The sun set as Alfred struggled to unlock his front door with shaking hands. He could hear the parakeet calling from inside. Did he feed her today? He couldn’t remember. He didn’t really remember having a parakeet, but then again, there were a number of things he didn’t remember. He tried another key as he pushed his glasses further up his nose. He set down his bag and tried to steady his hands. Finally, the lock clicked and the door opened. He walked inside and turned on the lights. After making a cup of chamomile tea, he made his way upstairs and went to bed. The following morning, he went out to get the paper. There was a bag beside the door. He took a look around to see if anyone had recently left it and then, concluding that it had been left for him during the night, he excitedly brought it inside. Alfred emptied the bag one item at a time onto the kitchen table. Whoever left this gift knew him very well. He decided to arrange the things around his living room. The lava lamp would look nice above the mantle. His dear Martha—God rest her soul—would have loved its purple globs floating around in the amber liquid. The navy sweater was just his size, and not only that, but it had a line of elk along the front. He smiled in delight as he hung it up. There was also a single place setting’s worth of brown stoneware dinnerware. It perfectly matched his other dishes, and as he placed them in the cabinet, he realized that made a complete set. Once again, the giver had known exactly what he needed—he had been one place short. At the bottom of the bag, he found a number of old books and some records by Frank Sinatra. He placed the books with some others on a shelf and started one of the albums. With that, he put on his hat and went for a walk. The sun was just setting when Alfred unlocked his front door with shaking hands. He walked inside, sat down and turned on the news. As he fell asleep, the anchor described a mysterious thief targeting antique stores. Among the recently stolen items was an elk sweater, a lava lamp, a number of other strangely unrelated odds and ends, and a yellow parakeet.
VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410
- ► 2013 (55)
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