The Teapot Incident
Last blog, I informed you of a daring expedition to be undertaken by an intrepid teapot. The vessel was to embark on a day-by-day journey from door to door down the hallway, out and around the floor, and finally back to where it began. It was not to be seen in its movements. It was to report back daily.
It never made it back. It is unclear exactly what happened to the agent, whether it was abducted, destroyed, or met some other cruel fate on its perilous journey. At last report, it had made it to the halfway stage, having made several daring movements when no one was looking. At the time of its next movement, it had gone. As it had suffered several unscheduled movements at the hands of some other besides its courier, the absence was initially of no concern. However, a careful search of the floor yielded no clues as to the teapot’s whereabouts. After a period of forty-eight hours without contact, it was declared MIA.
What follows is the teapot’s journal of its expedition, recovered from its last known position. Those who would read further are hereby advised that its contents are disturbingly poorly thought out.
Day 1: The first move is finished. It happened quick, far quicker than I expected. Wasn’t a thing like training. They run you through all the drills a step at a time, and I guess after a while you get to expect that things are supposed to move like that in the field, one inch at a time, plenty of time to correct mistakes. I was all ready to go, and then it was just…done. It went fine. Just a small move. One door down. Out of the way. And it was good work. No one saw it happen. But it was just so quick. I…I wonder what will happen tomorrow. What if something goes wrong? Will there be time to correct any mistakes? I guess we’ll see.
Day 3: Another one down. I don’t want to say it was easy. But…well, it sort of was. I can’t get cocky. I’ve got to keep things focused. I spent a lot of yesterday going over things in my head. Couldn’t get it out of my head. Now I can’t keep it in focus. I can’t stop thinking about my little teacup back home. Greg’s birthday is next month. One year old. I’ll see him soon. Just need to get through this mission. Need to focus. Tomorrow’s a bigger move. The next door’s farther down the hall. That means more time to be seen. But I can do this. I can.
Day 4: Something went wrong. I don’t know what. I’m still alive. But I’m not sure for how much longer. I’m writing this hanging upside down out the window. The move was going fine. I even made it to the spot. But then I was supposed to stay there. Stay there and wait for the courier to come back the next day. I was feeling confident, and a bit tired. So I took a nap. Someone must have come along. I don’t think it was my courier. When I woke up, I was looking at a four-story drop out a window. Whoever it was had wedged me in the window gap to keep it open. It’s cold. I’m wedged in pretty tight, so I don’t think I’ll slip. But the next courier meeting is hours away. I have no way of contacting base. I just have to hang on. Hang on and…hope.
Day 5: We’re good. I’m back on track. I don’t want to say the courier got there in the nick of time, but it was pretty close. My spout was getting tired towards the end. Once or twice I slipped, and if I was holding any tea, I’m sure I would have lost it. But anyway, point is, I’m fine. After getting out of the window, it was a pretty standard move. Down one more door and then sit. And sit I can do. Sitting means firm ground. I’m just gonna put this down for now. Need some more sleep. Part of me realizes I should stay awake, keep an eye out in case whoever it was who moved me comes back. But I’m tired.
Day 8: Another standard move. But…well, I can’t put my lid on it, but something’s off. Like, someone watching. I don’t know. I’m just getting paranoid. Probably. After that one move, no one’s come near me. The student living in the room I’m outside now barely even registered me as he walked past in the morning. He looked pretty hungover, so I guess it must be Sunday. Mary will have taken Greg to Sunday school earlier today. It’d be nice to see it, the two of them sitting on the counter, pouring out tea for the churchgoers.
I miss them.
But I’ll see them soon. It’s a short mission. I’ve already made it down the first hallway. Just a few more days, and I’ll be at the halfway point. Gotta keep my mind on the move. I’m a teapot, but right now, I’m a soldier.
Day 10: Someone is definitely watching me. I was moved again last night. Not far. Nothing like being hung out the window. Just far enough to be startling. Like…like whoever did it was just showing that they could. It happened while I was asleep again. I’m going to start taking shorter naps as opposed to longer sleeps, but I don’t know what good it will do. If I can make my moves in a few seconds, and this guy can get the drop on me, then any time I spend asleep at all is going to be a risk. But I have to sleep. I’m not going to let myself get scared into destroying myself by staying awake all the time. I’m still rational enough for that.
Day 11: Again. It happened again. And they moved me back a door. It’s like they know. It’s like they’re taunting me, showing me that whatever I can do, they can undo. I’m getting worried. Really worried. I still haven’t even seen this person. I really am going to have to start trying to stay awake. Maybe if I can catch them, let them know that I know, then they’ll back off for a few days. Then I can catch some sleep, and then…rinse and repeat? It’s not ideal, but I’ve only got a few more days after that left. I don’t need to beat this guy. Just survive him.
Day 12: I saw him. Or her. Or it–I don’t know, but I saw. I spent yesterday pretending to sleep every few minutes, trying to make it look like I was cat-napping. It wasn’t easy. Definitely fell asleep for real once or twice. And there were plenty of people walking by. Nearly freaked out every time. Couldn’t be sure of any of them. Finally, though, when I opened my lid to have a look, there was someone standing over me, reaching down. I didn’t recognize them, but it wasn’t my courier, and he wasn’t due until the next day, anyway. I wasn’t sure what to do. So I shouted. It was a complete breach of protocol. Command is going to flip when they find out. You’re not supposed to make contact when you’re in the field. Most people don’t react well to teapots suddenly speaking, let alone shouting at them to “Get back or eat hot Lipton!” But it worked. The person fled. It’s been a few hours now, and I haven’t seen any sign of him or her since. I’m just hoping I’ve scared them off for a while at least. I need sleep.
Day 16: I see him. I see him walking down the hallway all the time, and I can’t tell if it’s real or in my head. I’m going mad, I’m pretty sure. But as long as I know it, maybe I can keep it together just long enough to make it out of this. I don’t know who he is. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t know what will happen to me if I let him get me. But I know this: my teacup is waiting for me. Greg’s birthday was yesterday–or maybe the day before–and I swear I’m going to make it out of this. I want to be there for him, watch him take his first sugar, pour his first pot. I will survive. I have to survive.
The page for Day 17 is torn and covered in tea stains. It’s impossible to make out any words, except for in the upper left corner, where what was presumably the start of the entry reads: Greg, I
The journal ends here.