It started innocently enough: I couldn’t find my pencil. I sat down in my room to crank out a Hobbes essay, yet when I reached for the ol’ graphite, it was gone. “No big deal,” I thought, as I reached for another one. Yet when I opened the drawer in which I keep my instruments of illustration, I was met with… nothing. It was empty. I looked about my room in a panic. That’s when real terror struck. My shoes: gone. My pillow: gone. My framed picture of my grandmother: gone. The only things amiss were an open window and a notification on my computer, with those 5 accursed words in the subject line: RE: Clery Crime Alert – Robbery. James McShane knew. James McShane did this.
He was mocking me, James McShane was. Toying with me. This scoundrel had jacked my shit, but this was only the beginning: he began to haunt me everywhere I went. My bike was locked securely to the rack outside Pupin when I got to my 10:10 a.m. class. Yet when I came back, it was gone. I did have an email, though: RE: Clery Crime Alert – Robbery. I went down to JJs for a quick bite, and when I got back, the door to my room was gone, taken off its hinges. RE: Clery Crime Alert – Robbery. I was paying for food at Morton Williams, and as I reached out to hand cash to the cashier, it vanished from my hand with what felt like a slight breeze. RE: Clery Crime Alert – Robbery. This phantom of man is always with me, haunting me, but I can never even see him.
I’m at the end of my rope here. As I write this, I sit at my desk while things disappear from around me. My bed frame vanished a few hours ago. I could have sworn there was a rug under my feet a little while back, too. Oh look, I’m on the floor now. My room is entirely empty, except for my laptop. Why does McShane spare this one thing? I think it’s his thrill. He needs to know that the relentless pinging of emails, all headed RE: Clery Crime Alert – Robbery, is driving me mad. I have nothing left in this world. Next time you see just how many Clery Crime Alerts you have in your inbox, remember one thing: James McShane did all of them, and he steals only from me.