Set in the near future, in dystopianMelbourne, Australia, The Lost Thing is a story about Shaun who enjoys collecting bottle tops for his bottle top collection. One day, while collecting bottle tops near a beach, he discovers a strange creature, that seems to be a combination of an industrial boiler, a crab, and an octopus. This creature is referred to as "The Lost Thing" by the narrator.
Shaun realizes the creature is lost and out of place. He attempts to find its owner but is not able to, due to the indifference of everyone else. As he is looking for the creature's owner, he is met by a creature who gives him a business card with an arrowhead sign on it. After searching much of the city for the sign, which they find all across the city, Shaun is able to find the sign and follows it to a similarly utopian land for lost things, where he returns the creature, and continues on with his life - although he was unable to say whether the creature really belonged there.