Devious Drawer

All abodes, from a simple tent to the greatest of castles, have at least one thing in common. No matter how organized the inhabitants, there will ALWAYS be a spot (maybe several) where things that can’t seem to find a place to belong will gather. In these spots, one will find bits of this and that; items that may be useful but their use is forgotten, or maybe stray parts of sets with pieces missing. It is the spot where something that might be needed quickly will be thrown, when its “proper” storage place is a bit inconvenient. It is the location where “I forget where it goes!” ends up. It is the go to spot for lost items, and the haven for found but unidentified items. These special areas may vary in exact form, but EVERY dwelling has them.

In the Muller household, this special storage area took the form of a desk drawer. The desk was a basic desk, a simple wood top placed on two legs on the one side, and a three drawer file cabinet on the other. When the desk was purchased, it was meant to be a place to help keep life a little more organized, as well as a place to sit and do useful tasks. As with many simple plans, its uses never quite manifested as hoped. The bottom drawer, larger than the other two, did contain files, though mostly of things that no longer needed to be kept. The middle drawer also had a bit of organization, containing items that might be useful to a functional desk, essentially office supplies. The top drawer was initially empty, set aside for some unknown important purpose. Then a battery that would be needed later was temporarily placed in the drawer, followed by a bit of string, then a cute little stone that could be used in an art project … before they knew it the drawer had become THAT place … the gathering place of all that “COULD be used if we only knew how.” The Mullers referred to it as the Junk Drawer, or simply The Drawer.

As with many such storage places, this drawer seemed to hold more than it was physically possible to hold. No matter how much was placed in it … there always appeared to be room for more. Unsure where to put something? Toss it in The Drawer. Unable to find something? “Did you look in The Drawer?” Now there were certain items in The Drawer that ended up being used fairly often, so for them The Drawer was where they SHOULD be, and chaos reigned if they weren’t there when needed. The Drawer was the ultimate solution to all problems, and the final answer for all unanswerable questions. It was The Drawer.

There came one afternoon when Mrs. Muller had need of a screwdriver. She called to her husband, who was sitting at the desk, to retrieve the requested item from The Drawer. Mr. Muller, after verifying if she wanted a phillips or a flathead (both being in The Drawer), happily obliged. The screwdriver quickly did its screwdriverly duties, and Mr. Muller just as happily returned it to its proper home before continuing his own activities at the desk. He did notice an odd buzzing followed by a quick pop right after he shut The Drawer on the screwdriver, but focused on his own project, the odd noise and its accompanying ozone smell barely registered. It was not until a few moments later, when Mrs. Muller realized that she was not quite done with the screwdriver, that Mr. Muller noticed something was amiss.

Mr Muller opened The Drawer to grab the required screwdriver, this time without really looking since he knew right where he put it. He was a little surprised when his hand did not find the expected object. Thinking he needed to pay more attention, Mr. Muller focused on the task at hand (so to speak) and looked, certain that he just hadn’t put it back right where he thought he did. Oddly, the screwdriver was not there. The other screwdriver was there, as well as many items he recognized from his recent search through The Drawer, but the screwdriver that he had just put there was simply … not there. Laughing at his own absentmindedness, Mr Muller looked at the floor, now certain that he had missed The Drawer completely, and dropped his target on the floor. No doubt that would explain the odd noise he vaguely remembered hearing.

The screwdriver persisted in its absence.

Sure that they both needed their memories checked, Mr. Muller suggested to Mrs. Muller that she still had the screwdriver. She, of course, denied this, having very definitely returned the screwdriver to Mr. Muller’s hand to be placed back where it belonged. Mrs. Muller like things to be where they belonged. Words were exchanged, as each playfully accused the other of losing their minds. Mrs. Muller, uncertain why her husband was playing this little game, came to retrieve the screwdriver herself. Unsurprisingly, she could not find it either. Still convinced Mr. Muller was toying with her, she insisted that he supply her with the recalcitrant object. Getting a little annoyed himself, he slightly heatedly insisted that he did not have it. More words were exchanged, this time more strained. This was such an unusual occurrence that it brought the younger Mullers to the scene.

The eldest Muller child, a practical girl, suggested that maybe they should retrace their steps, and surely the missing screwdriver would be found. Agreeing that this was a sensible plan, Mr. Muller opened the drawer, grabbed the remaining screwdriver, and they all proceeded to the other room, where Mrs. Muller recreated her mastery of screwdrivership, and then handed the tool back to Mr. Muller for return to The Drawer, just as she had previously done. They all returned to the desk, where Mr. Muller again opened The Drawer, and replaced the second screwdriver, just as HE had previously done. This time, the buzz-pop was noticeable by everyone, and a little flash was added to the sudden ozone smell. Looking at each other hesitantly, they all huddled together as they opened The Drawer one more time.

The second screwdriver was now gone as well.

Quickly shutting The Drawer, the all looked at each other, no one knowing what to say. As they exchanged glances, there was another buzz pop. Coming to a silent agreement, they again huddled together and this time very slowly opened The Drawer. The screwdrivers stubbornly refused to appear. However, now there was a new item in the drawer, an item that none of the Mullers had ever seen before. It was a pendant; the kind of pendant one might pick up at a craft fair, pretty, obviously hand made, but not necessarily a work of art. Once again in silent agreement, The Drawer was abruptly closed, and the mass of Mullers scrambled to another room to discuss these strange happenings.

The Muller’s life would never be the same.