Unpublished

Andrew Walker smiled as he had just won the final bid on an abandoned storage container: he just paid $50K for it. Andrew didn’t mind that. He knew this investment would pay off. Whatever was in there he was going to make 6 figures easy. He could feel it in his bones.

He, as well as the other participants, watched as the lock was cut through and thrown into a nearby can. He swallowed as the doors swung open…

It was a couch. A couch set in the middle of this giant crate. It was a ratty, old couch that looked like a cat had spent its glory days pawing at it. That wasn’t all–thank God. There was also a ratty old chair, a stack of really shitty artwork, and a locked file cabinet.

That cabinet was going to be his savior. He rushed over to it as the onlookers snickered at his purchase. There had to be something inside there. He lunged at it, trying to pry the drawer open with his fingernails, but he couldn’t get in.

He swallowed hard and waved his wive over. He wiped the sweat crawling down his face.

“I thought you said this would be a gold mine,” she whispered.

“This cabinet will be, my dear,” he said. “Get my crowbar, please.”

She returned with a crowbar, most of the audience had left to see the other items for auction. Andrew dug the wedge into the drawer and pushed and pried until it popped open. Inside were folders full of college-ruled paper, each page was written on, edge to edge, folder to folder filled with writings and drawings… Nothing. It held nothing inside.

“I wanted to buy real estate,” his wife whispered in his ear. “‘That’s no fun,’ you said…”

She stomped off.

Andrew, still holding a piece of paper, looked at the drawer. He dug through the pieces again, hoping he missed something. He had missed nothing.

He wiped his head with the piece of paper in his hand, then he took a look at it. Fascinating! It was written in 1979, by an author calling herself Madam Noir. Really, a madam? Interesting.

He started to read the page. It was uncanny. She described something that happened three weeks ago. This was the second time he’d read it; the first time was in the newspaper.

A man had shot 6 people from a tree stand in protest to hunting. Madam Noir wrote this 20 years ago… Well, of course, someone was going to protest hunting by killing hunters eventually. This didn’t prove anything…

He looked back at the drawer. If anything, he thought, it might be good to ship the contents of this drawer back to his office. There may be something else worth knowing inside.

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