Mission: Cup

The below is a short story penned by Evan.

7:32 AM, The Police Precinct
All was well in Dusty City today. There had been no crimes called in for eleven whole hours. Police Sergeant Glaze Donnut sat at his desk, breathing in the sweet, sweet scent of his black coffee (stirred, not shaken). He drank the coffee slowly, enjoying the fact that there was no crime. And no crime meant no going out on the job. And no going out on the job meant sitting on your butt doing nothing while earning money. And sitting on your butt doing nothing while earning money is always a good thing.

But there was something missing. Something vital was missing from this picture. Glaze (as everyone called him) narrowed his eyes and set his sleuthing brain to work. The brain churned, trying to think of what was missing from this picture. Let’s see. He was sitting on his butt doing nothing while earning money. Check. He was at his desk, which had everything that he wanted inside it. Check. He had a steaming cup of coffee in his hand, slowly burning him, even though he didn’t realize it. What was – OW!

Glaze set down the coffee hurriedly. He knew what he had forgotten! A cup to put the coffee in! Glaze shook his head in frustration. Of course! He had forgotten to put the coffee in a cup and had just left it in his hand. Of course!

His eyes suddenly narrowed. So where exactly was his cup? He looked all over the place, growing desperate with every move. It was definitely not on his cherry wood desk. It was definitely not on his cherry wood chair. It was definitely not on his cherry wood cabinet. And it was most definitely not in his cherry wood cruiser.

There was only one thing to do, Glaze knew. He needed help – fast. And he knew just the person. He dialed the number that he knew by heart. This guy was better than any detective on the police force. He got what was needed without any trouble. He was the best of the best. If anything was missing, this person would find it – and fast. And what made it even better was that he was a nobody. And nobody is perfect. So the perfect person to find it is an person who is a nobody, because they clearly are going to be perfect. So the best person to find his cup would be someone that was trained to find his cup. After all, he was the best of the best.

The phone rang.

He picked up.

“Hello?”

Glaze’s heart skipped a beat. He was speaking to perfection.

“Hello, sir. This is Police Sergeant Glaze Donnut from the Dusty City Police Precinct, and I need —”

“I know who you are, you don’t need to tell me. You are Police Sergeant Glaze Donnut from the Dusty City Police Precinct, and you need…something.”

Glaze blinked. How had he knew that!? Well, of course! He was perfect. Glaze laughed inwardly. How nice it was to speak to someone that was perfect.

“Sir, my coffee cup is missing.”

“Your coffee cup is missing.”

“Yes, my coffee cup is missing.”

“Okay…just to clarify, this is a coffee cup we’re missing?”

“Yes.”

“A cup generally used to have coffee in.”

“That’s correct.”

“Black coffee?”

“Yeah. But sometimes I put sugar or tea in the coffee.”

“A cup that is generally used for black coffee but sometimes has sugar or tea in the coffee. I understand. Well, Mr. Donnut, this is no joking matter.”

“No sir, it is not.”

“I will find this cup that is generally used for black coffee but sometimes has sugar or tea in the coffee, or my name is not…”

Glaze held his breath.

“Mr. Agent Evan Steele Brunell!”

Glaze could see the brilliant smile flashed over the phone. Glaze grinned. Victory!

7:35 AM, Honest Abe’s Saloon Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 450 min

He snapped his cell phone back on his belt clip and sat there, pursing his lips. So. Some smart-aleck had decided to steal a coffee cup, eh. They would quickly find out that those kind of crimes would not be tolerated. Not while he was on the job. He had a job, and he was going to complete it. That job was finding a coffee cup. But first he was going to finish his shaken milk, by God!

7:49 AM, Somewhere on Rt. 723 Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 436 min

He drove along in his car, trying to figure out where to go, and what to do. Who had a vendetta against Glaze Donnut? And why did he or she or it have a vendetta? And where was this person located? Such hard questions.

Fortunately, he knew where to start. Fisherman Drew.

8:14 AM, Hemingway Docking Bay Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 411 min

He walked over to Fisherman Drew, who was dropping anchor at the harbor, just returning from catching some fresh minnows.

“Hello, Fisherman Drew!”

Fisherman Drew looked up. “Oh, hello. What’s happenin’ in this dream we call life?”

“Fisherman Drew, it will not be a dream if you do not help me. There is a cup missing.”

“A cup…a coffee cup?” Asked Fisherman Drew, tentatively.

“Yes, Fisherman Drew. A cup…belonging to the Sergeant of the Dusty City police!” Agent Brunell smiled triumphantly.

Fisherman Drew deliberately took a few seconds to get down the boat ramp. He walked over to Agent Brunell.

“Agent Brunell…you have come to me for advice many, many times. I have helped you many times. But this time, I fear I cannot help you anymore. I am not a psychic.”

Agent Brunell drew in a short breath. “Well then, Fisherman Drew…this is where we must part ways.”

