Walter Wallace sat patiently in his stud apartment. He had almost finished the crossword. One benefit of not having a pen with ink is that the mistakes are easier to work around. . The most he knew about the biggest event in television history – considering that the luxury of television was not one in which he indulged - was that the mild humming sound from the adjacent apartment seemed to feature less explosions than usual.
Another benefit of not having a pen meant that after Walter had completed the crossword, he could wait half an hour to forget it and then complete it again. It was surprisingly effective. He remembered the hard ones easy enough because he had spent so long working them out. Some of the easier ones had more time to slip his mind. This intriguing fact further distracted him and he ended up taking longer the second time round to complete it than the first.
He figured the crossword was now too ingrained in his memory to try again so he went for a walk. He didn’t live in the most friendly neighbourhood but any fear of being robbed was overcome by the knowledge that he didn’t own anything. The grey building opposite his own was the prototype of a lot of the buildings in the area. They each blended into each other and Walter wondered how planes didn’t crash into them on cloudy days.
The streets were eerily empty but Walter didn’t mind. Solitude, whether intentional or otherwise, seemed to be a favourable environment for him. He enjoyed having time to think to himself, or time to not think at all. Other people always had other opinions and they usually clouded his own. As he walked, taking in the various dull sights he saw the first car in a long while. But it was a van, not a car. Two vans. They raced past him as if the police were giving chase. He saw a blur of black writing on the side of each and a strange contraption protruding from the roof. He shrugged his shoulders and continued on his way. He was heading to the park, a favourite of his because it was usually abandoned (although there were always two or three addicts but they were much too paranoid to approach a human being – or any living creature for that matter).
He arrived and sat down on a bench.A few possums scurried away into the shadows (a few addicts did as well). He sat and enjoyed the colour of the park; the greens still had a very greyish look about them but that helped blend the neighbourhood together. He noticed that he wasn’t alone in the park. A vague figure sat very upright and still on the opposite side. It seemed to notice being noticed and lifted a hand to acknowledge this. Walter responded in kind but secretly hoped not to be approached. As is the case in situations like this, the moment he recognised his desire to be alone the figure stood up and began to walk towards him; the world liked to mix things up.
Usually in a predicament such as this the normal person would take out their mobile phone. They would either fake a call or use it just to look occupied. Walter, however, had only ever used a phone once - and that was a pay phone, and that was to help an old man who couldn’t read numbers - so he did not have this luxury. Curiously, the approaching stranger took out his phone and Walter felt a glimmer of hope that this would interrupt the impending correspondence, but as soon as he hoped it, the stranger had hung up and strode forth with even more poise and determination.
He outstretched his hand and Walter stood to receive it. “Hello Walter,” he said as if they were old high school buddies – Walter had never had buddies in high school – “My name is Mister Whisker and I’m here to save your life.”