A Minor Miscalculation

"Who do you THINK it is?" shouted Howw in his best attempt at a bold, confrontational kind of tone. He folded up the bit of paper he'd taken from the chest and stuffed it in his pocket. He could hear the homeowner's footsteps coming up the stairs, slowly at first but accelerating at a rate of 0.6 seconds per step, and knowing as Howw did that there were exactly 18.5 stairs to be tread, he calculated the exact moment at which the bathroom door would burst open and he would be found.

This of course, did nothing to help him escape, so he just stood there and counted the seconds until the inevitable would occur, after which point, it occurred.

The door burst open and there was Professor Morbius, a tall, slender man with a dark goatee and wearing a duster. Lightning flashed, illuminating the window behind him, casting him into silhouette. Any other creepy imagery that comes to mind here, also happened.

"What are you doing here, Howard?" asked the Professor.

"What am I doing here?" said Howw, playing for time. "Well, I was actually, uh, chasing someone!"

"Chasing someone?"

"Yes, someone broke into your house and I followed them in."

"And you followed them into the bathroom?" said the Professor, skeptically.

"Not exactly, no…" said Howw. "I hid in the bathroom so I could leap out and, you know, get 'em."

"I see. And did you get them?"

"No… they bolted when they heard you coming in. It's a shame, Professor, I had 'em right where I wanted 'em!"

"I'm sure you did." The Professor smiled, and was about to say something witty and sarcastic that still on the surface seemed cordial and pleasantly naive, but something caught his eye and distracted him. He leaned forward to peer into the bathroom behind Howw.

"What's that box doing in my sink?"

"It's a chest," said Howw automatically. "And... Hey what's that?!" Howw pointed just behind the Professor at an arbitrary cabinet in the room, then darted past him when he looked away.

Except he didn't look away, for some reason, and that totally threw off the whole plan. Howw having now launched himself directly into the Professor's arms, he would surely have been better off to just answer the dang question.

The End

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