A writing exercise from Writers Connect, at the end of February. We used the above title as a prompt as I was very nearly late for the meeting. The following story is, as you'll see, based on fact.
Well, yeah, the door was locked, but that wasn't exactly the problem. He was still inside. It was getting out and locking it again that was the issue. With an upcoming writers meeting, this was a huge setback.
He had torn apart his whole flat, going through the stinking bins, the recycling, the piles of paper on his computer trolley, the coats and jackets and jeans he'd worn since he let himself in yesterday. The keys HAD to be in here. They HAD to be. Fuck it- he swallowed his pride and phoned his dad, for what it was worth. Another brain might spot the obvious.
His dad started to look through the pockets of summer coats he hadn't worn since last September- he was concerned his dad might stumble upon the present he'd bought for his upcoming birthday. He wanted to say, “don't bother looking there”, but he knew it was more peaceable just to let him look.
He tore his bag apart, splaying pens across the lounge. He threw his diary on the floor, then felt the lump between the pages. KEYS.
People in the group likened it to the Gene Hackman film The Conversation, which ends with Gene Hackman convinced he's been bugged and destroys his home looking for an (ultimately untraceable) recording device. They also recommended No Way Out, I Heart Huckabees and Little Miss Sunshine. Are these similar?