Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chapter 1

"Mac Mystery, The Code" by Mili Palmer, with help from other MacSTACers
Chapter 1 (Mili)

When he stood on his tip toes, Ben could just see the light from outside the building filtering into the windows of the Library meeting room where 25 Mac enthusiasts had concluded their monthly Thursday meeting one hour earlier. Ben, in a hurry to get home before the storm, had left his iPod shuffle on top of the piano. Just as he was about to shut the self-locking door, he remembered his player. The large room held just enough light for him to see the edge of the piano across the empty room. He pulled the high windowed door open from the hall and entered. Confident he could see his way to the piano, he traversed the large empty room without turning on the light and laid his hand on top of the antique upright piano. He slid his hand back and forth. He felt the small mechanism against his thumb knuckle but too late to stop the sweeping motion. It fell noisily to the floor. He thought about using the light at this end of the room but then thought of the storm. He got down on his knees and began sweeping again in wider circles. He saw the reflection of light from the nearest window glance off his treasure and picked it up carefully hoping the fall had not damaged it. He squinted to get a better look but was distracted by a noise off to the rear of the room. It sounded like it came from the kitchen behind the swinging door. He hesitated, held his breath for a moment to hear better. All was quiet once again. He pulled himself up with the help of the piano bench and walked back across the room. He waited for just a moment, thinking the sound was not familiar, and maybe the Library kitchen had attracted a mouse in from the cold. It was late and he was tired. Sue waited in the car with engine warming the air. She probably had the seat turned up to 75 degrees on a cold night like this he thought. He closed the hall door and walked to the Library entrance where he pushed the locking bar on the door. He was greeted by a blast of cold air and the lights of the car that Sue had positioned toward the sidewalk for him. He shivered, let go of the door behind him, and turned to check if it had locked. He felt responsible as the last one to leave the Library. Sue greeted him with a leftover cookie from the snacks they brought to the meeting and asked if he found it. "Yeah" he said, "right where I put it. Was a good meeting don't you think? Yes, but I wish more had paid their overdue Membership fees." It was a good turnout though and they seemed to enjoy the presentation. Ben drove the car slowly passed the railway Station, around the median and out toward the parkway. He signaled for the truck coming toward the exit to go first onto the highway. At 10:15 there weren't many cars on the road. A predicted storm was late in coming and for that, Ben was grateful. They arrived home 30 minutes later and had just emptied the computer paraphernalia from the car when the first wisps of snow landed on the hood, the house, the road, and the field.

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