Carl breathed a sigh of relief as he closed and double-locked his hotel room door. He had been on the move for 18 hours. And he was only halfway to his destination.
He tossed his suitcase on one of the queen-size beds in the Grand Cayman suite, adjusted the combination on the latches, and slid the buttons. Nothing. He rechecked that the combination was correct: 927 - his grandma’s birthday - and tried again. Still no joy.
Carl stopped for a moment and thought. The only time the case had been out of his hands was when he used the washroom in the airport terminal. He distinctly remembered setting the bag down and then picking it back up after he’d washed his hands. Could he have grabbed the wrong suitcase?
This could be trouble. He had sensitive documents in that case, not to mention his ‘drop dead’ money - money that he planned to deposit in a Cayman Island bank. If he’d lost his bag, he was toast. The feds would love to get their hands on the info he was carrying. So would the Mafia. Those documents were his insurance policy.
Carl went into the bathroom and rummaged through the courtesy toiletries package on the washstand. Good. There was a small nail file. He returned to the bed and started to tease open the latches. It took ten minutes to work the first one free. By this time, beads of perspiration were traveling along the canyons formed by the worry lines on his forehead, and oozing into his eyes. He stopped and wiped his brow.
The second latch was easier. He knew now just how to tackle it. Hurriedly, Carl flung open the lid of the case. It looked like his. Everything appeared intact. He must have set the wrong combination. Relieved, he rummaged through the contents of the bag. The documents and cash were still sandwiched between layers of folded shirts, exactly where he had placed them. A ripple of relief roiled his stomach, and he fought to dominate a surge of nausea.
And then he saw it. Tucked into a corner, mostly hidden under the lining of the suitcase. A tiny rectangular object. He picked it up and examined it. It was an iPod. Perhaps a tracking device? He turned it over and over in his hands, wondering what to do. Suddenly, the iPod began to vibrate and the display flashed a single word: “GOTCHA!”
And Carl didn’t have to worry about the feds or the Mafia ever again.
©2013 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.
The prompt: You arrive at your destination, and discover that you have the wrong suitcase. What do you find in it that might change your life forever?