The Missing Gong

He arrived home and found the door open. He knew he had locked it when he left that morning, and he lived alone, something didn’t seem right. He walked into his home carefully, wondering if the intruder was still there. He walked around the home, hiding behind furniture, expecting to surprise someone, but the house was empty. The intruder had already left.

Only then he heard it for the first time, and he recognized quickly the sound of the wooden mallet hitting the brass, like an explosion. It was the sound of his gong, the gong that had belonged to his grandmother, and then to his mother, and for the past two years to him. He turned around to the coffee table and verified that the gong was missing, and then he heard the sound again.

He thought of calling the police, but decided this was a case he had to solve himself. He found it strange that someone would break in just to steal the gong, and leave everything else, including more valuable possessions, untouched. This had to be personal, he realized, but who could do it? None of his aunts had wanted the gong, and certainly not enough to steal it. The sound came back once more.

Only then he remembered the pieces of paper he had randomly found on his way to work for the last few months, and started wondering if they had anything to do with the missing gong. It had happened several times for the last few months, and he didn’t think much of it, and just figured it was a coincidence. On his way to and back from work pieces of paper with letters and number on them kept flying and landing on him. He didn’t know where they came from, or what they meant, or if it was just the wind.

He remembered what some of them said. One said “home”, one said “yesteryear”, another said “past”, and another only had the number “7” written on it. He usually put the pieces of paper on his coat pocket, to not throw them on the street, and then he would put them in a bowl by the door. He walked over to the bowl, but before he got there he knew he wouldn’t find them. The pieces of paper were gone as well. He heard the mullet hitting the brass one more time.

He put on his coat, opened the door, and started following the sound of his gong on the distance. He was going to get his gong back, outside the rain had started, and the sound of the gong filled the night.

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