You have a lovely night seeing a play and hanging with your friends at a local bar. You walk with your friends back to the nearby theater parking lot you all parked in. You say good night and all go to your respective cars.
Your car is a little father off than everyone else's. Your friends watch you get in your car and then they drive away. You put on your seatbelt. You look up. Everyone has vanished. You are the last car in the parking lot. You think nothing of this. You pull out of your spot.
You drive to the exit. The exit is blocked by a chain link gate. You see one of your friends' cars at a stoplight in the distance.
You get out of your car to move the gate out of your way.
The gate has two locks on it. The gate will not move. You wonder how the gate was closed and doubled locked between the time all of your friends exited and now. You can see your friend's car turn out of sight.
You think maybe you went to the wrong exit.
You get back in your car and drive to every corner of the parking lot. Which looks ridiculous because it's a very a small parking lot. So you're really just driving in circles.
There is no other exit.
You call all of your friends who were just there with you in the same parking lot and somehow managed to escape seconds before. No one is answering because they are all too busy driving away to freedom.
You panic. You are going to die here.
You think of options. Your fuel light comes on. You turn off your car and get out again.
The chain link fence is a good ten feet tall and you are too short to scale it. It surrounds the entire parking lot. There are no footholds.
You find a long stick and briefly wonder if you can ditch your car and pole vault out of here.
You really think about the idea of leaving your car and get major separation anxiety. You apologize to your car repeatedly for even considering this as an option.
Some youths on skateboards roll by and you ask them to use their delinquent powers to unlock the gate. They call you sir. They think you are a tiny man. They take a photo of you for their Snap story and skate away.
Finally you get a hold of a friend who informs you that they have the number to the Keeper of the Keys for the theater parking lot. You call the number and leave a message. You ramble unnecessarily in the message and tell some jokes. You also weep softly. The Keeper of the Keys is never going to call you back now.
You wonder how no one saw you were still there when everyone was leaving at the same time. Your fear of being forgotten intensifies. Maybe you are a ghost. Maybe you are in the Matrix. Maybe you really are a tiny man. This is just like the beginning of a super hero movie right before your powers are discovered. No. It's more like the beginning of an indie movie where this is just the first bad thing that happens and then everything gets worse. You shuffle around the parking lot staring at the ground like Charlie Brown.
You text people who you know are up and none of your friends are surprised that this has happened to you. No one seems concerned that you are locked in a prison and could die at any moment.
You receive a text from the Keeper of the Keys, who says a man across the street from the parking lot may be able to help you out. You ask for clarification but the Keeper of Keys has spoken and does not respond.
You peer across the street and see the building in question. Lots of silhouettes are in the windows. There are either a lot of people in this building having a party, or the kid from Home Alone lives there and has set up animatronic cardboard people to make it look uninviting to burglars. You wait for 23 minutes. No one exits the building. Your Home Alone theory intensifies.
A homeless man wanders by and asks you if you want him to break the gate lock with his laser eye vision and you agree. You find out that he does not have laser eye vision. He does offer you a part of his sandwich. Which you decline. He leaves and your stomach rumbles and you wish you had taken a bite of that sandwich.
You turn on music. Your phone battery is at 20% but if you're going to go, by God you will be listening to slow jams when you do. You sing Unchained Melody to no one in particular.
You think of your celebrity crush, Elijah Wood, and lament that if you die here, you will never be able to meet him.
A man exits the building from across the street. You think it is the mercenary of the Keeper of the Keys, but it's just a guy smoking a cigarette. You think maybe he needs a signal to know that you are legit before he helps you. You make a bird sound. He is disturbed by your behavior and goes back inside. Solitude envelops you once again.
You briefly consider downloading Tinder.
You watch some cat videos.
The Keeper of the Keys texts and says that the mercenary from across the street is not coming to help after all. You see that everyone across the street, cardboard cut outs or not, is having a great time at their party.
The Keeper of the Keys informs you that they will free you themselves but they are coming from the Valley. This is like telling Frodo you're coming to rescue him in Mordor, but you're currently in the Shire.
You make your sweater into a hat. You don't know why.
You grab that long stick you found and yell, "You shall not pass!" at the chain link fence. You are not Gandalf and this makes you deeply sad.
Your phone is at 10%. You open up the notes section and type furiously. Tonight you will write your swan song.
A tree branch falls out of a tree and hits you in the face. You black out for five to ten seconds from the impact.
You continue typing your swan song into your phone for an hour. You finish and read it back and it is completely incomprehensible. Your phone is now at 2%.
You decide to lock your phone to save battery. You immediately open it back up again and watch cat videos.
Two bright lights hit your face. You think of Ryan Gosling for no reason in particular.
You realize the two lights are headlights coming from the other side of the fence. You hear the screeching sound of tires. A car door opens. A godlike figure gets out of the car and stands with the light illuminating them from behind. You say, "Liam Neeson?"
The figure says, "I have the keys." The figure pulls the keys from their pocket. You still can't see their face so you assume that it is, in fact, Liam Neeson.
Liam Neeson unlocks the gate and slides it open.
You stand there for a moment. Not sure if it's real. You start to say something but you know you'll never say anything that is good enough for Liam Neeson's ears.
You get in your car and start it up. You drive through the gate. You are free.
You take one last look back at Liam Neeson. But he is gone. And the gate is locked.