In Time // Letters to October (17)

Bob didn’t realise something was wrong until he threw his keys down. They flew in an arc and, for the first time ever, landed straight into the basket on the cabinet by the front door. 

So as not to arouse suspicion, Bob took his coat off, too. He normally didn’t bother with his shoes, so he kept them on. His mobile phone clutched in one hand, thumb positioned on the 9, he inched his way to the living room. There, he found a woman and an old man sitting on the couch. They looked expectant and somewhat perturbed, as if Bob had offered them a cup of tea but hadn’t delivered. Bob had never had intruders before, so he wasn’t sure what to say. He might’ve gone with “I’m going to call the police” or at least, “Stay away, I know karate,” but he blurted the first thing that popped into his head.

“What?”

The woman stood up with a glance at her companion. She was dressed in an immaculate pantsuit which looked quite out of place in the grubby living room. Bob had never seen such a well-dressed criminal before.

“Hello, Mr. Smith. We’re sorry to barge in on you like this—”

“Who are you?” The questions were starting to fight their way out of his mouth. “Did you straighten my cabinet?”

The woman sighed. “We’ll answer all your questions in time. But for now, you have to come with us.”

Bob considered this. “Well… No.”

“We thought you might say that,” she replied, “but this is a matter of grave importance. It’s about your wife.”

Bob frowned. “What do you know about her? Do you know where she is? Is she—”

“In time,” the woman said, stretching the word as if it were particularly important. “Come with us, and we’ll explain everything.”


The beginnings of a story for today’s letter to October. I’m blogging every day this month. Take a look at the introduction to the series here.

Header photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash.

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