Tales of the Storage Space, Part 101

The Storage Space felt…hollow, then chided itself.  Of course it felt hollow.  That was patently obvious.  It was, after all, a building.

Karen…

Gone…

The Storage Space would have felt utterly heartbroken, if only a building could…

“So there!”

Who was that woman?  Not Karen, surely.  The voice seemed a little deep, maybe not even a woman.

“More than god-awful.  Fifi, you’re a…  You’re a…”

Definitely a man speaking this time.  Though so slight of frame.  And with shoes that looked like rainbows.

“Really!”

The maybe-a-woman again, this Fifi who had pink hair…though rather of an anemic, not very well-done pink.  And enough make-up on to ascend the stage.  But the Storage Space didn’t care about whatever these two were doing in Unit 3, leaving all the garments they’d removed from each other to spill into the hall.  What the Storage Space cared about was…

“If all my boyfriend could do was fuss about his pregnant daughter going to the hospital, I really couldn’t be expected to wait any longer.  So I took action.  With you, Sebastian.  Really!”

Fifi of the pink hair yet again.  How dreadfully tiresome.  The Storage Space tuned Fifi and Sebastian out.  All it cared about was…

Karen…

Should it have let her know that she’d been wrong when she’d assumed that the love-of-her-life Frank had succeeded in killing Martin after she passed out?  That it had really been Martin that had killed Frank?

“Clumsy, Hank, clumsy.”

Yet another bottle clattered down the stairs to the reception area Sebastian and Fifi had deserted.  The eternally drunk Hank tripped and tumbled down the stairs after it, still mumbling to himself.

“What’s this?” Hank asked himself, picking something else up off the floor before standing and wobbling back upstairs with his bottle.  “A data stick?”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 100

Pat was thinking about his sexual preferences…or rather “their” sexual preferences, if “they” was going to stay in character as the sick perv “they” was pretending to be.  What else had that real “transgender” from the night before said?  Didn’t matter.  Especially when the she he was with now…no, the she “they” was with now…moaned and moved a bit, exposing even more of her thigh.

For a moment Pat wished more than anything that it was possible to reach farther and shove aside what little was still covering the booty on the opposite bed.  But there were other things to worry about.  Like how to convince the cops that “they” was…or was it “were”?…the victim in the violence the night before, not the perpetrator.

Still, handcuffed to a hospital bed and all, a smile was in order.  She of the luscious thighs…Karen was the name she’d given…had told enough about where priceless treasures were hidden behind the walls of a storage space facility that money shouldn’t be so hard to get in the future.

Which brought back the memory of the horror that was the night before.

It had started innocently enough.  Pat…a self-respecting, God-fearing heterosexual…had just trailed his mark a bit longer than usual, not sure whether it was a man or woman he was about to mug.  Which made it hard to plan accordingly.  Then he’d spotted the ideal alternative down a cross street…a young, rich-looking boy, his clothing alone worth a fortune…and switched to tailing him.  But when Pat made his move, he made two horrible discoveries:  1) the rich boy was some kind of martial-arts expert, and (2) the first mark he’d abandoned had then trailed Pat and was determined to protect the rich boy.

Pat’s body ached just thinking about it.  The rich boy was bad.  The abandoned first mark…who turned out to be a “transgender,” inspired by social consciousness to protect all other people…was even worse because “they” were all fired up by righteous indignation.  Finally the rich boy abandoned the battlefield, leaving poor Pat to listen to the transgender’s endless lecture on everything from the moral bankruptcy of mugging people to far more details than any self-respecting male would ever want to hear about transgender-ality.  What a relief when Pat recovered enough from the transgender’s kind ministrations to beat “them” into unconsciousness and snatch some of “their,” he gathered from the lecture, typically transgender articles of clothing.

A nurse heading toward him…”them” now…snapped Pat back into the present.  The bitch pulled the sheet all the way over Karen’s thigh on the way.  But at least there was still cause to smile over the results of Pat’s interrogation of Karen.  Mugging was now out; ripping storage space walls apart to find treasure was now in.

The nurse, tending Pat’s wounds, turned out to be a brute.  First they handcuff the victim of a rich boy’s hate crime to “their” hospital bed, then this? “they” thought, working on “their” indignation.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 99

Karen’s eyelids fluttered, trying to open.  Something was hurting her wrist.  She caught a brief glimpse of it handcuffed to the side of a hospital bed before her eyes closed again.

“Your name?”

