Woke up and found myself in a strange bed in a strange room. This seems to happen to me quite often. How did I get here? What is this place? Are there screwdrivers in this room? All I really know is… I must Escape This Room!!!
I get out of bed and walk to the desk, where there is a computer. I try to open the desk drawers, but they all appear to be locked. That is, except one. The one on the right on the bottom of the row. I open the drawer and find a flashlight. Why do I feel that some would call this a torch, or maybe a lantern? Anyway, this flashlight has no batteries. I turn on the computer after locating the electric cord and plugging it into the wall socket behind the desk. While searching behind the desk I find a small blue key. Meanwhile, the computer appears to require a username and a passcode. This could be tricky.
I turn my attention from the computer to the trashcan, which I think I’ll call a “wastebin”, on the floor beside it. There is a piece of blank paper in the wastebin. I think I’ll hold on to the paper.
The blue key doesn’t seem to open any of the desk drawers. There is a potted plant on the floor to the left of the desk. Behind the plant is a battery! If I can find another I can work the flashlight! Even though sunlight is streaming through the window and the room is quite bright, the idea of a working flashlight gives me comfort. While looking at the plant I notice a small mound of dirt. If only I had a fork or spoon I could scrape the dirt off. It doesn’t occur to me to use my hands.
Hmmm. On the wall by the desk is a strange piece of artwork. I looks like a rhinoceros wearing pink jeweled earrings. The earrings look strangely real. I touch one and the picture slides to the left, revealing a safe on the wall!!! The safe has a number pad on it with an enter button. The number keys turn different colors when pressed. I press the enter button and am startled by a loud hissing sound ending with a nerve-jarring squeak. I think I’ll leave the safe alone for now.
Now I turn to my left. Another wall, and more furniture! There is a sofa and a small table beside it with one drawer. Over the sofa is a photo of an odd-looking room. I turn my attention to the drawer. Inside the drawer, which thankfully is unlocked, is a battery and a spoon. I load my flashlight with both batteries and turn it on. I can’t seem to turn it off again, so I’ll just leave it burning.
Turning right I face the potted plant again and begin removing soil using the spoon. Under the soil is an exacto knife, which I have an urge to call a “cutter”. I turn left to face the sofa, on which are several pillows. I slash the pillows with the cutter. Inside one of them (the one second from the left side of the sofa) is… a green key. Meanwhile, my cutter has mysteriously disappeared.
Turning back to the desk, I use the green key on the middle drawer and find a piece of paper with numbers on it and a lighter. I take them both and close the drawer.
I turn left two times. There is another wall. This wall has a window. The curtains are open, so I close them and open them again five times. I don’t know why. I just do. A red key falls from the curtains. I pick it up and notice a stick on the floor under the window. I pick up the stick. My arms are getting quite full, but I seem to be able to carry all this stuff around and still use my hands.
I open the window. Just outside the window (which I could easily crawl through to freedom, but never mind that) is a wrench. I can’t quite reach it, so I use the stick to pick it up. I always use a stick to pick up a wrench. I don’t know why. I also don’t know why I want to call the wrench a “spanner”. Weird. Now that I have the spanner/wrench, the stick has disappeared. Just as well, since my hands are pretty full.
On the window sill behind the curtain is a kitchen towel, which I take. There is a bed against the wall beside the window. I lift the pillow, but see nothing under it. The pillow is still hovering in the air when I turn down the blanket on the bed. Nothing there either. I touch the pillow and then the blanket and they return to their original places. I want to slash them, but my cutter has disappeared, so I look under the bed. There’s a screwdriver! I take the screwdriver, a Phillips head, my favorite kind. This makes me so happy that my eyes fill with tears that overflow onto my cheeks. I use the towel to dry my tears, which leaves the towel quite damp.
I turn to the left. There is a wall with a door in the middle. There is a piece of rutabaga on the floor. I take the rutabaga, even though I don’t like rutabaga. Even if it is served with pasta or in a salad with dressing. Especially raw rutabaga. Especially when I’ve just woken up. Nonetheless, I feel that I must find four more. But not right now.
The door has a keypad on it. The keys have strange Egyptian symbols on them. Pressing the keys causes them to change colors. Pretty. In front of the door is a small rug. I carefully turn up each corner. Under one corner (the right corner nearest the door) is a piece of paper with “123bug” written on it. I feel that this is not a good sign. I touch the piece of paper and find it is stuck to my hand. I shake my hand and shake my hand but the paper is stuck. I press the paper to the rutabaga and they both disappear. “Good riddance”, I think to myself.
There is a strange dirty patch on the wall to the left of the door. The dirt is yellow. I find the dirt irritating. I take my towel, still damp from my tears of joy (just the thought of the screwdriver makes my eyes well with tears again), and wipe the yellow smudges from the wall. There are writings on the wall. The writings include numbers that are in different colors. The writings look like this: “username – UrALoozer”. And this: “214635”. The number colors are, from left to right: cyan, orange, green, purple, red, yellow. What could this mean?
