front door and was surprised to find the latch still intact. Hope blossomed inside as a flashback of leaving the house this morning made me realise that it had never been locked or closed. Maybe I’d got away with it?
Reaching for the light switch, I stumbled over something large but soft at the bottom of the stairs and put my arm out to steady myself. My hand landed on what felt like a bulky, furry blanket, possibly with someone inside it. Typical. I bet there are thousands of people in England that have left their doors unlocked for one day at some point in their lives without coming home to a robbery or squatters. Not me though. Not me. I’d probably been robbed by squatters.
For the first couple of seconds after the light went on, my eyes strained against the sudden brightness. Then I blinked and shook my head. And blinked again. Then accepted that my eyes weren’t lying to me.
In front of me, at the bottom of the stairs stood a giant troll-like creature wearing nothing but a bright blue furry loin cloth. It was bent double at the waist in an attempt to fit better into the small hallway, its head crooked at an uncomfortable angle to the ceiling. Its big brown eyes held mine unwaveringly as it raised a wok sized hand in greeting.
‘Ah, hellooo,’ I felt its deep booming voice resonate through the wooden floorboards beneath me. ‘I’ve been waiting for you. I’m Dave and I’m here to tell you that you have won a once in a lifetime super magical wish. Yey!’ Dave winced as he raised both his hands to cheer and banged them hard against the ceiling.
‘Um, right. Good,’ I said, overwhelmed with questions but only really ready to ask one, ‘Are you hungry for Chinese?’
The original prompt for this post came from 712 more things to write about by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.
“When I left the door open that morning…”