What’s With the Briefcase?

So I’m walkin’ around near the edge of the park during last night’s show, lookin’ for a better vantage point to see the stage, when I see a black briefcase just sittin’ next to a bench. It looks really nice; like its sides are made of steel, an’ it can handle gettin’ thrown around by airport staff or somethin’. Anyway, everybody’s got their backs turned. No one’s watchin’ the thing. Totally oblivious to it. I would’ve ignored it too, ‘cept I got this urge to look inside it, for some reason. Like the damn thing was callin’ out to me! So I walk over, I lean in to inspect this briefcase…

Two yellow, slitted eyes pop open near the handle, an’ the case opens itself, revealin’ razor sharp teeth an’ a crazy long tongue! I wanna jump back, but the damn thing’s eyes got me frozen where I stand, somehow. A harsh cackle emits from this creature’s maw as it gyrates all crazy-like for several seconds… an’ then it licks me. On the cheek. Then it sprouts legs an’ runs off into the bushes. Finally able to do somethin’, I decide to holler at the top of my lungs… My shoutin’ blends right in with the crowd noise. Nobody sees what happened with me an’ the briefcase. What’s more, I look in the bushes that the thing ran into, an’ there’s nothin’. No sign of it. It’s just gone.

I dunno what the hell that thing was, or where it came from. All I know is that I relieved myself in my pants, thanks to the stupid thing. Had to go home, change, an’ missed half the concert. From what I saw an’ heard, the show blew anyway; lousy performance by some washed up has-beens, desperate for a gig, even in a podunk place like this. Crowd ate it up anyway, apparently. Kinda like what I thought that thing was gonna do to my face.

You might think that this was it for me an’ my briefcase “friend,” but no. This mornin’, I was walkin’ downtown to my favorite coffee shop (they make the best mochas in town. Don’t believe me? Try ’em sometime.) I’m at the crosswalk at Main Street and Lionshead, thinkin’ ’bout the paper I’m gonna have to write for my stupid comm class… when I see it! It’s just standin’ across the street, starin’ at me with its yellow, slitted eyes! Its tongue comes out an’ crosses over its outside casing near the handle, like it’s lickin’ its lips… an’ then it laughs at me!

Totally freakin’ out, I just bolt across the street, nearly gettin’ myself hit by a car. Driver shouts a few choice words at me, then keeps goin’. I look across the street… the damn thing’s gone again. Like it was never there in the first place.

“What the hell’s goin’ on with me?! Am I losin’ it?!” I’m havin’ those exact thoughts, as a frail, hunched over old man with a long, gray beard an’ half open eyes walks over to me.

“You have seen the briefcase, have you not?” Old Timer asks me. Not sure what’s up with this guy, I slowly nod my head yes. After a long sigh, the old man explains, “The briefcase appears every so often to lick the face of an unsuspecting young man. It is a trickster being in nature, looking to cause confusion and paranoia within its victim. It is believed that the creature feeds off the paranoia of its victims, gathering up energy for something… Some say that it came from a far away planet, out in the stars, and that its briefcase ship crash-landed here on Earth. The energy it gathers is for preparing its ship, then. Though there is evidence to support this-a strange wreckage was found in the quarry outside of town, many years ago-I do not believe it. I say it came from HELL.”

“Okay… So what do I do ’bout this briefcase… alien… demon… thing, old man?” I ask my aged companion, not quite sure what the hell we’re talkin’ about.

“You must find its dwelling,” the old man informs me, “and grab it by its handle. Doing this establishes dominance, and will convince the creature to leave you alone.”

“So where’s it gonna be?” I ask.

“No one knows for sure,” Old Timer says, “but some believe it resides in the department store on First Street. Go there, but take care; you do not want to be subjected to a second licking!”

“Why, what happens if it licks me a second time?” I ask.

“…It would be… UNPLEASANT,” the old man states solemnly, then just walks off without another word. Then, like that briefcase… I blink, he’s gone. What’s with stuff blinkin’ out of existence on me, anyway?!

Now, I know what to do. Bound and determined, I walk down to the old department store on first street. Amazin’ly, the place’s still open; anybody shop there anymore? Stuff’s always out of date by about a decade in that place. Anyhow, I’m lookin’ in the display window as I walk up, an’ the briefcase is standin’ in there, posin’ with the mannequin. Cheeky little creep. It lets out a laugh again, an’ then runs back into the store. I follow it inside, ready for the greatest conflict I will have with a piece o’ luggage.

The place is nearly empty; just me, the thing, and some zit-faced teenager workin’ the checkout. Kid’s dead inside; I can see it in his eyes. He knows there’s no future in this store, an’ he’s doomed t’share its fate if he stays here too long.

“Where can I find a briefcase?” I ask, soundin’ as tough an’ hard as I can.

“Aisle ten, in the back,” kid says, emotionlessly. Cautiously, I make my way to th’back. My hairs’ standin’ on end, and my heart’s beatin’ the inside o’ my chest like a friggen’ mugger. Past women and men’s clothing I walk, then on through bedding, until I see it: the luggage isle. As I approach, I see the thing on the shelf, starin’ at me. Again, it lets out its hideous laugh. As I get near it, its tongue starts flailin’ about super wild-like. Closin’ my eyes and shieldin’ my face with one arm, I reach in with the other… and I grab the briefcase handle. The laughin’ stops. I look down… an’ I got ahold of a normal, nice-lookin’ briefcase. Confident the thing ain’t gonna bother me again (though not super confident), I walk out the department store, up the road to the coffee shop, an’ got my mocha.

No one’s ever gonna believe my story; I’m just gonna have to live my life, knowin’ that somewhere out there, there’s a briefcase-lookin’ thing, ready to lick some unsuspectin’ dude on the cheek. I’ll never use a briefcase again; I’ll just use a damn tote bag. Or a backpack. Backpacks are probably safe. Right?