I shot out into the ground floor, nearly running into a pretty lady. As I hurried past her, I kept myself from looking back at her. My ‘evil side’ chided me.
Did you see what she was wearing?
That’s who you should be chasing.
While your wife is night parading
Don’t! You should be pimping!!
I ignored myself. The reception was a minute’s walk outside the Shiny Armor’s main building for guests. A technique designed to keep the guests better secluded. I liked it earlier but now it meant extra space between our dots.
Dew’s dot had disappeared from my screen. The Maplet was designed to show my location, not exactly hers; I had to get nearer her soon or I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore no matter how much I zoomed out. The Maplet could zoom out five times. I had already zoomed out twice.
When I got to the reception desk, I stopped to catch my breath. I caught the attention of the receptionist on duty. Her name-tag said ‘DORA’. She must not have seen the direction I came from because she said,
“Welcome, this is the Shiny Armor:
Service is the reception’s door;
As diligence is our culture.
What can I do you for?”
“My wife is dew dropped on my world;
This ring is proof of this.
She left our room without a word;
Her whereabouts are now amiss.”
Dora’s eyes ran down to my wedding ring. Her expression went somewhere between pity and curiosity. I was not bothered by that. I handed her the key to our room and signed out, intermittently glancing at the Maplet. Dew’s dot was still on the Bush road – as it was called, though not for its bushiness – and soon it would reach Ghostel. I would have to zoom out again.
I looked at the receptionist – Dora – and pushed the logbook across to her,
“I am exhausted and have not slept’
Forgive my manners as left they left.
But it was you, who was on duty;
When I arrived: Do you recall me?
We had arrived by 05:00pm which was near the end of her shift. For some reason however she was there then and now too.
She smiled a slightly tired smile,
“I do recall you and your spouse;
I liked the color of her blouse.
So guess the new height of my brows,
When she left with a different spouse…
She waited; silently for his cue,
I can only say he looked like you.
Her gown was black, his shirt was blue.
They left together, stuck. It’s true.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I felt a grass cutter in a campfire; like there was a rod sticking from my anus through my mouth and the world was spinning as I cooked away. I left the reception and strode purposefully out the doors.
Outside I checked my Maplet. Dew’s dot was at the edge of my screen – at Kass. I had been told the Shiny Armor was second only to the Bubble House in Qastivity. Kass was a market area known to be dangerous at night; all day too. But things could get very affordable there. I checked the time at top right corner of the Maplet.
I looked around. A guard was walking up to me. I didn’t have time to chat with him so I scanned the road and called a passing taxi. I jumped into the back seat as soon as I yanked the door open.
The guard broke into a run. I could see him in the rear view mirror. Why was he running to us? I didn’t care, I decided. The taxi-driver seemed to understand my urgency because he zoomed off without asking where I was going. And he was heading in the right direction.
I learnt later and too late, that that was not good. As the taxi taxied into the night, I slipped my wedding ring – with its shiny diamond whisper – into my pocket’s pocket sadly. I didn’t want to lose it yet; I didn’t want to wear it either.
I looked out the rear window at the guard. He had stopped running and stood staring – or glaring rather – at the rapidly retreating taxi. The look on his poorly illuminated face was quite unnerving. It was beyond disappointment.
It was pure poorly masked horror.
The taxi-driver smiled ruefully at me. I was already uncomfortable so I smiled back. I checked myself suspecting something might have fallen off me as I scrambled into the car; nothing had. My wallet was in my pocket where I had left it earlier that evening, too tired to care. My Maplet was unharmed – Dew’s dot had stopped moving – and we were slowly closing in on her dot in Mega. I wondered what she was doing in Mega. I remembered vaguely, some advert I had seen back at the Armor about a show in Mega. Was her lover taking her to see some show?
The driver bashed into my train of thoughts suddenly jolting me back to the dark and unknown road that was reality. I would have been stoned to coma than believed I had already travelled this same road once on my way here.