This is a story I wrote last year for the Daggerville Games monthly writing competition, but I dug it out again as it fitted this week’s Daily Post writing prompt nicely The prompt/theme for this week is to post fiction or non-fiction with a touch of absurdity or surrealism.
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The Locked Room
When the kid next door with the incessantly bouncing basketball went missing, we searched along with everybody else.
As the weeks went by, the number of searchers dwindled. There was no trace. Not of the boy, not of the basketball.
We remembered the boing, boing, boing early in the day, but no-one could say exactly when it had stopped. It was part of the background noise of our street. Like traffic, it came and went but didn’t exactly grab your attention either way.
The police visited all the houses. Asked all the same questions. Got all the same answers. Nothing unusual, no strange vehicles and no strange people.
Then one day I found Dad staring at the key holder in the back hall.
“The brass key,” he said “Did you take it?”
I shook my head. I had no idea what key he was talking about.
“You must understand,” he said. “That bloody ball was driving me mad.”
The world stopped.
Then it began to spin again, too fast. Part of me tried to grasp what Dad was saying. But I knew that something had been wrong with him for ages.
“I forgot,” he said. “But now I remember. I told him to come along with me, and make sure to bring his basketball.”
“Dad, where did you take him? And what brass key are you talking about?”
“In here,” he said, tapping the side of his head with a finger.
“Dad, you need to see a doctor.”
He looked at me with disdain.
“A doctor? What kind of doctor can get a boy with an incessant freakin’ basketball out of a locked room in a batty old man’s head?” he shouted. “Especially when no-one knows anything about the key.”