Monday, June 30, 2008

Raiding other people’s refrigerators...

(This is a fictional story based on the prompt at the end of the blog)

Instead of going to work this morning, I ended up in jail. The events that led me to handcuffs are finally starting to become clear.

Here is what I remember. Last night, I was watching TV and I was extremely hungry. At the same time, I was having a massive tension headache. It was then I decided to grab some Somna PM and some munchies.

I shook the medicine bottle and all that came out were my last two pills. I swallowed them quickly with a glass of water knowing it would only take two to relieve this hammer in my head.

I opened my fridge only to see expired milk and baking soda. Since I wasn’t looking very decent, I didn’t want to walk down to the convenience store in my pajamas. My hair was already messed up and the meds kicked which made me too tired to dress or shower. I ended up zonked out in my recliner.

The next thing I know, I’m in a detective’s office without a lawyer by my side. My eyes were heavy and my ears were ringing from the loud tone the detective was using. He is grilling me as to why I had broken into my neighbor’s house and took a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and a gallon of milk.

I sat quietly in the interrogation room with one large mirror to the side. I glanced at the reflection, trying to get my eyes to focus on what was happening. The detective paced the room while trying not to laugh at me in my pajamas. They were plaid shorts with a shirt that said, “where are my peeps at?” next to a picture of Tweedy Bird.

I shifted my gaze from the mirror to the detective. He was a large man, well over 6 feet, with thick hands and had a mustache to add to the cliché. His suit was nicely pressed and his handgun was placed in the holster on the right side. The table I was sitting at was clear except for a file folder I couldn’t see inside of.

I had no answers as to why I took the bread, eggs, and milk from Mr. Bring. I knew my neighbor well. He was an younger guy, ‘bout 30. I knew where his spare key was because he had me grab his mail for him one week. So, why I didn’t use the spare key, I may never know. I clenched my swollen knuckles. I had punched the glass to unlock his back door, but of course – I don’t remember doing this.

“I don’t know detective.” I finally said as honestly as I could say.
The detective made eye contact and held his gaze as if to see if I was lying.
“You are lucky that Mr. Bring isn’t going to press charges,” he said, finally lowering his voice.
“He isn’t?” I asked, surprised.
“No, but he wants you to promise the next time you need breakfast, you’ll either buy your own food or go somewhere.”
“I can do that.” I said flatly.
“You really don’t remember anything?” The detective asked again, to be sure. He crossed his arms as if bored by this interrogation.
“Well…” I started recalling what I could. “I remember last night I was hungry and I had a headache. So I took some headache meds.”
“Wait, what did you take?” The detective asked, feeling like we were finally getting somewhere.
I searched my memory. “It is that new drug called Somna PM.”
“Did you know that drug has been known to cause somnambulism – its main side effect?”
“Back up,” I said politely, “that medicine causes sleepwalking?”
“Yep, causes incidences 75% of the time – why it is out on the market, I’ll never know.”
“Oh.” I said, allowing the last month’s events to piece together in my head.

The detective went on, “we’ve had break-ins all around your neighborhood this past month. Mr. Bring hadn’t been a target, nor your house. We contacted him and he was willing to allow us to trap the intruder, which is how we snagged you.
My suspicion is that you were the intruder in all the other houses, but I don’t have evidence that it was you that broke into them.

“Are you accusing me?” I asked

“No, just tossing out the possibility, based on the intruder’s MO. Each time, the thief took different items from the refrigerator. From one house, the thief stole an entire cheesecake!”

At that, everything immediately made sense. I hoped the detective didn’t see how red my face got.

He continued, “But… there is still no physical evidence other than the missing food surfaced. A few neighbors mentioned missing food at a recent neighborhood watch meeting.”

“I don’t attend those meetings, my work schedule is crazy.” I tried to explain myself.

The detective looked at me as if he didn’t care about my reasons for not attending the meeting. I remembered that the two pills I took last night were the last two from the bottle of 24, I sure have been getting a lot of headaches lately and haven’t been to the grocery store for weeks, haven’t needed to – for some reason.

I said nothing else. I claimed my innocence of not knowing why I was in Mr. Bring’s house.

The detective threw his arms up and left the interrogation room. I was immediately released and escorted back to my house.

I looked in the trash can per my suspicion and saw an empty cheesecake plate. I smiled. “That was good cheesecake; I’ll have to compliment Mrs. Miller. I’ll have to send her an anonymous thank you note. Good thing the detective didn’t search my house.”

After a short nap and a shower, I walked to the convenience store around the block and picked up a gallon of milk, an energy drink, and of course, more Somna PM.

- - -

This story is based on this writing prompt:
"Someone breaks into your home, but all they steal is a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and a gallon of milk. Write a story from the thief's point of view."

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