Today I'm going to tell you a little story, part mystery, part psychological thriller, all highly disturbing. It involves a woman, her child, and a set of felt coasters. Consider yourself warned and proceed...if you dare.
When my mom and dad came to visit about a month and a half ago, they kindly purchased a set of lovely felt coasters from Zara Home for my house, since our HHE hadn't arrived yet and I was woefully coasterless. I loved those coasters. They were simple, to be sure, but they came in a lovely array of jewel tones, and there was a certain je ne sais quoi about them. They made a nice addition to my new home, and for a brief period of time, we lived together in coasterly harmony.
Then one day, a certain child who shall remain nameless decided to pluck one of these coasters from their resting place on the table beside the couch. I wasn't there to witness the abduction, but my mother later reported that the child had gone running out of the room waving the coaster in the air. It was a blue coaster, she claimed, my personal favorite. When the coaster hadn't materialized by the end of the day, I started to worry. I searched every conceivable spot, but it was to no avail. The coaster was lost.
For the next two or three days, we interrogated the child regarding the coaster's whereabouts. "Where's the blue coaster?" we would ask, holding another coaster aloft, hoping desperately that the child's memory would be triggered or that, like a bloodhound, he would pick up the scent and lead us to our quarry. But the child, feigning ignorance, was deaf to our pleas. Worse still, several days after we'd given up hope and reconciled ourselves to a life bereft of blue coasters, the child took to smiling sweetly at his mother and asking innocently, "Mommy, where's the blue coaster?"
A day or two before my parents were scheduled to return home, I was in my closet getting dressed when I noticed something round peeking out from underneath the shoe rack. It was a coaster, a lovely magenta, that I hadn't even realized was missing. Suddenly, I'm ashamed to admit, I started to doubt not only myself but my mother's story. Perhaps it wasn't the blue coaster that had gone missing. Perhaps, I said to my mother, she had been wrong all along. And now the doubt that had infected my own addled mind began to creep into hers. Maybe it hadn't been a blue coaster, she said doubtfully. It could have been magenta. It had all happened so fast, and she'd been distracted! What was happening? Where were we? Had we finally lost our minds!?
No, no, we told ourselves. We're fine. We're perfectly rational human beings who refuse to be bested by something so insignificant as a coaster. So we had five coasters now. Maybe that was all we were ever meant to have. Maybe the marketing geniuses at Zara Home had deliberately sold us a set of five coasters in order to entice us to purchase another set so that we'd have ten coasters and finally an even number! But life moves on. My parents left. I forced the issue from my mind, even though it pained me every time I opened the drawer and saw my set of FIVE coasters. How could something that had once brought me so much joy now be the cause of so much obsessive compulsive agony? The world may never know.
And then, just yesterday, I was once again in my closet when something small and round and burgundy lurking near the safe caught my eye. It was, as I'm sure you know, a coaster. I returned it gently to its home, meanwhile plotting just what I'd do to that child once I got my hands on him, and discovered that there were only three coasters left in the drawer. The heather gray coaster was also missing! In a state of panic, I returned to the closet and searched frantically near the safe, but there were no coasters to be found. I was losing hope (and my mind) when I saw a bit of gray from behind the full-length mirror. There was my gray coaster, waiting to be rescued.
What happened next was strange. It was as if I was being beckoned by some sort of felted tell-tale heart. I had looked behind the mirror before, of course, near the ground, but I had never thought to look UP behind the mirror. How silly of me! How utterly stupid! I looked up slowly, hopefully, and beheld a sight so glorious I nearly wept with joy. The blue coaster hung suspended in air as if by some dark magic. It had been there all along. I wasn't crazy! I WASN'T CRAZY!!!
Whew, that was harrowing just to write. I can't imagine what you must have been feeling as you read it. I realize it might be slightly traumatic for you, knowing that this ACTUALLY HAPPENED, but you should take comfort in the knowledge that the coasters are now far from pudgy, prying hands. Still, I should go check on my coasters, just in case. My preciouses... Yesssssss....