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Tue, May. 25th, 2004, 11:41 pm
grimarcher: 30 minutes converted from seconds to words

Because I'm going to pretend that this community is still alive.

It was a calm, relaxing Tuesday night that Abby spent, watching TV. Her eyelids were half closed, and she was enjoying vegging out, when the phone rang, piercing the relative quiet of her apartment like a dagger.
“hello?” she said irately, pissed that her night was interrupted.
No answer came from the other line. She said it again, and again repeatedly, but nobody answered. She was about to hang up and have a beer, when she heard a weak voice on the other line. “I…” it said, very faint.
“Who is this? Dave? Is that you? This had better not be…” but she knew instinctively that it wasn’t.
“…did… it.” Was the only response. She asked Dave where he was, but the silence came again.
She tugged on some more clothes and bolted out the door like a racehorse, barely pausing to lock it. With some extra-legal driving techniques, she managed to get to Dave’s work in record time.
Dave worked at a small engineering firm, with a meager parking lot. She parked right in front and burst inside. Near Dave’s desk were some co-worker friends of his. Abby had met them at a club one night, but forgot their names. They had looked up quizzically from their work to ask her what she was doing there.
“Where’s Dave?” she asked, out of breath. The guys shrugged their shoulders.
“He left on his motorcycle about 45 minutes ago.” One of them said. Abby felt bad, but she was only dimly aware that Dave owned a motorcycle. Usually she picked him up from his own apartment and they drove to wherever they were going to go. Did she really know that little about her own friend?
As if in a cruel answer to her question, her eyes looked down at her friend’s desk. It was a big thing, covered in folders and papers. But on the periphery were a number of framed pictures. One was a large group shot of friends gathered together at a birthday party. Abby knew that picture, as she was one of the people within. The rest were unusual. One was simply a picture of Dave’s motorcycle. It wasn’t a particularly fancy model, but it was polished up like new. The others were professional magazine photos of F-1 racecars, an 1880’s locomotive, and a schematic drawing of a propeller for a large airplane.
Why did he have all these pictures? This was a side of Dave that Abby hadn’t seen before. She never knew he had such a love for his motorcycle, and the rest of the photos just confused her.
“Listen guys,” she said to the co-workers, “I got a really strange phone call from him, and I’m worried. If he comes back, could you make sure to have him get a hold of me? It’s important.” The guys noticed the urgency in her voice, and nodded fervently. She hit the road again, to go to Dave’s mother’s house.

While on the road, Abby had a thought. Should it be strange that she didn’t hear the roar of the motorcycle engine in the background of the telephone call? What does that mean? She had another thought that her mind held onto a little bit longer than the first. It was a seemingly random memory of herself and Dave hanging out at a bar, enjoying a drink. She couldn’t remember what he had, but she had a tall glass of Bear Republic and was ranting about how some beer needs to be nationally recognized, and some other brands that already are recognized really shouldn’t be. He had been nodding, but staring into his empty glass, rotating it slowly. Looking down on it, like it was a circle… or a wheel…