Lost Noir: Chap. One "Rage Against the Candy Machine"

Prologue: It has been over twenty years since the original Lost adventure ended.

It was almost midnight. A dense mist slowly rolled across the Miskatonic University campus, as the library prepared to close. The few students, still studying this late evening, packed their books and gathered their papers, as a recording played over the library’s intercom system announcing in eight minutes the doors would be shut for the night.

Up on the fourth floor, a pretty girl patiently waited. She wore an aqua colored, hooded sweat shirt, featuring The Pillar House Rejects on front. Her faded jeans leggings were neatly tucked into the top of her suede leather knee high boots, as her bright red hair flowed like strawberry soda, just brushing the top of her shoulders. She nervously glanced at a clock mounted high on the study room wall.

Charlene Drivette Shaftene Collins, “Char” to her friends, was supposed to meet her full time music composition instructor and part time boyfriend at the library tonight, then head over to a scheduled gig at a local bar with a band she was in.

However, it now seemed her boyfriend, Brian Hibbs, was uncharacteristically late and she was becoming characteristically hungry. She noticed a candy machine over by a drinking fountain. She put her money in and pressed W-23.

The Cup Cake (its side label stated it was a proud product of The Widmore Industries Snack Food Division) became as stuck in the twirly cue dispenser as a polar bear in quicksand. Charlene pounded on the machine, but to no avail.

“That never works,” she heard a deep voice behind her say. Charlene turned and saw a tall, thin young man, with dark hair and a pocked marked face. His eyes were very dark and intense. He wore a black suit and tie with a trench coat draped over his shoulders.

“Well, it was worth a try,” Charlene replied, with the sound of resignation in her voice. The young man just stood there and smiled. Charlene noticed it was a crooked smile.

“Anyway, its not the first time I’ve dealt with one of these rip off candy machines,” she continued, as she gave the machine a swift kick with the toe of her boot, “and it probably won’t be the last!”

“If you like, you may have one of my Apollo bars,” the young man said, with a light trace of an accent Charlene couldn’t quite identify, “this machine earlier spit out two bars. I cannot eat the other one, so you may have it if you like. It has not been opened.”

Charlene was ready to decline the guy’s offer. She couldn’t figure out why he was so concerned about her not getting a snack. Possibly, he was just taking pity on her after noticing her rage against the candy machine, or it could have been the look of raging hunger on her face, or maybe he was just chatting her up to get a date. ‘Whatever his reason’, she thought, ‘its late, I’m broke, and I’m damn hungry!’

“Yeah, sure, why not?” she replied.

The young man handed her the candy bar, but before she could say “thanks,” he turned and quickly walked away.

“Hmmm,” Charlene mumbled, “weirdorama.”

She tore off the wrapper and gobbled down the Apollo bar in two quick gulps. A sugar rush immediately set in, quickly sharpening Charlene’s senses and giving her a necessary energy boost.

She glanced once more at the clock. She was late! She had to split. Brian would just have to meet her at the bar. She sent a text informing him of the change in plans, closing with “where in the hell are you?!”

It had just started to rain when she exited the library, stepping out into the cool, foggy, autumn night. Flipping her shirt’s hood up over her head, she headed towards the bar. She had casually noticed a couple of creepy looking guys, who had been standing at the foot of the library steps, and seemed now to be following her. Charlene instinctively reached into her jeans pocket and felt for the zap gun she always carried. It was fully charged and ready to zap. But she also felt something else. A sudden sense of dizziness.

She was becoming weak and disoriented. Her steps became labored, as if the earth’s gravity, in some kind of quantum practical joke, had decided to become extra heavy at this particular minute. Charlene knew she had better quickly sit down and attempted to reach a nearby bench. She didn’t make it.

As her world spinned, she could vaguely see those two creepy guys come up and grab a hold of her arms and lead her to a car parked by the side of the curb. Charlene felt herself being placed into the backseat and just as she tried to scream, she passed out!

Next: Chap. Two “Sixteen Cent Watered Down Beer Night”

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