lost and found

Stolen texts and old graphics,
lost in a derelict archive
collecting lives and dust.

He didn’t intend to

excavate antiques
forgotten by privilege,
innocent little finds.

unearth a snare.

Uncared for monsters wreaking
havoc on hordes of knowledge,
stories left untold.

He couldn’t afford to leave them behind.

Never mind the vengeance twofold
a game won, another outlined.

***
Prior to the events of this dream (but still within the dream), one of my friends had apparently taken a few of my books and put them in our high school’s lost and found. I know what you’re thinking: he probably found them and turned them in. No, he literally took them and dropped them off at the office’s lost and found pile, so naturally I was not happy. He’d also done some other stuff to get under my skin, so I muted him in our group chat. Ya know, high school stuff (glad that part of my life is over).

I went to school after hours with my mom and my cousin. I didn’t even initially believe him when he told me what he’d done. I thought maybe he just hid it somewhere. So we searched the band room first, which is how we got in in the first place. It’s its own little building connected to the school right by the entrance that I somehow had a key to. It didn’t take long for his words to claw at the back of my mind. What if he really had put them in the lost and found?

I snuck out into the school proper, which had apparently been totally renovated or else unrecognizable to how I remember our high school. To my surprise, the main office was right outside the door, smack dab in the center of the entryway to the school. Convenient, for me at least. The door nearest to me was wide open, and as I snuck inside, I noticed so was the door on the opposite end. Wasting no time, I hurried to the lost and found shelf and started sifting through the stacks, yes stacks, of books. Then I heard something. I peeked out into the hall (not the door I came through) and saw a scaly little thing stomping around the corner and toward the door, with what sounded like another right behind it.

Without another thought, I darted back into the band room. Was that a… dinosaur? A baby dinosaur??? I told my mom and cousin what I’d seen and texted my friend incredulously. His reply was naturally blocked out. Did he set all of this up? Before I could unmute him, my cousin cautiously checked through the window in the door. He immediately turned tail and ran just before a mini triceratops charged through the door with a several grunts and huffs.

The three of us bolted outside as it revved up for another charge. Outside, it couldn’t really decide who it wanted to chase, so in the confusion, I thought hey, I’ll get in the car so we can get the hell outta here. Well, I left my keys in the band room, along with my shoes somehow. Luckily, the car door was unlocked, so while it was chasing my cousin, I hopped into the passenger seat (just happened to be the closest door). Now, instead of calling 911 or whoever you call in this situation, I searched a YouTube video on how to hotwire a car. While I’m doing that, my mom jumped into the driver seat. I pulled some contraption out of the glove box that fit into the CD player and could apparently do the work for me, per the video. Annnd about that time is when my cousin got too exhausted to run anymore (we’re both asthmatics) and the little thing gored him.

Our fear quickly turned to fury, my mom finally got control of the car and hurdled us toward it for revenge. I managed to climb out onto the hood through the now nonexistent windshield. I grabbed it by the horns and shield-head and twisted it onto its side so my mom could properly run it over. Kinda felt like if I had the strength for that, we shouldn’t have been running in the first place but hindsight is 2020.

Rather than grieve, I decided we weren’t leaving without my books. Blood-spattered, we went back inside, much more careful of the supposed second monster. Back in the lost and found, two teachers were standing guard at both doors. They told me to hurry up and find my books and get out. I rummaged quickly through the pile, finding nothing that belonged to me but a few manga that I wouldn’t mind reading. Shouldn’t have waited two weeks after my friend told me he’d left them there.

Just then, with my conquests under my arm, the dino appeared at the door. It held a microphone in its hand, wore a low-hanging bowl cut toupee, and sang Nicki Minaj. The teacher between me and it started clapping and cheering for it, shooting a get-the-hell-out-already look at me through his huge fake smile. But I made one last scan for my books to no avail and we ran out and into my still running car.

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