Fisherman Drew nodded.

Agent Brunell nodded back.

Fisherman Drew nodded back.

Agent Brunell nodded back…just in case.

8:22 AM, 005 Agency Road Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 409 min
He dialed the number.

“Hello, this is Miss Klio, the world-renowned psychic. Please give me your credit card number.”

“Miss Klio…do you know anything about a missing coffee cup?”

“Did I or did I not say…credit card number, please.”

“This is a matter of national security, and you want my credit card?”

“Your death will be a matter of national security if you don’t give me your credit card right now!”

Agent Brunell sighed. “Alright, then. My credit card is —”

ATTENTION: THIS PORTION OF THE STORY HAS BEEN DELETED TO PROTECT THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF AGENT EVAN STEELE BRUNELL. AFTER ALL, WE DON’T WANT MANIACS LIKE YOU TO STEAL HIS CREDIT CARD AND USE IT FOR THINGS THAT YOU WOULDN’T WANT YOUR DEAR OLD MOTHER TO SEE.

“Very good…now, what do you need to know?”

“I need to know about a missing coffee cup.”

“A missing … uh … coffee … oh no!”

“What is it, Miss Klio?”

“I just got a message saying that … my kid has … fallen out of the ball pit. Yeah, fallen out of the ball pit. I have to go help her. Bye.”

“Wait–” Miss Klio hung up with a click. Agent Brunell smiled. The game t’was afoot.

9:31 AM, FunFun Alley! Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 338 min

He arrived at ‘FunFun Alley!’ He walked in and was immediately pelted with the noise of screaming kids and shouting parents.

“You come right back here this instant, Jeremy! I accidentally had decaf this morning! I wanna go home! I wanna go home!”

“I’m Superman! Look at me!”

“Don’t jump, Jeremy! No! You will hurt yourself! Oh dear god!”

Agent Brunell walked over to the ball pit, and surveyed it. It was a cage full of plastic balls with kids jumping and screaming in it, with parents trying to read the latest heroics of the Red Sox. Agent Brunell took off his shoes, mindful of the sign next to it saying “NO SHOES!” He got in the ball pit and was immediately pelted with balls left and right, with children jumping all over him. He felt himself being dragged into the playpen. He tried to fight, but the children were too strong. They pulled him into the massive playpen and pushed him down a completely enclosed tube slide. He slid for what seemed like an eternity, until he was unceremoniously deposited at the feet of six black shoes. He looked up, three kids with sunglasses looked back at him with no emotion. They grabbed him and walked him over to another kid sitting at a table playing cards. The kid motioned Agent Brunell to sit down. He took a puff of a candy cigarette, and motioned to another kid sitting opposite him.

“Go fish.”

He turned his attention to Agent Brunell.

“Hello. I am Don Sagiv.” He took a drag of his candy cigarette. “I run things around here.”

“Hello, Don Sagiv. I am Agent Brunell. Agent Evan Brunell. Agent Evan…Steele…Brunell.” He flashed his smile.

Don Sagiv was not impressed. He motioned to the kid playing cards with him.

“This is Vinny Punchalot. He does most of the grunt work, if you know what I mean. He knows how to dispose of things that…need disposing.”

“I am humbled, Don Sagiv.”

“And why are you, an adult, here in the land of Don Sagiv?”

“I am looking for a coffee cup.”

“A coffee cup, eh?” He smiled. “I can guarantee you that we are not involved in such petty things. We dream bigger.”

“Yes, Don Sagiv.”

“That being said,” he waved his cigarette around. “That being said, it is possible I have a nugget of information about a coffee cup. But the question is not ‘What is this nugget of information?’ but rather…’What can you do to help me?'”

Agent Brunell fished in his pocket and came out with a pack of candy cigarettes. Don Sagiv’s face brightened.

“Ahh…” He paused. “I do not know the whereabouts of the coffee cup. I do know, however, that the person that took the coffee cup…has a vendetta against the police officer. A vendetta,” his voice raised, “against the complete and utter persecution of the police force!”

“What is this persecution?”

“The sheer tyranny of it all! The persecution of little children! The police force has cracked down on the ice-cream truck travel time! Now it cannot travel from three in the afternoon to six at night, oh no, sir! It must follow a strictly enforced time of four in the afternoon to six at night! And you can bet the ice-cream man’s daughter does not take kindly to that!” He stopped. “I’ve said enough. Gentlemen, dispose of this man. Get the cigarettes from him!” He waved a hand, and the gentlemen moved forward. They led him down the playpen and dumped him back in the ball pit. Agent Brunell got up and walked back to his car to go home.

10:40 AM, 005 Agency Road Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 269 min

He called Glaze.

“Glaze! The ice-cream truck’s daughter has got your coffee cup!”

“I didn’t know ice-cream trucks could have kids…”

“No, no, no! The daughter of the ice-cream truck driver!”

“The daughter of Mr. Ben Jerry! That’s Breyer Jerry!”

