I had neglected to mention a certain occurrence upon my return from the airport:
It was late, and surprisingly hot for the evening, especially since I had figured that ha left all of the heat back in Florida. As I unlocked the door to my humble bedroom apartment, I was greeted with the stretch of putrid poultry and rotting pork.
Cripes, I thought, I could have sworn that I had cleaned out the fridge, and emptied the trash. Where was that smell coming from–
“Hello,” said The Bearer of Bad News.
“Oh,” I replied, as I felt my stomach tighten and intestines cramp. “It’s you.”
“In the decomposing flesh,” TBoBN cheerfully replied. “How was your trip?”
“Since you weren’t there,” I noted, “you should guess that it was really quite good. More relaxing than I realized.”
“Glad to hear it,” it said with a nod. “Maybe it’ll soften the sting.”
I merely grumbled in response as I dropped my luggage off on my bed and starting opening windows before the odor melted the glass.
“First of all,” it continued, following me around like a hellhound puppy, “you recall those Disney Trading Pins that you bought? The ones that cost about $50? Yeah, they’re gone. Lost like a tourist trying to navigate the West Village.”
“Swell.” I didn’t mean it, of course, but you can’t encourage The Bearer of Bad News. Not that it needs encouraging, really.
“Also, you know your fear about losing your job over vacation, like last year?”
“Kinda hard to forget,” I answered.
“Well, you still have your job, so rest easy on that part. But there’s been a major foul-up happening, not by any fault of the company, mind you, and your paycheck won’t be coming in for a while yet.”
I grunted. That one hurt.
“And just to top it off and show why you should never, ever, ever go on a vacation again, that one girl that you had a few dates with – you remember, the cute one that was a huge World of Warcraft fan – has decided to stop seeing you because you don’t have a living room set.”
There was a pause.
“Seriously?” I asked.
“Yeah,” it replied in a voice of uncertainly. “Honestly, man, I don’t quite get it either. I think it has something to do with the fact that you, as the modern day adventurer, do not look like someone who has all that stable of a career. And I mean, hey, given what I just told you, can you blame her? People don’t get involved in games to get rich.”
“Well, that’s all just spiffy,” I said sardonically. “Are you done now? I have pictures to transfer over to the computer.”
“Yeah, my work here is done,” it said cheerfully. “Oh, and before I forget: don’t use the bathroom for a while. I sort of cut a hole in the ozone when I was in there, if you get my drift.”
“Unfortunately, I do,” I said, fighting my gag reflex.
A snap of thunder, flash of deep red light, and the ending notes to “It’s a Small World” echoed through the apartment as The Bearer of Bad News vanished.
As always though, it’s going to take more than a bottle of Pine-Sol to get the stink out of my nose.