The Mystery of the Missing Keys

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Kevin ate dinner at Galiema's Restaurant less then 5 minutes ago. When he goes back to look for his car keys, it does not exist anymore. Did Kevin travel to the future, paying the price for challenging a scientist...or is it just all a bad dream...



The Mystery of the Missing Keys


Sharief Hendricks

"Thank you for another delicious meal Miss Galiema. Please also pass my compliments to the chef as usual. Before i forget, i must just mention that the lady at the entrance to your restuarant was so warm and friendly," said a satisfied and slightly over eaten Kevin.

"So, Kevin, how was your meal today, hope it was as satisfactory as when you visited us the last time?” said the owner, Galiema.

“Oh yes, Miss Galiema, as always your food was amazing! Of all the Halaal restaurants around, you certainly make the most delicious butter chicken,” said Kevin wiping the curry from the corners of his mouth.

"Thank you, Kevin, that means a lot to me being a new entrepreneur and restaurateur in this big Mall. It was such a big challenge to make this dream of mine a reality and to get all the necessary permits and approvals. Thanks to repeating customers like you and the other happy hungry patrons, our first month is a successful one,” said Miss Galiema.

“The meal was wonderful, and I especially enjoyed the chicken kebabs,” giving the owner a double thumbs up.

“It is our pleasure, Kevin, please come again soon,” said Miss Galiema grinning from ear to ear.

“I certainly will Miss Galiema.”

Kevin left Galiema's Halaal Restaurant and made his way to the parking lot. His car was not where he parked it. It had moved.

"I could have sworn I parked further from the doors," he whispered to himself. “That's strange. Where are my car keys? I just had them a moment ago,” grabbing at his pockets. “Restaurant!” he said excitedly as he snapped his fingers.

Kevin rushed back to the restaurant only to find it closed. He peeked through the glass doors that he'd walked through not even five minutes ago.

“How can they be closed?” He squinted his eyes trying to spot someone familiar, all that came into view was the mall security guard.

“Excuse me, I left my keys inside Galiema's Restaurant and they must have just closed. Where are the staff or where can I find the owner, Miss. Galiema?”

The guard scanned Kevin like he would a suspect that spoke with a slurred intoxicated tongue, "sir, are you ok?"

“Yes, I’m fine, said Kevin, “I ate at Galiema's Halaal Restaurant earlier and I think I left my keys there but now they are closed.”

The security guard with a look of amusement on his face asked, “sir, have you been drinking tonight?”

"No man, why do you want to know that? Everybody knows Galiema's Restaurant does not sell alcohol. Why are you asking me all these questions instead of answering mine?” Said Kevin throwing his hands in the air and shaking his head.

“Ok, sir calm down. To answer your question, Galiema's Restaurant is not open, it is still closed."

"Yes man, I can see that and that's what I have been trying to tell you all along, I left there five minutes ago and now they are closed."

"No sir, you don't understand, they are “still” closed. They have not “opened” for business yet."

"Ok, I don't know what you on about. I am telling you I was there a few minutes ago."

The security guard pointed to the glass doors of Galiema's Halaal Restaurant and said calmly, "please go and read the sign on the door sir."

Kevin approached the glass doors of Galiema's Halaal Restaurant and this time he looked around slowly as he surveyed the entrance like a land surveyor, contemplating the landscape in front of him and plotting how it is to be developed. Then for the first time, he saw the sign in big bold letters: "OPENING SOON!"

"How can this be? I was just here.” Kevin mumbled as he checks his wristwatch again.

The security guard must have called the Mall Management because in the reflection of the glass doors Kevin saw a well-dressed man behind him. Then the man spoke.

"Sir, is everything ok?"

Kevin responded while still looking into the emptiness behind the dusty glass doors, "I, I am not sure, I don't know what is going on?” He said rubbing his forehead hoping to make sense of it all.

“Don't worry sir, come sit on the bench, I will have someone bring you some water.”

"Sir, please tell me exactly what happened?"

Kevin breathed in as much air as he could cramp into his lungs before letting it all out making his thin lips dance.

"Ok, I ate dinner here at this restaurant earlier tonight. I thanked the waitress and spoke to Miss. Galiema the owner and Manager.”

The man interrupted him.

“Sir, you say you ate here at this restaurant earlier tonight?”

“Yes, I did, then I went to my car and my car was not where I parked it. I realised that I don't have my keys and that I must have left it at the restaurant. I returned to the restaurant, but it was closed. The guard told me the restaurant has not opened for business yet and told me to read the sign. That's when you found me.”

The man asked, "can I call anyone for you?"

"No thank you, I think I just need a minute to gather myself."

"Take your time sir and if you need anything, Samson over there will keep an eye on you. Speak to him should you need anything,” said the Mall Manager gesturing in the direction of the guard. The man nodded and got up and disappeared in the direction he came from. Kevin sat on the bench watching everybody go about their business then he needed to address his dry throat. He entered the shop next to Galiema's Halaal Restaurant, a sweets shop called “Candy Land”. He attempted his best “I’m ok smile” at the cashier.

"Hello, one bottled water please.”

“The water is in the fridge just behind you Kevin,” she said, chewing gum open mouthed.

