642 Things to Write About: The End of the World

Today’s challenge is, “Put two people who hate each other in an elevator for 12 hours. What happened?”

“Why on Earth were your parents in the same building today?”  The detective stood before me, doing his absolute best to be intimidating.  It wasn’t working.  But that wasn’t his fault.  His intimidation act was the best I’d seen in years.  It’s just that, well, I watched my father intimidate people for years and therefore, became immune to anyone else’s efforts.

“Hell if I know.” I shrugged, looking around the main floor.  We were in some building named after a bank that people only like when they’re paid actors on a commercial.  But the building wasn’t only a bank. It had law offices, a few small coffee shops, a couple of boutiques and a few other businesses.

The main level had shiny marbled floors. Every footstep taken across the floor echoed back up to the ceiling, making the main floor sound busier than it actually was.

“Were they meeting with lawyers over their divorce?” Detective Mitchell reemphasized his growing lack of patience by tapping his pen against his notebook.

“Their divorce was finalized twenty years ago.”

“Listen.”  He glared at me, willing me to succuumb to his terror.  It didn’t work. But I did my best to play along and pretended to be afraid.  “The shit hit the fan this afternoon and your parents are the center of the storm.  Start talking!”

Oh.  Okay.  He wants to play.  Fine.  I’ll play.  Game on!  I worked up tears and sobbed as loud as I could, fake-blowing my nose into a wadded up tissue paper.  “Well, officer, I guess it all started back in 1978.”

Mitchell lifted up his notebook, scribbling away with his left hand. “What happened in 1978?”

“I kicked the stocking stuffers out of my mother.”

“Uh huh.” Mitchell never looked up.  He continued scrawling away in his notebook.  “And why did you do that?”

“It was lunch time.”

That got his attention.

“I was hungry,” I continued.  “Plus, I’d been cooped up for almost a year so I figured it was time for a change of scenery.”

“What….exactly….are you talking about?”

“Childbirth,” I said.

Mitchell snapped his head up, shoving his notebook inside his coat pocket.  “Are you kidding me?  Is this a joke to you?”

“No.”  My parents were in police custody.  This was most certainly no laughing matter.

“What. Do. You. Know. About. Today.”

I sighed, rolling my eyes.  “I know that my parents were travelling in the same elevator with a group of random people when the power went out, stranding them inside.  From what you told me, heated words were exchanged between the two of them. Somebody mentioned a bomb. The other passengers freaked out and now you’re interviewing me.”  That about summed it up.

“Which one of your parents has experience with explosive devices.”  He snapped his finger up into my face.  “Don’t lie to me!  We’ll find out one way or the other.”

“Neither of them.”  I swallowed back a burst of laughter desperate to join in the charades.  “My father can barely turn on a computer and my mother is very prim and proper….except when she’s upset. That’s when her vocabulary puts sailors to shame.”

The interview went on for another hour before Detective Mitchell was satisfied of my ignorance. None of the other elevator passengers could pinpoint who it was that mentioned a bomb, so the police dropped all charges against my parents.

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