Following on from a conversation with my partner, Benedict Roff-Marsh, where I had posted a tweet complaining about a lack of time writing, he came up with the suggestion that I actually write my story on Twitter.
Each tweet is a segment of the story. I can’t go back and edit, so what you see below is the story as I write it on Twitter, tweet by tweet. As I finish each chapter, I will move it off onto its own page and just keep the chapter in progress below, otherwise, it gets too unwieldy for the reader and possibly causing WordPress to lunch itself.
The first story is a continuation of my novella, “The Map in the Fortune Cookie“.
The Body in the Building
I arrived back at the office around
My boss, Pete Larson, caught my eye as I exited the lift and motioned me over.
I walked into his office, still carrying my laptop bag and handbag. “Hey, Pete.”
“Hey, Nat. How’d you go on site this morning?” Pete’s tie was loosened and his sleeves rolled up, his suit jacket hung on the back of his chair. Papers covered his desk.
“Not great,” I answered as put bags down. “It doesn’t look like it’s coming from rainwater. There’s a fair bit of water seeping through the wall.”
“Any idea where it is coming from?”
“I wish I did. Jack confirmed that they excavated into granite.”
“So it must be groundwater after all.”
“It seems to be coming from lower down, but I just don’t have any other explanation.”
Pete nodded. “I guess we wait until the rainwater has completed subsided, then check it again. Thanks for going out, Nat.”
“No problem, Pete,” I replied as I picked my bags up. “I just wish I could give you something more definite.”
I walked to my own office, put my handbag under my desk, took my laptop out of its case and opened it. There were many emails waiting for me.
I sighed. The basement water issue was only one of many that I had to deal with. There was little I could do about it right now so I turned my attention to the emails.
“Jeez, a girl leaves her desk for a few hours and it goes crazy!” I said to myself.
Coffee and food was a priority. Now reminded of its missing meal, my stomach grumbled at me. I looked down and said, “Well if you’d said something earlier, we wouldn’t be in this predicament!” I laughed. “I MUST be hungry, I’m talking to my tummy now!”
I reached into my handbag under my desk to get my purse so I could buy myself some food and a coffee.
It wasn’t there.
Starting to panic, I grabbed my handbag, sat it on my desk and rummaged inside it.
In desperation, I emptied the contents of my bag all over my desk. My purse definitely wasn’t there.
“Oh, crap!” I said. “Where is it?”
I knew I had it this morning as I’d had to fill my car with gas on the way to the construction site. I looked up the number for the gas station I’d visited that morning and rang them.
“Hi, I filled up this morning, but I may have left my purse there. Has anyone seen it or handed it in?”
“Sorry ma’am, we haven’t seen it. Have you checked your car?”
“Not yet, I’ll do that now. Can you please ring me if someone hands it in?” I gave them my number. “Thanks,” I said and hung up. I grabbed my keys and my security swipe card for the basement carpark and headed for the lift. Hopefully, it was in my car.
My search also proved to be fruitless. After crawling around inside my car, feeling under the seats, it wasn’t there either. I sat in the driver’s seat to think.
Suddenly it hit me.
In the basement, I’d taken my phone from my bag to take the photos. It had been right at the bottom, I’d had to rummage around to find it. My purse must have fallen out as I searched, then obscured by the darkness, it got left on the ground where we had been standing. It had to be in the carpark.
“Well, damn,” I said.
With a sigh, I took the lift up to my floor and sat at my desk. I checked the time; a little after 4:15pm. The site office closed at 4pm as work began at 6am each day. I picked up my phone and rang the number anyway. As expected, there was no answer.
“Damn it! I said again. I wasn’t worried about my current problem of an empty stomach, I’d be able to borrow a few dollars for that, but my purse had my cash, credit cards, license and pretty much everything else in it. I really needed to retrieve it.
I walked out of my office, knocked on Pete’s door and told him what had happened.
“Oh jeez, Nat, you’d better go grab it!” he said when I finished. “Don’t worry about anything here, it will wait until tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Pete,” I replied gratefully.