311 B and the Mint Door

December 2nd, 2018 by Patrick Starks 

311 B and the Mint Door

When I was just a kid, life was magical, no different nor better than a Disney movie. From Nintendo to Nintendo 64, everyone including myself all had braingasms to the many colors that burst across the screen of a forty-two-inch tube tv. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, social media would later come into the scene, giving your’s and my space something to talk about.

Nevertheless, as good as it all was, nothing would ever compare to the nineties. However, time would fly by faster than an Aston Martin on a straightaway before I could even grow old enough to process how good a childhood I had.

It was now the millennial era, and still, I had not forgotten about my past of the magic carpet rides I’d have over the Texas sand. I won’t bother going into to detail about it, or my schooling for that matter, but just know that it was an interesting period in my life, as I am sure many would agree towards their own.

Three-elven-B was the room I stayed. And not far from it lived old man Castro. He was an odd soul, but of course, what artist wasn’t. He wore brown overalls, followed by a top hat and vest, which I had never seen anyone attempt, although, it worked for him. But if there was one thing to say about him, it would be that he wasn’t afraid to be different, and that was something I admired in any man or woman.

His door was chocolate brown, with emerald along the edges—the chocolate mint door, some of the others called it. And the kids would as well play their part into the rumors, knocking on old man Castro’s door as if he was Willy Wonka himself, and the outfit indeed would serve it justice. But not long after, the life that I felt to be so magical would take a dark turn.

It was December 23, 2016. Just two days away from Christmas. The hallways echoed with Christmas carols—a little Frank Sinatra, a little Mariah Carey, but heavenly, it sure did make my face turn redder than that of Rudolph’s nose—it had become unbearable.

I’d just came back home, from my nine to five. It was a busy day as usual for a Friday, so, I couldn’t complain, although, I felt I should’ve about the loud music that flowed into my room like a cold draft. But like most conflicts, I knew it come to past sooner or later.

The sink was full of dirty dishes and the trash bin was completely filled, as well as the dirty clothes basket. I felt like Frank Ocean when he quoted in his song that a tornado had come through his room, yet, nothing was beautiful about this melody at all. Good thing you don’t have a girlfriend whispered the voice in my head. Although, I have known many women to be just as messy. But that’s another story.

“Jeremiah!”  yelled a woman. “Jeremiah where are you!”

I walked over towards the sound and then took a peek through the eyehole of my apartment door. And it was just as I’d suspected, Mrs. Peachtree. Her hair was curly, cinnamon brown as always, and she smelt like it to. She was a middle age woman, single mom, but had just as much love if not more to give than a non-single mother. For a guy, I’d sometimes get angry with why a man would leave such a woman, or child, although, mum always said there was always two sides to every story.

On occasion, I’d see little Jeremiah parade the hallways with his Ninjago legos, filled with joy, just as I was when I’d first open the box to a new released N64. No doubt about it, those were the days, and if there was anyone that reminded me how far I’d come, it was definitely that kid. But there I sat in my five-hundred square foot room, just as worried as his mother of where he had gone.

I then stepped outside to calm and be the courageous one for a damsel in distress, but it was easy to say that Jeremiah would be the distressed and Mrs. Peachtree would be the damsel, to define it better.

“Hi, Mrs. Peachtree… Everything alright?” I asked.

“No,” she said with her eyes filled with concern. “Jeremiah has been missing for an hour now… I’m so worried.”

An hour might’ve not seemed long for a man but for a woman, that was a lifetime, especially if it meant her child no longer being in her presence.

“I don’t mean to hassle you. But I’d like to help, but first I need to know where was the last place you saw him. Take a deep breath. Think. Where was the last?”

Mrs. Peachtree then took her breaths. She dried her eyes and once clear took a moment to reflect.

“Well…” she said, sobbing to the stress. “Last time I saw him, he was out here in the hallway, with little Timothy…”

“Okay. Great. Maybe he’s at Timothy’s. Here, you just go back inside Mrs. Peachtree and take a breather. I’ll get to the bottom of all of this. And if I haven’t found out anything within the next twenty minutes, call the cops.”

“Dammit! We don’t have twenty!” she yelled. “We, no, I need to find my boy. I’m calling the cops right now! Oh god… He must be so scared…”

I honestly had no words. Mrs. Peachtree was right, after all, it had already been an hour. But to be honest I figured I could solve the problem faster than any cop or detective—let’s just say I had my reasons to feel such a way. But first thing was first, little Timothy’s place.

Part II

Just what I figured a Maria Carey jingle. I knocked on the door, nothing. It became apparent that Ms. Carey at a falsetto was overriding anything outside the door. Poor little Timmy, the child might be deaf before he even gets into middle school, again spoke the voice in my head. I then knocked harder, and this time with my feet.

“Who is it!” yelled a man.

Little Timothy’s father was an interesting man. He wasn’t really tall, a dwarf to be exact, but all men including myself knew not to pick a bone with him. It’s even said that the last guy that missed with him, was deemed to no longer have children, and the sad part to it all was that his wife would leave him not long after. Probably should’ve worn a cup, I pondered. But too late now.

“Hello, Mr. Grane. This is Tuddle, London Tuddle. You know the guy…”

“I know who you are,” interrupted Mr. Grane. “What is it that you want boy?”

Wasn’t quite the reaction I’d expected. Well, then again, what I just said about him was fitting for it. Although, the Christmas jingles in the background made it all somewhat misleading.

“I’m looking for Jeremiah. Is he in there. Mrs. Peachtree has been worried sick, for about an hour now. And the last person she said that Jeremiah was with was Timothy.”

The door then opened. I’d never heard so many locks to one. I think I even heard a big piece of wood being removed from it, like the doors you would only ever find in castles. I looked down and there he was. It had been a while since I had stared such a man in the eyes—fire burning through them like a phoenix looking for a Dumbledore. However, I wasn’t part of that family tree.

“You say the boy is missing?” said Mr. Grane.

“Yes. Does Timothy know anything, anything at all?” I asked.

“No. I mean, nothing besides that he’d gone back home.”

We both were at a stand-still. No Clue to what was going on. Part of me wanted to ask Timothy myself, but his stepmother had already taken him away to take a bath. And with Mr. Grane guarding the door like the Pitbull he was, I’d probably have a better chance of being a musician at the end.

“Here let me get my coat,” said Mr. Grane. “I’ll help out. I think I have a clue to his whereabouts.”

Mr. Grane then said his goodbyes to his now third wife and left little Timothy to play his usual rubber ducky games. As for he and I, we were out for the search of Jeremiah. Mr. Grane then pointed to a door—Thirty-five-C.

Never thought I’d be saying this, but for once I was starting to feel a sense of purpose in life. And luckily for Timothy, I was just the man. It was going to be a long night, and Mr. Grane knew so too.

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