Tales of the Storage Space, Part 77

Imogene was laughing so hard over the shots ^URS was firing at finstagram “sincerity,” in between sending pics with funny Snapshot filters, that Imogene like knocked the effin’ elephant over.

It like clattered to the floor, cray cray noisy with all that shit rattling around inside.  And a leg looked crooked.  Maybe it was like broken.

And just then her phone screen went black, and she like effin’ remembered she’d forgotten to plug it in before going to bed the night before.

“Effin’ battery!”

Imogene jumped, startled at the sound of her own voice echoing around the teeny storage unit.  That made whatever was inside the elephant rattle more.

Then there was silence.

Imogene like forgot about the battery and looked back at her phone, all ready to laugh at something new from ^URS.

Only darkness.

Normally she’d like run out of there as effin’ fast as she could and like ask the first person she saw if they had a cord so she could recharge.

But she like had to get at least some of those effin’ carvings out of that effin’ storage space or her effin’ father would kill her.

But she couldn’t move.  She felt so strange.  The walls, the carvings…they were all…like…staring at her.  Everything in RL was so…big.  So…not in her hand.

And she was even starting to hear things, like stumbling noises, and she was sure she heard some guy say, “Clumsy, Hank, clumsy.”

Then she started to see them, the Snapchat filters all over the walls, all over the carvings.  She laughed at Snapchat’s bunny ears on one of the carvings.  She felt much better.

Only thing was, they were all the same color:  a weird, misty green.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 76

The Storage Space was dreadfully upset on behalf of poor long-suffering Karen, who had turned as white as a sheet.

But then the poor, long-suffering Storage Space shuddered again, and again, and again…though by all rights a building shouldn’t be able to shudder in quite that same, animated if you will, way.  Shift perhaps, reverberate in response to some subterranean influence or other, but not that quick animated shudder.  Well, really, would its next move be a sneeze or a soliloquy?

That slithering again, then something nice again, a gentle prompt to comfort Karen.  But the Storage Space was beginning to recognize a pattern.

So it waited.

And waited.

No odd thoughts.  No inappropriate language.  At last it relaxed just as the female detective and the old woman turned from their conversation to notice, as the Storage Space had previously, poor Karen’s condition.


That single word, directed toward dear Karen with the utmost compassion, had come from three different sources at once, in perfect harmony.  It was as if a conductor had prompted it from an orchestra.  The lowest, though nowhere near as low as her previous speaking voice, was that female detective.  The Storage Space rather liked to think of itself as a rare countertenor, though of course it hadn’t spoken aloud but rather spoken directly into Karen’s mind and, it hoped, her heart.

But of course the pièce de résistance was Amelia’s gorgeous soprano, perhaps so high because she seems genuinely shocked to find Karen in such a state.  She went on, dropping to a richly resonant contralto, “You don’t want this extraordinarily kind officer of the law to get to the bottom of whatever’s going on around here?”

Her voice was a veritable symphony.  What remained of the grand old stage, hid under the stair creaked so deeply it was as if a lion purred.  The poor, long-suffering Storage Space was feeling positively languid.

But the “kind officer” had stiffened after her last speech, as if she had been caught committing a crime when she spoke in a voice nowhere near as low as her previous speaking voice.  Finally, with renewed vigor and her usual deep voice, she resumed her interrogation of the old woman Amelia.

Meanwhile the Storage Space comforted Karen the only way it knew how to comfort itself, with tales rich with the extraordinary, and long since gone, elegance of the 19th century.



The Storage Space paused after another odd shudder, cautious and waiting, but instead of odd, nonsensical thoughts and inappropriate language there was an eerie silence.  It was about to go on describing the glories of a curricle with a matched pair of greys, when it noticed Karen’s face flipping between terror and a rebelliousness that suggested she was having an argument with herself.  Then, just for a moment as if the volume had been turned up too high but was quickly corrected, the Storage Space heard the words “tell them!” inside itself.

The detective was grilling Amelia about Le Grand Rat!

