Tales of the Storage Space, Part 38

Martin stood beside the front door he’d just opened, gazing at an undulating sea of blue uniforms.

Someone screamed, “Bloody!  Fucking!  Bitch!”

Ever so slowly, while this latest shock ate at him like a fast-acting acid, Martin realized he was the one who had screamed.

The closest cop said something just as Martin felt something in his mind so odd it felt physical.  It was as if a tectonic plate had shifted, slithering insidiously into some new position.  What had the cop said?  He couldn’t hear over the terrible ringing in his ears.  All he could do was seethe at the thought of that bloody, fucking Jennifer turning the tables on him and wonder what that grinding sound was…until he realized it was his teeth.

The closest cop said something Martin couldn’t understand again.  Could his terror and so much nightmare-interrupted sleep prevent him from understanding what was presumably English?

Another cop spoke loudly and very slowly.

“What?” Martin snapped.  ID.  They probably wanted his ID.  Martin looked down as he fished it out of his pocket and saw the floor beneath him was undulating just like all those blue uniforms.  Were those huge ants starting to crawl up his legs?  Or just shadows undulating like the cops and the floor?

Martin looked up and squinted, hoping it would help him to see straight, and for just a moment he was sure he detected something odd about their uniforms.  Meanwhile the cop who’d taken his ID shook his head and handed it back quickly.  Martin thought he heard someone laugh.  Then the first cop started in on what was obviously a canned speech of some sort, though Martin still couldn’t understand him.  Probably reading him his rights.

Suddenly the ringing in his ears climaxed and it wasn’t Jennifer he was seething over; it was himself.  How knackered was he to think for a moment that she wouldn’t obnoxious her way out of anything, including a murder rap?  Would picking up her dry cleaning and getting it up for her till he’d had the time to work out a viable way to get rid of her…or just discovered what was on her phone, damn it all to hell!…really have been so bad?

Gutted, he was completely bloody gutted!  The cop even said something Martin actually picked up vaguely about blessing his soul.  Then he shoved some papers in Martin’s face.

“It was self defense!  If I hadn’t killed him, Frank would have killed me!”  Martin wiped the foam from the corners of his mouth.

The undulating sea of blue uniforms undulated even faster, then seemed to get sparse and start to disappear.

And they were gone.  Martin glanced at the papers.  Subpoena?  Looked like bible quotes and a big-ass old cross at the top.

No matter.  Martin wasn’t taking any chances.  He grabbed a few things, tripped over the pink monster undulating its way across his vintage atomic-inspired rug, and ran out his back door.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 37

Jennifer knew she should feel ecstatic.  She had been so, so lucky to get the address of the “homeless man.”  What could be more important than retrieving her phone from the homeless woman who had stolen it from Jennifer…before herself being stolen and carried off by the “homeless man” with a snazzy Brooklyn address that included no apartment number?

Instead, Jennifer felt hungry in some weird way she didn’t understand at all.  Also, she felt all fidgety.  She kept thinking about blonde hair, chiseled cheekbones, and piercing green eyes.  Instead of being ecstatic over getting the address she needed so, so badly from that weird man, all she could do was pointlessly think, over and over again, about that weird man. Ridiculous.  She was being so unreasonable.

She started off toward the address he’d given her again.  The birds overhead interrupted this time, singing more beautifully than they ever had in her whole life.  Next thing she knew, she was leaning her cheek up against a tree, oddly aware of how the sun warmed it.  Ridiculous.  Utterly ridiculous.

A small, laughing child ran down the sidewalk stepping on Jennifer’s toe and reminding her that she was now barefoot.  So unreasonable.  So why was she laughing along with the child?

Why wasn’t she crying instead for those expensive shoes she’d lost?

What was that…song of some kind?…going through her mind?

Whose laughter was that?

Jennifer spun around.  Behind her was a woman in a wheelchair.  What the hell did she have to laugh about?  But there she was, bent over her withered legs because she was laughing so hard.  Finally she looked up at Jennifer.  “Honey, you’ve got it baa-aad!”

Jennifer had no idea what she was talking about.