“How do you know my name, have we met before?"

"it’s stuck to your shirt for everyone to see," said the cashier raising her eyebrows towards his chest and popping a gum bubble.

The blue sticker with his name written on it in marking pen was peeling off but hung on for dear life refusing to be discarded. He remembered that sticker and the dry marker he scribbled his name with. It was from a presentation that gave him a headache then and now as he replayed that day’s events. It was called the “Likelihood of Time Travel”, “LOTT” for short as explained by the Speaker who Kevin had questioned intensely.

He wondered how the old sticker got there, it must have peeled over to this shirt when he folded his shirts. He could not recall which shirt he wore. He thought back to last month when he did not want to attend the Presentation but had to because it was the boss’ event. He recalled that he tried to ridicule the Speaker because he was an ardent non-believer. He could not, however, remember anything that happened after the speaker invited him onto the stage and put him inside the one-person cubicle. When the Speaker closed the door, he had a sinister vengeful smile on his face almost as if to get back at Kevin, for mocking him.

The cashier popped another gum bubble that brought Kevin back to the Candy Land Sweets. He stepped out of the sweets shop and was relieved to see John, a work colleague.

"Thank goodness I found you, Kevin,” said, John huffing as he tugged on Kevin’s arm.

“I think I'm going insane John!” Said Kevin fighting back the tears.

"Hey Kevin, calm down dude, you look a bit pale. Are you alright?"

“John, I don't know what is going on."

Kevin explained the night's events as it happened, and John took in this seemingly tall but interesting tale.

"Then I bumped into you now John."

“So, Kevin, you think you ate at Galiema's Halaal Restaurant tonight? Dude that is just impossible. You and I are waiting patiently for it to open next month so we can get authentic butter chicken, remember?” Said John placing his arm around Kevin’s neck and gave it a light squeeze.

“John, I swear to you I ate there tonight, and it wasn't the first time either, I even know the owner now, miss Galiema.” Kevin freed himself from John’s overly tight grip.

"Kevin, listen to yourself. That is not possible unless you are trying to say that you travelled into the future?”

“I know what happened to me tonight John.”

"Kevin, listen to me. You gave me your car keys to keep before you went on the 'LOTT' Stage today, remember? The speaker that you annoyed so, said no metal objects or cellphone, remember? That is why I came back here when I realised, I still had your car keys and cellphone," John’s shoulders took on a life of its own as he cracked himself up.

"John, but that Conference was a month ago.”

“Kevin, that Conference was a few hours ago."

"You said you going to stay in the Mall for a few hours Kevin, that’s how I knew where to find you. Think Kevin, where did you go after the “LOTT” Presentation?"

Kevin tugged on his lip then nibbled on a fingernail.

"Ah!” Snapped his fingers.

“I remember John, I watched that new Foreign Language film."

Then John said, “that the slow drama with subtitles I told you about that bored me to sleep?"

"Yes John, I wanted to see for myself, if it was as bad as you said.”

“And so how was it, Kevin?"

"I only remember the start I think."

"That means you fell asleep just like I did in the cinema and you must have dreamt you ate at Galiema's, right?"

Kevin paused for a moment. “I guess you right, I probably dozed off."

Kevin arrived home and grabbed a drink from the fridge and studied his notes on his fridge calendar and his eyes zoomed in on the big red circle around, “LOTT WORK SEMINAR”

Date:12 MAY 2020

Later that evening, Kevin came out of the shower and removed his clothes from the bed. A small white object was out of place with only the top part of it visible in his shirt pocket.

“A receipt?”

Card Payment Approved

$ 89.99c

Thank you for dining at Galiema's Halaal Restaurant

Where Quality food is served in large Quantity!

Thank you for your patronage

Payment Receipt # 00542159000

Date: 12 June 2020


The End

















Submitted: June 03, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Bert Broomberg

A really nice, attention grabbing story.

Wed, August 12th, 2020 1:11pm


Thanx so much Bert for reading and for the positive comment, its really appreciated !

Also a big thank you Bert for the amazing advice you gave me on PM, I am putting it to use immediately.

This is a really helpful site for beginner writers like myself and its all thanx to selfless writers like you that offer your knowledge, time and experience so freely !!

Thank you sir !

Wed, August 12th, 2020 7:25am

Jeff Bezaire

I like the way you handled time travel in this story - a subtler, more realistic approach always makes the subject more interesting; the initial confusion, then everything comes together.

Tue, November 17th, 2020 2:37am


Thanx soooo much Jeff

Yes, you are spot on, I did not want to
make it an elaborate and unbelievable Sci fi story...I wanted it to be closer to reality...and of course to create just that little bit of doubt...

Thanx again Jeff for your feedback and valuable insight, it means more than you know to me coming from you sir !!

Tue, November 17th, 2020 12:12am


A one Mr. Kevin, safe and sound at home at the end of a nightmare. Kevin finally found the proof he was searching for but at what cost? File this one under "P" for the twilight zone!

Sat, May 15th, 2021 8:50pm


Thanx so much for reading Penetentman and for the awesome comment...

Yes, this was a fun write for me and I am so happy when I "discover" the reader enjoyed the puzzle...

Thanx again

Mon, May 17th, 2021 12:22am

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