I parked, stepped onto the curb and slipped on the wet pavement.

My purse went flying, tossing its contents onto the concrete and

cracking my powder compact. Shards 

flew everywhere. “ Oh, well,” I thought. “Don't sweat the small

stuff. This is a day to celebrate.”

Today I was going to tour Claire's  that had been her

dream as long as I had known her. She was an avid environmentalist

and had patented a process that combined ground plastic with

asphalt, which made stronger highways and recycled trash. She

said the factory was in full production and wanted to give me some

souvenir plastic confetti to experiment adding to my acrylic paint. I

was excited.

I rang the doorbell. Claire opened the door, wearing jeans and a

T-shirt. I opened my arms to give her a big hug. She stiffened and

pulled away. Stunned, my lips parted, but I couldn't think of a single

word to say. I swallowed over a sudden lump in my throat and

followed her into the building. I expected to see the plant

machinery moving, crushing, and transporting mounds of plastic.

The building was silent. She took me into a large room that was

empty except for a mound of white substance in the center of the

room and a smaller pile of color flecked plastic confetti in the far

corner. She didn't say a word. She pointed to the small pile, and

gave me a child's painted bucket and matching shovel to spoon the

plastic into the container.

I turned to ask, “What is going on? Don't you remember me? “

But she was gone.

My mind raced and I looked around the room to get my bearings.

Twenty feet above me the room was divided into small glass

cubicles. In one space, Claire, heavily made-up and, dressed in a

very short Women's Army Corp uniform, faced her boyfriend. They

each held their champagne glasses high, exchanged toasts, which I

couldn't hear, and downed drink after drink. Just when I thought

they were oblivious to my existence, they moved very close to the

glass, looked down at me, and broke into raucous sidesplitting

laughter. They again turned to each other and performed a stylized

jitterbug swing routine with a high kick finale.

Transfixed by this strange scene, I hadn't noticed that the room

was gradually filling up with white powder, dumped by a large

earthmoving excavator. Some of the airborne powder hit my lip, and

I knew I was in a pit of cocaine. A wave of panic rumbled through

my body that I would be buried. “I have to get out of here.” I

fumbled in my purse to find my cell phone to call for help. My hand

didn't come up with a phone, only my compact with a broken mirror.

I shuffled through the cocaine toward the lit up EXIT sign above the door.

The End.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Related Articles
About Author