“Give me her address!”

11:00 AM, 546 Moocow Avenue Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 249 min

He arrived at 546 Moocow Avenue. He rung the doorbell, and Mrs. Jerry opened the door. She smiled sweetly.

“Ice cream?” She offered some to Agent Brunell.

“No thanks, ma’am. Is Breyer here?”

“Why, yes. Breyer!” She called.

Breyer came forth, an eleven year old child with blond pigtails.

“Hello?”

“Breyer, do you have a coffee cup belonging to the police sergeant?”

“Yes. I am sorry I took it. Here.” She gave the cup back to Agent Brunell.

“Thank you, Breyer.” The woman smiled and closed the door. Agent Brunell got back into his car and started driving to the police station. He looked at the cup. There was something off about the cup. He looked at it harder, then picked it up. His eyes widened in astonishment. It was not the cup! It was a drawing of the cup! He hit the brakes and headed back to the house. He arrived at the house, but the ice-cream car was gone from the driveway! Agent Brunell peeled out of their driveway and headed to the place he knew they must be headed – where the children were.

12:29 PM, FunFun Alley! Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 160 min

He arrived at ‘FunFun Alley!’ He walked in and was immediately pelted with the noise of screaming kids and shouting parents.

“You come right back here this instant, Jeremy! I accidentally had decaf this morning! I wanna go home! I wanna go home!”

“I’m Superman! Look at me!”

“Don’t jump, Jeremy! No! You will hurt yourself! Oh dear god!”

Agent Brunell looked around wildly. He had seen the ice-cream truck outside. He knew there must be only one place where Breyer was. In the den of Don Sagiv. He ran into the ball pit, up the stairs, down the curve, past the swings, through the quicksand, past the Tunnel of Love, and arrived in Don Sagiv’s lair. He was waiting for him.

“Well, well, you are smarter than you seem.” Don Sagiv smiled.

“Where is she? The cup is in danger!”

“Not so fast, Agent Evan Steele Brunell. First, you must answer three questions for me. If you win, I will let you pass. ”

“What?”

12:35 PM, Don Sagiv’s Lair Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 154 min

“Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?”

Agent Brunell thought for what seemed like a long time. It probably was June, but there was something off here. He finally got it.

“Johnny.”

“Very good. The next question…”

12:55 PM, Don Sagiv’s Lair Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 134 min

“What does man love more than life, fear more than death or mortal strife…what the poor have, the rich require, and what contented men desire…what the miser spends and the spendthrift saves and all men carry to their graves?”

Agent Brunell thought for what seemed like a long time. It probably was June, but there was something off here. He finally got it.

“Nothing.”

“Very good. The next question…”

1:25 PM, Don Sagiv’s Lair Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 104 min

“Why do statues and paintings of George Washington always show him standing?”

Agent Brunell thought for what seemed like a long time. It probably was June, but there was something off here. He finally got it.

“He cannot lie.”

Don Sagiv looked surprised. “You have a very good mind. Unfortunately, you took too long on that riddle. You only have ten minutes before the cup is no more!”

2:59 PM, Don Sagiv’s Lair Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 10 min

Agent Brunell ran out of the Lair, and out of FunFun Alley! He saw the ice-cream truck go jangling past him. He started pursuing it on foot. Behind Agent Brunell, Glaze Donnut screeched by in his cruiser. Agent Brunell had been wearing a wire so Glaze could hear it. However, the ice-cream truck had been so souped up that the cruiser could not catch up to it. Agent Brunell decided to take a shortcut to try and beat the truck to Hemingway Docking Bay.

3:05 PM, Hemingway Docking Bay Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 4 min

Agent Brunell arrived, and laid in wait for the ice-cream truck. It shortly came barreling up the road, with Breyer leaning out of the door to throw the coffee cup into the water. Agent Brunell howled. The wolves howled back. He started running. Breyer noticed him. She shrieked. “No! I will persevere!” Glaze Donnut got out of his cruiser and starting running after the truck. “No!” He yelled. “No, dear god, no! Take me, not the cup!”

3:07 PM, Hemingway Docking Bay Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 2 min

Breyer hurled the cup in the air. It moved as if through slow motion. Agent Brunell could not catch up to it! He found the inner fire deep inside himself and achieved light speed.

3:08 PM, Hemingway Docking Bay Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 1 min

Agent Brunell jumped.

3:08 PM, Hemingway Docking Bay Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 30 sec

Agent Brunell jumped a little farther.

3:08 PM, The Air Time To the Cup’s Safety Being Compromised: 1 sec

Agent Brunell’s hand was just near the cup. He could make it…he could make it…

His hand closed around the cup and he braced for impact as the water was fast approaching him. A hand came out of nowhere and grabbed him. He looked back. It was Don Sagiv.

“You stiffed me! There were only five candy cigarettes! Give me the rest,” he bawled.

And with that, Mission: Cup was over.

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