Misc Short Stories

The Bag

1966, Somewhere in Arizona

The cloudless sky is disturbed by the emergence of a pristine Chrysler C-300, which hurtles into a nearby junkyard at breakneck speeds. Landing surprisingly unscathed apart from the sand on the rims, the door opens to reveal a mysterious figure. Black fringed jacket. Dark red turtleneck and jeans. Pointed dress shoes, the sunlight gleaming off the marble tips.

It exits the vehicle, carrying with it a cherry red bowling bag, adorned with white stripes. Dust floats up behind the figure as it makes its way towards Dae-Jung’s Expat Shoppe.

The clerk, a slightly greasy-looking fellow in a tan shirt and a bored expression, regards the newcomer warily. Judging by his distinctly Caucasian features, it appears that Dae-Jung himself is on break today. The figure in the fringed jacket stands in front of him, and as he lazily looks up towards the stranger, it starts to speak.

“Greetings. You must be Dae-Jung.”

“Can I help you?”

“One packet of Kraft Singles, if you’d be so kind.”

The clerk shrugs.

“Afraid we don’t stock those. Could I interest you in some dried seaweed instead?”

“Oh my. Seaweed. The fruit of the sea, no?”

“That’d refer to shellfish, sir.”

“You heard me.”

“Okay, sure. There you go. Two dollars and fifty cents, please.”

The being starts patting the pockets of its jacket, seemingly attempting to locate its wallet.

“Could have sworn I… hm…”

“Sir?”

If it could sweat, it would undoubtedly do so now. Instead, the frantic motions come to a stop as it drops the fiery-red bag on the counter.

“There. This will cover it.”

“Woah. Uh, I don’t think I can… I mean…”

“Oh, think nothing of it, Dae-Jung.”

“That’s not my- Uh… My, my boss wouldn’t be happy if I let you walk out without pa-“

The creature snaps its hand upwards, in a motion that suggests the wisest course of action would be to just accept the bag.

“Y-yes. Anything else?”

“That was it. I bid you a most pleasant journey, and a happy easter.”

As it walks off, the clerk mouths a hesistant thanks before refocusing on the large bag that is now in his posession. What if it contains something dangerous? The man was clearly unhinged. Who knows if he decided to fill it entirely with pipe bombs. No one wearing an outfit like that is of sound mind.

A cursory examination reveals no ticking sounds, nor any suspicious odours. It does reveal that the bag is a lot heavier than it looks. The clerk wipes the sweat from his brow as he sets the bag down on a rickety wooden table in the back. Unzipping the bag reveals a pistol, a handwritten note, and a scuba mask.

“What in the…”

Taking the note into his trembling hands, the clerk reads a most dreadful prediction for his future.

“Dear Reader,

Congratulations on being the millionth visitor on this planet! Take the gun, take the mask, and betray those around you. Betray your boss. Betray the banker.

Betray yourself.

It does not matter what you think.

Merry Halloween,

Grandma “

The Clerk was unsure how to handle this. It didn’t matter? Why?

The scuba mask provided no answers. Not even when he fastened the straps around the back of his head, cocked the gun, and put it to his temple.

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