This goes much deeper than I'd dared to imagine.
It wasn't the work of just one practical joker, it was a collaborative effort spanning uncountable miles and untold months.
I found my keys.
I found them almost where I'd left them.
I drove my truck back to work tonight. My non-air-conditioning-having truck. Yes, it was hot. Yes, I roasted. I drove back to work and I talked to the guard about whether there was a lost and found box I could rummage through. He said that there was, over in the admin building. He'd buzz me in. I said that I wanted to check my cubicle and my laptop case one more time.
So I went back to my cubicle and pretty much turned it inside-out.
But I'd already known that. I had a distinct memory of dropping my keys into my laptop case in the morning. Either they were still there, or they'd somehow fallen out, or someone had taken them.
I opened every pocket in that bag. I emptied out every paper and pen and loose coin from that bag. I picked that bag up and I turned it upside-down and I shook it.
I reached my hand deep inside the bag, and my hand somehow found a pocket that I hadn't known was there. A deep pocket. So deep, in fact, that my arm wasn't long enough to let me probe its depths. So I placed the bag on the floor, and I climbed inside. There, I found the entrance to, I dunno, another universe is the only way I can describe it. A separate time and place, with neither light nor sound nor texture. Only emptiness. Nothingness.
I steeled myself, then I ventured inside ever further, and then I lost all connection with time and place and even self.
I drifted through that emptiness for what might have been a few seconds or what might have been a million years. I drifted through the darkness until I saw something. The faintest glimmer. The kind of glimmer that only small shiny metal things can make. By sheer force of will, I steered my drifting body toward the source of the glimmer, and then, after another few seconds or another million years, I heard a clink. The kind of clink that only small shiny metal things can make.
I'd found my keys.
Somehow, maybe through luck, or maybe because that dark and silent and empty place knew that I didn't belong there and forced me out, I made my way back into my universe, into my cubicle. Standing there and pondering the journey I'd just made, I was suddenly struck as to just how deep this conspiracy went.
It wasn't one person hiding my keys on a lark. It was a planned thing. That laptop bag is several years old, made God only knows where, yet that portal waited inside it until today. Someone, some evil genius, designed that bag with today in mind. To make me feel like a dumbass, someone went to an awful lot of trouble. I can't even begin to imagine the kind of planning and patience this took. I know that I could never pull it off.
Whoever it was that did this, that set this up, I applaud them.
Like I said before, Ha ha. That's a good one.