Karen heard the voice, but couldn’t open her eyes at all now.  She felt like a dentist had turned the laughing gas up way too high.  Obviously sedated.  Still, she thought she was speaking aloud when she gave her name.

“Occupation?”

She gave it.  Whether aloud or not, she couldn’t tell.  Then her mind wandered under the sedation.  Occupation…  What had her occupation really been in life?  Not her job, certainly.  Beauty.  She’d so wanted to find beauty.  She’d found it with Frank.  But there was still so much ugliness elsewhere.  At first outside of, and then inside, that storage space building she’d at last escaped.  Where she’d actually imagined she heard the building itself, telling her of all its secrets, of all the treasures still hidden behind its corrugated metal walls.  Where Frank must have killed Martin and she herself had killed Irwin after he’d…  When her eyes fluttered open…  Had she seen fresh bandages on her old wounds and an intravenous, or was that wishful thinking?  How had she ended up handcuffed to a hospital bed?  Briefly she remembered…OMG it was Irwin!…telling her to stab that emergency worker in the back.

“So you didn’t kill Irwin after all?”

OMG what had she been babbling about?  Her head started to spin, but how could that be when she was already passed out.

“Social security number?”

Karen gave it.  Maybe she’d just imagined the previous question.

“Date of birth?”

She gave it.

“Sexual preferences?”

Huh???

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 98

Martin looked down at his handcuffs.  He couldn’t believe he’d told an officer of the law that the only place he could ever feel safe was prison.

Officer Ann Worth darted a look at him from across the police station.  The burly detective she was talking to turned to retrieve some forms he’s just printed. Officer Ann Worth, nee “No Name,” took the opportunity to mouth something at Martin.  She didn’t say it aloud, but he knew it was “Ma cushla.”  He still had no idea what it meant, but he knew it was from some overly macho Clint Eastwood movie.  That made it the final insult.  Rubbing it in whilst he was helpless in handcuffs.  May as well have called him the scrawny effeminate Brit she undoubtedly thought he was.  And with that fake heartbroken face to boot.

Martin didn’t have much.  Looking around, about the only thing he could think of that he had was that he wasn’thallucinating…not one teeny bit…and he didn’t see Jennifer.  But that was probably only because she was in a separate room in the police station, babbling her brains out…without even the vaguest nod to any extenuating circumstances…about how he’d killed Frank.  Well, he’d beaten her to the punch on that one; he’d already told that burly detective all about it.

He had included the extenuating circumstances, but the burly detective only raised an eyebrow and made the sarcastic remark that that explained why he’d notified the police immediately rather than fleeing 3,000 miles under an assumed name.

No, Martin didn’t have much.  And, yes, he was a scrawny effeminate Brit who’d taken too many hallucinogenic drugs when he was younger.  But he bloody well wasn’t going to let some cheap tart with that annoyingly broad American accent get the better of him.

Dear Ann was still staring at him with that fake heartbroken face, rubbing in that sarcasm by repeating “ma cushla” over and over again whilst the burly detective sorted all those bloody forms.

Martin drew himself up, raised an eyebrow and raked Ann Worth repeatedly with a look that would wither whole fields of crops on the vine.  If there was one thing a Brit had that no American could match, it was hauteur.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 97

Imogene couldn’t like understand why she was the one on a gurney, being like carried down the storage space building stairs. After effin’ all, one of the emergency peeps was the one bleeding all over the place, and that blonde cray cray bitch who’d thought Imogene was pregnant was the one crying as they dragged her down the stairs too.

Imogene started to laugh again, but then she spotted the look her father gave her when no one else was looking.

Imogene like didn’t have anything to laugh about. Except that, with a father like that, she was like very glad she’d never had a mother.

Real Life.

Her father looked away.

Imogene fumbled in her pocket, came up with a handful of data sticks that she thought had something to do with that elephant she’d broken, and found her phone.

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  U there?

Nothing from ^URS.

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  Really long sec!

Nothing from ^URS.

Imogene like didn’t have any effin idea of what to do. One of the effin emergency peeps tripped on the last stair.  One of the data sticks she hadn’t shoved all the way back into her pocket did a little dance across her gurney and clattered to the floor as they turned toward the front door.

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  Where R U?

Nothing from ^URS.

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  I like really need U!

Nothing from ^URS.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 96

The Storage Space thought it felt slithering again and would have been most horrified over what it gathered was the return of Le Grand Rat, but just then an extraordinarily noisy emergency vehicle made a deplorable mess of parking out front. Next a veritable horde of extremely inelegant individuals added to the racket by clattering up the stairs.

