The story so far:
Donald left the police station and was waiting for the bus. He glanced down at the detective's card. Detective Sergeant Ray Parker, Burglary and Theft Unit. A handwritten case number was written on the back. Parker told him to give the case number to his bank and they would process his claim. He'd signed two sets of forms, including a fraud affidavit and a release of information for his account.
Apparently, they wanted written proof he did not authorize the withdrawal before they'd give him his money back. No problem there, he thought. The detective had worked quickly and learned the ATM transaction had taken place at 3:30 AM last Tuesday morning. Donald had been sound asleep -- probably having a nightmare, he added grimly to himself. All-in-all he was glad Julia talked him into going to the police. He really couldn't afford the lost money.
The bus pulled up and Donald climbed aboard and showed his pass, then walked to one of the rear bench seats. The dreams, the theft, the police station and the overall stress of his situation was telling on him. He felt sleep coming over him suddenly, like a tiger in the night. His head nodded and he began to snore softly.
Donald woke suddenly and was amazed to find himself seated on his couch; a dinner tray was in front of him with a half-consumed chicken pot pie in the middle of it. Steam still rose from the center of the pie and he was aware of Jay Leno blathering about something on the television.
"WHAT THE ****!!!" he exclaimed, spewing out bits of Marie Cavender's creation. He violently shoved the tray away, sending the pie flying onto the floor. Fear and shock battled for supremacy in his mind as he leaped to his feet. He spun around and saw nothing but his empty apartment.
In a panic, he sprinted to the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. Nothing unusual, except for some crumbs of pie crust on his chin. He wiped these off quickly, as if they burned him. He was still dressed in the same clothes, but he noticed his shoes were caked with soil. He looked at his hands, and saw they too had traces of dirt under his fingernails.
Donald took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. He decided to get a beer from the kitchen and try to think this through. He walked cautiously back into the living room. For some reason, everything seemd to harbor a hidden threat.
Leno was just finishing up for the night. Donald estimated about five hours had passed since he'd fallen asleep on the bus. As he walked past the kitchen bar there was a knock at his door. He actually jumped.
The knock was repeated, followed by a man's voice.
"Mister Morete? It's Detective Parker. I need to speak with you."
Donald shuffled to the door and squinted through the peephole. It was dark and he flipped on the exterior light to get a better look. Sure enough, the Burglary and Theft detective was standing on his stoop. He had a folder in his hand.
Donald opened the door and stepped aside for Parker to enter. He saw the detective take in the disruption in the living room and tense up.
"Is everything ok here?"
"Yeah," said Donald, not knowing what else to say "knocked over my pie."
Parker grunted and seemed satisfied. He closed the door , then gestured to the table in the kitchenette.
"Why don't we sit down?" asked the detective rhetorically.
Donald moved over to the table and sat in a chair. Parker sat across from him and laid a manila folder on the table.
"Mister Morete, I was able to get the video captures from the ATM machine. I had some stills made."
He shoved the manila folder at Donald, flipping it open as he did so. Donald looked at the picture and saw his own face staring out at him. He was wearing a Chicago Cubs baseball cap and a dark jacket -- neither of which he owned. Donald closed his mouth and stared at the detective.
"Is there anything you want to tell me, Mister Morete?"