Sam's Little Larks

by Sam Van Wetter | 2/4/16 7:10pm

On the hot pursuit of a lost bike,

ADVENTUROUSAM and DITHER SAM have enlisted the help of DEREK THE SEXY CUSTODIAN. He leads them down some stairs they didn’t know existed.

DITHER SAM: Where are we going?

ADVENTUROUSAM: I’ve never been down here before.

DITHER: I think there’s a reason for that.

DEREK THE SEXY CUSTODIAN: You don’t have the keys to go down there.

DITHER: I think there’s a reason for that.

ADVENTUROUSAM: It’ll be fine.

DITHER: How do you know?

ADVENTUROUSAM: I think that it’s within the realm of likelihood that we’ll be fine.

DITHER: I’d like to stay in the realm of definitely.

DEREK: I’ve never been there.

They arrive at a large door.

DITHER/ADVENTUROUSAM (simultaneously): What’s this?

DITHER: Are we allowed in?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Do you have keys?

DEREK: Not exactly.

ADVENTUROUSAM: How do you get in?

DEREK: How do I get in?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Or how do I get in?

DEREK: Which one?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Uh, how do YOU get in?

DEREK: I just open the door.

ADVENTUROUSAM: So can I, uh, open it, too?

DEREK: You can try.

DITHER: Don’t, Sam! It’s a trap.

ADVENTUROUSAM: It’s gonna be fine, Sam. It’s just a door.

DITHER: It’s more than a door. It’s a trap.

ADVENTUROUSAM: A trapdoor?

DITHER: Of sorts.

ADVENTUROUSAM: How would it be a trap? Or a trapdoor? Or both?

DITHER: I don’t know. It might be, like, electrified or noxious or maybe there are bees or a whole sea of molasses that the door is barely containing.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Might be.

DEREK: Certainly might. Or, it could be nothing at all.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Worth a shot, though.

DEREK: Probably is.

ADVENTUROUSAM slowly approaches the door. It has a massive knob in the shape of the Dartmoose, its mouth spread wide.

ADVENTUROUSAM tentatively tugs on its antlers. He touches its eyes, forehead. He feels its cold, hard nose.

DEREK: Are you gonna give it a face massage or are you gonna open the door?

ADVENTUROUSAM: I’m trying.

DEREK: Maybe it’s hungry.

DITHER: Hungry!?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Dartmoose. It might be hungry...

ADVENTUROUSAM slowly puts his hand past the carven teeth and into the moose’s jaw.

DITHER: Be careful!

Suddenly, his hand is pulled into the knob.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Hey ——

DEREK: Relax.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Relax?! How can I relax?!

DEREK: It’s just a taste ——

The moose’s expression becomes one of satisfaction. It blinks twice and then releases

ADVENTUROUSAM’s hand. Quietly, momentously, the door opens. DEREK immediately enters.

DITHER: What is this place?

DEREK: Come on, let me find the lights.

ADVENTUROUSAM: No bees. No molasses either.

DITHER: Not yet! Don’t go in!

ADVENTUROUSAM: What’s the worst that could happen if I go in?

DEREK: One sec, I just gotta ——

Suddenly, the room is flooded with light. They stand in the doorway, blinking. They are in a cavernous room piled high with dorm items: rugs, plastic storage containers, single shoes, towels, bed risers, shower caddies, refrigerators, posters, sleeping bags, notebooks, textbooks and various scattered skis, lacrosse sticks, ice skates, Frisbees, squash rackets and climbing ropes. The enormous space is lit by desk lamps, Walmart lamps and strings of Christmas lights buried and tangled in the assemblage. DEREK has just plugged a massive extension cord into the wall.

DITHER: What is this place?

DEREK: The room of retirement.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Like the room of require ——

DEREK: Sort of but no. That room, first of all, is fictional, but also somehow changes every time someone opens the door. That’s impossible. This is just where we store all your stuff.

DITHER: Our stuff?

DEREK: Students’ stuff. The stuff they leave behind when they go home for breaks, when finals take more time than they think and Hinman runs out of moving boxes and your mom is gonna be here in ten minutes to pick you up.

DITHER: All of this? Has been abandoned?

DEREK: Abandoned, forgotten, misplaced or lost or just ignored. We retire it, in the room of retirement.

DITHER: Do you find good stuff?

DEREK: Depends on what you mean by good.

DITHER: Expensive stuff?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Snacks?

DEREK: We get the occasional passport, which we return to the student or sell on the blackmarket to Canadians. For food, it’s usually Cabot, Annies’s Mac or the last remains of dorm cereal. Lots of coins. Lots of socks. A bunch of Dartmouth IDs. And I’ve found a few coyote pelts.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Coyote pelts?

DITHER: A few?

DEREK: Yeah, the jacket kind. What do you guys call them? Canada Gooses?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Wow.

DEREK: Yeah, I can think of ten places I’d rather have coyote fur than around my face.

DITHER (pointing): Are those liquor bottles?

DEREK: Yeah, we call it the trophy pyramid.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Why?

DEREK: It used to be really really cool to have a big shelf of empty liquor bottles to show everyone that you drink excessively but MDF made it not cool any more.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Oh, wow. That does sound really cool.

DEREK: So cool.

ADVENTUROUSAM: Wait, where’s my watch?

DITHER: Did you take it off again?

ADVENTUROUSAM: I don’t think so.

DEREK: The moose has it.

ADVENTUROUSAM: What?

DEREK: You think you got in for free? There’s an admission fee for this room.

ADVENTUROUSAM: I didn’t give ­­——

DEREK: Of course you didn’t, but he took it.

DITHER: Where’d it go?

DEREK gestures to the piles of abandoned things.

DEREK: It retired, probably. Wanna look?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Not really.

DEREK: That’s fine. It’ll have a fine life here. Time is a little different in this room. Moves slowly. Or quickly. It moves. Your watch will learn new things about itself.

DITHER: It could be anywhere.

DEREK: That’s kind of the idea. Once things get retired they tend not to come back into action.

ADVENTUROUSAM: What about my bike?

DEREK: Like I said: they tend not to come back, but it’s worth trying. There’s a lot of stuff in here.

DITHER: This will take forever.

DEREK: How badly do you want to find it?

ADVENTUROUSAM: So badly.

DEREK: Why do you want it so badly?

ADVENTUROUSAM: Honestly I’ve forgotten but it’s the only thing propelling this column forward...

DEREK: So?

DITHER: So I guess we better start looking.

To be haphazardly continued.