The teenager’s father was the first to address them: “You must save my darling daughter!”

Never, in all the years the Storage Space had been a grand old theatre, had it heard a line delivered with such utter and complete ineptitude.

The emergency workers each tried to question the teenager about her baby’s father, but she kept denying she was pregnant. They started murmuring among themselves about something called DNA testing.

The teenager’s father stiffened. “And, when the baby’s born, you can prove with DNA testing, or whatever it’s called, that my daughter was impregnated by…my wife’s boyfriend?”

Did one have to be firmly grounded in the theatre to pick up the telltale tremble of fear with which that last speech was positively riddled?

“Don’t you worry now…”

Remarkable that one of those inelegant intruders had a voice like silk.

“…we’ll find out who impregnated your daughter. But the thing to concentrate on now is… Hey!”

“I tripped!”

“If my colleague hadn’t moved like lightning, you would have hit your daughter…quite hard, I might add…in the lower abdomen!”

“Edward! Oh Edward!”

That last speech… Not the emergency worker with the sometimes silky voice that spoke last. Certainly not the inept pregnant teenager’s father. Her. Not speaking aloud yet. Way too small. Way too weak.

But just as the Storage Space wanted more than anything to concentrate on her, it found all it could concentrate on was Karen. Something about witnesses again. Oh it was all too tiresome. The Storage Space simply wouldn’t pay it any attention, simply chose not to think about it.

Karen raised the scalpel she somehow still had and plunged it into an emergency worker’s back.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 95

Irwin had played his cards right when he got out of that fucked-up storage space building.

Finally, in the gym two blocks away, one of the naked girls in the Women’s Communal Shower spotted him in his big green-snake shape. She screamed before slipping on the sudsy floor, failing to regain her balance, falling face down on the hard tiles, and starting to bleed while all the other naked girls screamed at the top of their lungs.

That was when Irwin really knew he’d played his cards right, because this could only be heaven.

But just then a naked man rushed in from the Men’s Communal Shower. “What’s wrong?” He spotted the bleeding girl. “Sonia!” He dashed over to scoop her off the floor, touching her huge titties as he did so and showing off what a big dick he had. “Sonia, darling, talk to me, please!”

Irwin desperately tried to distract him by turning into a green monster with an even bigger dick, but Sonia was unconscious and nobody else could see the dead.

The rest of the girls weren’t screaming anymore. Instead they’d turned off all the showers and were wrapping towels around themselves and getting dressed.

Maybe this wasn’t heaven.

He slithered out through the ventilation system with the last of the steam and found himself in a children’s playground next door. Two twin boys spotted him, and he had fun chasing them around till one of them collapsed, turning blue as he struggled to breathe. But his mother started screaming something about asthma, fixed it with an inhaler, and took them both away.

Next Irwin went off in search of drivers on the fastest roads who could see him, till he’d managed to cause what he was pretty sure was a fatal accident.

But somehow it wasn’t enough…

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 94

Karen hurried over to help Amelia with the laughing teenager, horrified by the circle of blood beneath her. The cop in Marie’s sweater joined them. Slyly, slowly the father joined them too.

No one else seemed to be in the building. Except every now and then between the teenager’s laughs Karen thought she might be hearing a man and a woman talking in reception…but it was so faint she wasn’t sure.

“I know I’m not your mother…” Amelia started.

“Never had one,” the teenager barked, before resuming her laughter.

“…but please lie down,” Amelia continued. “And please stop that constant laughing.”

Amelia tried to lean the teenager backwards until she was lying down, but the teenager fought…and the rate at which the circle of blood was growing increased.

“Lie down, Imogene…Sweetheart.” The father’s voice cracked, almost as if this soft voice was one he’d never used before and he didn’t quite know how to use it. It worked though, but in a way that surprised Karen.

In recoiling abruptly from her father, Imogene ended up flat on the floor. She also stopped laughing.

The growth of the circle of blood stopped.

“Could just be pooling inside her,” Amelia said to no one in particular.

Karen gulped, envisioning the discovery of Irwin’s body and other unpleasant consequences from more outside intervention, but still forced the words out: “Need an ambulance! Someone call 911!”

“Anyone know who and where the father is?” asked the cop.