Above the writing, near the ceiling, is a flat panel that appears to be attached to the wall with screws. Phillips head screws. I could remove it, if only I could reach it. There is a chair to the right of the door that I could stand on, but it is bolted to the floor and I cannot move it. Cleverly, I use my wrench/spanner on the bolts and I move the chair to the left of the door, against the wall. My wrench/spanner is now gone, as are the bolts. Oh, well. The whole “wrench” vs. “spanner” thing was confusing me anyway. I mean, what does a wrench actually span???
I climb onto the chair and remove the panel by unscrewing it from the wall. My cherished screwdriver does not disappear. This makes me so very happy. I look into the opening behind the wall panel, but it is very dark. No problem! I have a flashlight! The flashlight is even turned on, already. Using the flashlight I can see a small book. I take the book and try to read it from the beginning, but it opens only to one spot in the middle. On the pages are some writings: “Every day it’s the same. I wake up not knowing where I am or how I got here or how to leave. It’s silly really, because this is my room and I was sleeping in my own bed. But I can never remember any of this until I have a cigarette and a cup of coffee.” Who could have written this? What can it mean? Can any of this information help me escape? All of these questions are making my head hurt, so I put the book back in the alcove in the wall and climb down from the chair.
I turn left to face the wall with the desk and computer. Maybe I’ll try to get into the computer again. Hmmm. Oh, wait! I’ll try using the writing on the wall!
At the username prompt I type “UrALoozer” and for the passcode I type “214635”. It works! I’m in! I click on the document icon on the screen. Uh, oh. The document seems to be written in Japanese. I don’t know how to read Japanese, even though I keep meaning to learn some day. To make things worse, the computer freezes. So much for that.
But wait, I still have some keys. I know the blue key doesn’t work on the desk drawers, so I try the red one. The red key opens the top drawer! Inside the drawer is a small candle. I use my lighter to light the candle, which I have placed on the desk next to the computer. I take the piece of paper with numbers that I found earlier and hold it over the flame. It immediately catches fire and burns my finger. I quickly throw it in the wastebin and douse the fire with the still damp towel. Note to self: don’t use fire with flammable paper. I look down at the other piece of paper in my hand, the blank one (why do I think of my hand as my “inventory”?). I see that the smoke from the fire has left an image on the paper. The image looks like a coffee cup. A cup of coffee would hit the spot about now, but I must continue my quest to escape (or is it “esacapp”?) this room. I look back in the drawer to see if I missed anything earlier and find a cigarette. Something makes me think there may be nine more cigarettes hidden in the room, perhaps on the ceiling or on the top of the potted plant. I don’t care. I light the cigarette and smoke it. I’ll worry about the other cigarettes later.
I notice a small cabinet in the corner that I somehow missed before. It is locked with a blue padlock. I try the blue key on the lock and it works! Inside the cabinet is a coffeemaker and bottled water. No coffee. I place the coffeemaker and water atop the cabinet.
I turn back to the safe on the wall, the one behind the rhinoceros picture. Let’s see, the 6 digit code I used on the computer was written on the wall in colors. The safe keys turn colors when pressed. Maybe I should write down the colors for each number. I find that I’m holding a pencil and fresh paper. I write this: 1 blue; 2 red; 3 yellow; 4 black; 5 cyan; 6 white; 7 purple; 8 green; 9 orange. Hmmmm. The code on the wall was colored like this (rearranging the numbers so they are in order from 1 to 6): 1 orange, 2 cyan, 3 red; 4 green; 5 yellow; 6 purple. Maybe if I press the keys on the safe in this order…
I press 9 and it turns orange. Ok, now 5 and it turns cyan. I’m on a roll now. 2 turns red. 8 green, 3 yellow and 7 purple. I tentatively press enter and…. the safe opens! the safe code is 952837! But something tells me that the numbers and colors may be different for everyone. Nevermind that, I look in the safe and find a bag of ground coffee. Hazelnut, my favorite.
I turn back to the coffeemaker. I unplug the useless computer and plug in the coffeemaker. (Even though there are two receptacles on the outlet, I can only use one, the top one). I fill the coffeemaker with water, put the coffee in the filter basket, and turn it on. Soon the aroma of coffee fills the room. But where is a coffee cup?
I look around the room and my gaze falls on the photo over the sofa. The one of an odd-looking room. Now that I really look at the photo, I realize that it is a photo of this room. In the corner it shows a small cabinet with a full pot of coffee atop it, and a coffee cup. I press the right upper corner of the frame and the photo tilts. I try the upper left corner and it tilts the other way. I could easily lift the photo off the nail it’s hanging on, but I continue to press the right and left corners over and over until the photo falls to the floor. There, on the wall, is a small alcove and nestled in this alcove is a coffeemug. Written on the mug is “I heart grandma”. I wonder what that means as I take the mug.
I go back to the coffeepot on the cabinet and fill the mug. I drink the coffee. Gradually, slowly, I begin to realize that this room is quite familiar. I walk to the door and, ignoring the keypad on it, open the door, which was apparently unlocked all this time. I walk through the door. I hear a voice say “congratulations, good end” and I wonder “Is a good end the best? Or is there a perfect end? If there is a good end, could there have been a bad end?” These thoughts will occupy my thoughts all day. For now, I’m off to buy new pillows. I’m out!