The Vault Part II; Popcorn Piece
Day Twenty-one of Thirty Days of Writing
I watched the vault door close as if it were in slow motion. I looked over at Kat and Kyle; both of them had panic in their eyes, as well. Kat ran up to the closed door throwing her hands against it in a rapid fire. “Hey! We’re in here! Hello! Someone! Anyone?”
I took a few steps back in disbelief of our current situation. I felt my back up against the wall and slowly slide down until my bottom hit the floor. This is probably not the best time to tell them I’m claustrophobic I thought.
Kyle paced the room back and forth. I could see the gears turning in his head, trying to figure out a plan.
“It’s no use,” he called to Kat in a calm manner. “We’re stuck.” Kat surrendered and grudgingly stepped back from the vault door.
“It’s fine. We just need to stay calm,” he said. I tried to hang onto his assuring words and not think about the small area around me and the amount of oxygen in it. The room went silent. Our eyes darted back and forth among one another hoping someone would come up with a solution. But, we all seemed paralyzed with fear.
My eyes fell upon the bottle of alcohol. I longed to take a drink to calm my nerves but didn’t think it was my place to suggest drinking it. I looked at Kat. I could see her eyeing the bottle, too. Kyle must have noticed us staring at it. “Well,” he said, “if we’re stuck here, we might as well make a party out of it.” Thank goodness I thought.
Kyle picked up the bottle and turned it around in his hands a few times examining the area where a label once laid. Finally, he shrugged and unscrewed the cap. He took a large gulp. His face of disgust said it all.
“I think it’s brandy,”he choked. “This doesn’t make sense.”
Ugh, brandy… But at that point I need something to calm my nerves. Typically the smell of brandy is enough to make me sick, but the room felt like it was closing in on me and I didn’t want my panic to freak everybody else out so I took the bottle from his hand and drank as much as I could fit into my mouth.
The potent liquor felt like it was taking my taste buds with it as it went down my throat. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping the tighter I closed them the taste would go away.
I passed the bottle to Kat. She took a deep breath and took three long gulps.
“It’s not that bad guys,” she said. We all laughed. Already the mood was shifting and I was starting to feel a little bit better. The security of friends made the room seem bigger. We continued to pass the bottle around and took a seat next to the box that contained all three items
“I just don’t understand,” Kyle said. “ This isn’t like him. It.. just.. I don’t know…. It doesn’t add up.”
“Well,” Kat said. “ It’s yours now. What are you going to do with the money Kat waited a half a second before answering her own question. “I’d travel.”
I knew what I would do with it. I’d give it away but I didn’t say that because I knew how the answer would sound. It sounds as if I’m trying to be selfless when in reality it was for selfish reasons. I always get a thrill out of looking like a hero. I wasn’t a very heroic person. I knew I wouldn’t be the one to get us out of this vault, for instance. That wasn’t the type of hero I could be. But I always thought with money that I could be a hero of sorts. Plus, there was something about money that always made me feel uncomfortable. I have seen what it does to people. It always seemed more like a curse than a blessing. “I don’t know…Right now, I’d use it to call a locksmith to get us out of here,”I quipped.
Kat and I laughed but Kyle didn’t say anything. He stared at the items in the box. I could tell he was thinking about his dad and what all of it meant. I looked over at Kat to see what I should do. Kat looked at him warmly and let him sit there with his thoughts. It seemed like the respectful and right thing to do so I followed suit. The bottle continued to be passed around our small circle. After multiple times around, Kyle took the last sip.
“What the heck?” He pressed his eye against the opening of the bottle. “There’s something here!” he exclaimed.
“Huh? What do you mean?” Kat replied.
Kyle didn’t say anything; he looked at the bottle and hit it against the wall.
Sure enough, he was right. There was a second compartment on the bottle and inside of it was a note.
Kyle opened it up and read aloud, “Check the revolver.”
Excited, Kat picked up the revolver and pressed her eye to the barrel.
“Kat! What are you doing?” Kyle scolded, grabbing the gun from her. “Don’t put your eye there.” He opened up the side cylinder and saw that there was only one bullet inside.
“There’s paper in each chamber,” he said. “Except for one.” His hands began to tremble as he tried to pull out the small pieces of paper inside. When he retrieved the last note, he spread all of them across the floor.
I could see a light turn on above Kat’s head and could tell she figured it out. Without a word, she rearranged the pieces of paper.
“The answer is in the ceiling.”
We all read the message silently, and almost simultaneously looked up at the ceiling above us….