“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!” I screamed from the top of my lungs as i jumped up and cluttered the fresh air of my newly decorated office with an impressive array of profane vocabulary. Of course that wasn’t enough and my leather chair had to take a kick. With cold sweat still dripping from my forehead I quickly glanced at the creepy Owen Wilsen screensaver someone had activated on my computer. Goddamned Halloween, I thought when the shivers ran down my spine again. I turned the screen off and stormed into the direction of the hallway that would lead me to the main office room. Before I could touch the door handle, Cookie entered my office, sat down in my chair and stared at the black screen.
“Morning”, I muttered slightly confused. My mind went blank for a few seconds, then I spoke the first words that came to mind.
With great effort, Cookie managed to tilt his head up and down. I found it safe to interpret this as ‘yes’. Even though the coffee I’d made in the morning was still lukewarm, one more glance at Cookie told me that he probably wouldn’t even recognize the brew as coffee so I didn’t bother to heat anything up or make a fresh pot. I handed him the mug which he took almost robotically, never taking his eyes of the screen.
“It’s turned off, you know.”
Slowly and with a very unsteady finger he pressed the ‘on’ button on the screen. The soothing buzzing sound of the expensive computer screen seemed to have a tranquilizing effect on my childhood friend. From the look of his bloodshot eyes, I could tell he had almost certainly been drinking last night and probably had not even bothered to take a shower this morning.
Cookie absent-mindedly sipped his coffee and put the mug on my desk. “By the way, I had one hell of an experience. Remember the Halloween party at the office yesterday?”
I nodded. I didn’t stay long, ‘cause Nadia and I had agreed that we’d take Pewter out for trick-or-treating this year. We finally deemed his mental condition stable enough to be able to cope with all the costumes. He stopped crapping his pants and we made a promise.
“After we had a few drinks, we got mugged. At the office. At night.”
I looked at him, horrified. “Mugged?! Why the hell didn’t you tell me? Are you alright? Did they take anything? I’m going to call the police!” Before I could touch the phone, Cookie hissed and gestured me to be quiet as fast as his shaking hands allowed him to.
“Not so loud! I managed to chase them off with the gun I always carry with me. “
“John, you don’t carry guns.”
A wicked grin on his face made me roll my eyes. With a single gulp, I finished my own cold coffee.
“That’s not all!” He suddenly exclaimed, throwing his finger up in the air theatrically. “I also managed to trap one in a small black box!”
My state of confusion reached its climax. “What black box? There are no black boxes here. “
As soon as I had spoken the words, the computer screen suddenly turned black, only to reveal an image of Owen Wilson, posing for a ‘Shanghai Noon’ movie poster.
Cookie squeaked excitedly. “There he is!” Then his head hit the desk with a loud ‘bonk’.
As I walked into the hallway leaving a loudly snoring Cookie behind, I figured it was time for lunch. I’d probably be back before the big meeting in the afternoon, where we’d discuss the next episode of our legendary ‘dragon master’ video game series. While I gave my secretary specific instructions on how to wake Cookie before the meeting, I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. Now there was a guy who’d seen it all in life. Always an outcast at school, blindly going from one job to another as a young adult and now, in his mid-thirties, the CEO of the best videogame production studio in the western world. Had it been that much of a night to remember yesterday? Sometimes I wondered if he really lived in the present.
I shrugged. At least my life was everything but boring. With a friend like Cookie, anything could happen. It didn’t even have to be Halloween.