Dark Days

I managed to send out two messages before my phone went blank, mindful the charging lead and plug, which are perpetually in my pocket, were useless.

I sat in the dark.

So much dark, despite it being the middle of the day. There wasn’t even a window in the little room I was now trapped in. I’d locked the door when I came in, and I was fairly certain I’d be able to find and unlock the door when the time came, but that wasn’t my immediate problem.

Without much hope it would work, I waved my hands around. Then my hands and my legs. Then I thought the repercussions of doing that through and stopped moving my legs and returned to simply waving my hands. I held them above my head, arms straight and scissored them back and forth for several seconds. At least it felt like I was doing that. I couldn’t see them.

Nothing changed.

By this stage I was certain my eyes were starting to adjust to the dark. Given I effectively have no night vision I calculated another two or three hours and I might maybe possibly be able to make out the shapes around me.

I didn’t have that long. People were waiting outside for me.

No doubt it’s passed your mind now I should simply wait for them to come save me. That wasn’t gonna happen. At least not for twenty minutes or so. They were having fun and eating and chatting.

I had to save myself.

I moved my hands to the left and found the wall where I knew it’d be.

I moved them along the wall an inch or two and they met with a plastic device attached right where it should be.

A wave of confidence washed over me as I fumbled to the bottom of the round edged box and found an opening, and only disappeared after several more seconds of moving the item trapped inside it around and around without finding what I was after.

What I needed. What would mean the difference between making it out of this scenario with dignity or forever knowing which story was going to be brought up in my eulogy.

I tried moving the item inside the box a different way and it, blessedly, worked.

Another minute and I was scratching at a wall on the other side of the tiny space for that lock and managed, without any of the same sort of panicky false starts, to open the door.

I smiled. I actually smiled. My optimism truly makes me appear an idiot sometimes.

‘You’ve done it,’ I told myself, stepping into what I recall as a much larger – possibly four or five times the size – room to the one I’d just escaped. ‘You cracked it. You saved yourself.’

There would be interviews, books and possibly movies. I think Chris Hemsworth would probably want the lead.

There were still no windows in this room, but I knew the door wasn’t locked and roughly where it was. There was also no light yet, but I was confident there would be. In fact, I thought it might have lit up already, although any moment surely.

I hadn’t paid much attention as I walked in – I wasn’t expecting to be in this situation – but I seemed to recall the next logical step in making it out of this escape room without anyone being any the wiser would be on my right.

Given the circumstances, I told myself, skipping this step could have dire consequences.

I turned. I shuffled tentatively forward still blind and not wanting to trip, and began to reach out my hands.

Suddenly, the room was flooded with light as someone entered the men’s room, triggering the light sensor.

And not a moment too soon.

Turns out I was about two meters from where I thought I was and in another half second or so would have been attempting to wash my hands in the urinal instead of the sink.

So yeah, hey, Glass House Mountains McDonalds. Dudes. Peeps. Diggers.

If you’re reading, and I will be needing your facilities again so I really hope you are, have a heart and please either add another sensor light to the shitter or extend the time on the one when you enter. That or a phone charger next to the bum tickets with maybe a nightlight.

Otherwise I’ll have to do what Tracey has suggested and ask her to come with me to the disabled bathroom so she can act as my carer. And neither of us want that.

raising a family on little more than laughs

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