Karen leapt up to grab both of the detective’s hands.  “Irwin no longer works here because I killed him.”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 75

Marie congratulated herself for converting “fabuloso” to “fabulous”…and even thinking of lowering her voice.  Still, much as she liked to credit herself with everything, she did have to concede that that plastic surgeon who worked for the cops deserved some credit.

Karen…  Marie’d given up everything, even her face, to protect her very best, friends-forever, fabuloso buddy.  It was all Marie could do to stop herself from giggling with glee over the discovery that Karen’s status of missing hadn’t meant that Karen’s crazy husband Frank had gotten her killed.  That crazy husband Frank who Marie had felt terrible about sleeping with, but it was the only way to worm the information she needed out of him so she could convince the cops of her suspicions about his business dealings.  Heart-wrenchingly horrible when Karen walked in on them?  You bet!  But Marie knew enough by then to know that Karen’s leaving Frank was very much for the best.

Karen…  It was just so damn good to see her!  But she knew she had to keep that off her face and looked down, hurting her still-sore face…which was when she noticed her own sweater.  How could she have been stupid enough to wear the friggin’ sweater Karen made her, even if she did practically live in it?  But the cops’ plastic surgeon deserved even more credit, since apparently Karen hadn’t even recognized her with the sweater.

Thing was, Karen’s crazy husband’s status was also missing.  Marie ached to tell Karen who she was but was afraid for Karen.  After sobering up and realizing what he told Marie, what might Frank have to do to Karen if he thought she’d talked to Marie?

“Can we help you?”

It was the other, older woman in a bathrobe.  Damn.  Marie had heard of jobs with casual Fridays, but this was ridiculous.  Still, her voice was stunningly gorgeous.  However, now that Marie was coming off the high of having found Karen alive, she was wondering how both apparent employees of this storage space had gotten so badly beat up.

“Rough hood here, huh?”

Both Karen and the older woman looked confused by her question.  No matter.  It was showtime.

“Listen, ladies,” started Marie, carefully keeping her voice lower than usual and doing all possible to use words and phrases Karen wouldn’t recognize.  “I’m Detective Marsha Smith.”  She flipped open some phony ID.  “Homicide.  Here to ask you some questions about some alleged occurrences at this storage space.”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 74

Karen’s eyes were still half-closed, but she was beginning to feel something so unfamiliar, so alien, that it startled her and sent a little shiver up her spine.  As the pain receded from the homeless woman’s ministrations, Karen was just barely beginning to feel, ever so slightly…better.

Some confused thoughts about how this might improve her upper-body strength, witnesses, and jugular veins slithered through her consciousness, but a spurt of joie de vivre pushed aside what she wrote off as random subconscious nonsense.

Grateful.  What she was feeling was grateful.  So grateful she could even forgive…

Her thought was interrupted for a moment with some more nonsense she didn’t understand about the person she’d been thinking of forgiving being a witness if she’d just come inside.  And another stray bit of absurdity about “great titties.”  Then she shivered again when her thought about forgiving her best-friend Marie for sleeping with Frank returned with such force that she could envision every elaborate cable stitch of the sweater she had knit for Marie stretched tight across Marie’s chest.


That sweater…

Karen hadn’t even remembered that intricate cable pattern; it had been so long ago.

She drowsed, half dreaming, half remembering.  Ski trip.  They’d gone for the majestic beauty of the snow-covered mountains.  Everyone else in their tour group had gone to flirt with each other.  Stuck in the lodge with a cacophony of lame boasts about mythological skiing triumphs, lamer jokes, and canned laughter, Karen and Marie had cuddled up together on a window seat, watching the mountain’s silhouette against the night sky.  It was then that Karen gave Marie the sweater.  Marie burst out with the pet word she always used when pleasantly surprised:  “Fabuloso!”

Karen’s eyes flew open to the lobby of the storage space when she actually heard:  “Fabulo…”  The first thing she saw of the speaker who’d suddenly cut herself off, was the sweater on the other side of the counter.  Giggling with glee, she looked up just as the speaker resumed.

But two things were wrong:  First, instead of continuing to say Marie’s pet word, the speaker said in a voice suddenly too low to be Marie’s, “Fabulous facility you have here.”  Second, her face absolutely could not be Marie’s.