Karen watched Imogene’s father stiffen at that, probably ready to kill the father of his daughter’s illegitimate child.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 93

Martin was still talking. And talking. And bloody talking. He was telling No Name all about all the money he stole from the charitable organization he and Jennifer both worked for, and how he’d stupidly told Jennifer about it. He was explaining how he needed the money to fund his addiction to gambling, and how he’d gotten more money from Frank, the really dangerous loan shark he’d killed. And how Frank had turned out to be the husband Martin’s friend-with-benefits Karen was escaping when she showed up at Martin’s apartment.

No Name’s hands were shaking when she handed him her first, home-made-for-him, vanilla latte.

It was terrible, but Martin took one look at Jennifer, who was still leaning against the wall where the T-rexes had been and guzzled it gratefully.

Glaring at Jennifer, he told No Name about how Jennifer had blackmailed him into getting back together with her, but that he’d found “stuff” on her phone that meant he was actually in the better position to blackmail her.

But for all that talking he knew there was something important he’d forgotten to say about killing Frank, something important about how he’d been justified, and something else important, something about No Name’s name.

“Mo chuisle! My darling!” No Name was all over him.

But what did something that she’d said came from some overly violent American Clint Eastwood film have to do with “my darling”? Something about her name… Something about her trying to trick him…

“Let me help you!”

Yeah, sure. Tears in her eyes and everything.

“No one else needs to ever know. We can go away!”

Where? And then it came in on him: Who was this No Name anyway? Women… Karen, married to Frank the ruthless loan shark. Jennifer… And now No Name? What did she want? Was he always so taken in whenever some woman was gobsmacked with him that he never saw women were nothing but trouble?

He swatted the vanilla latte, spilling the rest on the floor. And he talked even more, talk he felt sure would un-gobsmack her. He told her about his past over-indulgence in hallucinogenic drugs, what his parents said, and all the hallucinations he’d been seeing recently. Then he yelled at her for letting Jennifer into her bloody flat.

No Name wrinkled her brow, and looked around…obviously pretending she couldn’t see Jennifer. This made Martin furious. He tried to think quickly of some place, some possible place in his life, where no women would ever be allowed. “There’s only one place I’ll be bloody safe!” he yelled at her, amazed to find he was both yelling and crying at the same time. “Prison!”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 92

Imogene like felt the kicking and like felt all that gross blood like spilling out of her onto the floor. She even kind of heard something. Not out loud but in her mind. Something like a desperate plea. But she couldn’t stop laughing.

Real Life was funny! That’s what RL was! Funny!

“A summer’s day…”

It like hadn’t been said aloud. It was like part of that desperate plea. It was…funny!

There, there!”

It had been said aloud, in that beautiful voice the old woman holding her had. Amelia was her name. Then Amelia pressed Imogene’s head into the crook of her neck, forcing Imogene to close her eyes. At first she smelled bandaging and Bacitracin but then something funny happened…not really happened, just in her mind like that desperate plea…and there was the scent of a different woman sparking odd…were they memories of a snuggly long ago when someone else sang to her?

She was being rocked, still imagining things…like that Amelia, the source of the desperate plea, and that different woman were all three singing to her. But a harsh thought she couldn’t quite grasp broke the spell, something about how someone might never again hold her tight.

She felt something like shadows shift about in her mind. Something like optical illusions first appeared one way, then another.

Imogene grabbed at one of the shadows in her mind, something from long ago. Part of it seemed to slip through her fingers such that she might never again grasp it, but she did come away from it feeling like a child and did remember that she always liked shiny things.

“Where’s something more I can use to keep her warm? Like a blanket.”

Amelia speaking. Everyone else was looking around, away from Imogene, who’d flickered back to the present at the sound of Amelia’s voice but now slipped back to being the child who liked shiny things. An…elephant…that’s what it was next to her. Broken. But a bunch of shiny things had fallen out of it. Imogene grabbed a few when no one was looking.

“Nothing? No blankets anywhere?”

Amelia’s voice again. Imogene saw she was holding a handful of data sticks she absentmindedly crammed into her pocket before she slipped back to being a very small child who squirmed because her diaper needed to be changed.

“Blood! Look at the floor!”

Amelia…

“She’s miscarrying!”

Shadows shifted about in Imogene’s mind again. An optical illusion snapped the other way. Like who was like miscarrying? It couldn’t like be her because she wasn’t pregnant. Those pains were effin’ menstrual cramps. Where was her phone? Where was ^URS? These others were like ridiculous. Real Life was ridiculous. They were talking about her mother. RL was so funny. Imogene laughed and laughed and laughed some more. Didn’t they know she’d never like ever had a mother?