Tales of the Storage Space, Part 143

Tommy like already had his hand on his tablet, wondering if he should admit that it was his and shit, when Wizened Woman announced she had “dreadful news” to tell Imogene.

The woman looked down at the tablet she was holding, then turned to look up at him with ruthless RL eyes.

“I’m…”  Tommy paused.  Would they let Imogene out of this fucked-up excuse for a hospital once they heard that she was still convinced that she wasn’t pregs and shit?  He puffed himself up as much as he could.  “…her therapist.”

Wrong move!  As he both remembered his age and watched the complete disbelief spread across Wizened Woman’s face, he felt like he’d just died some hideous death in Minecraft with no hope of respawning.  Then he factored in that they didn’t know each other, and he wasn’t wearing anything that identified him as staff.  “Not really, I know.  But for all intents and purposes I am.  I’m…”  He gave her a warm, conspiratorial smile, choosing his next word carefully.  “…family.”

“You should never have given her her tablet!” snapped the woman, though she released it to him.

Tommy stood his ground.  Quickly enlarging the font on his tablet to monster-sized, he remembered sneaking a look at Imogene’s chart when no one was in the nurses’ station.  “The doctors told me she’s okay now medically and that…”  The next words slipped out before he knew what he was saying.  “…our baby is safe.”

Wizened Woman frowned and started like riffling through her paperwork, probably looking for any prior mention of the baby’s father.

Imogene’s eyes, looking past Wizened Woman to stare at him, had snapped so wide they looked like they were going to pop out.  Tommy wondered which of his words had caused the stronger reaction, “baby” or “our.”

As if all this shit wasn’t enough, Tommy thought he caught sight of a green mist seeping in through the window but ignored it.  “So,” he continued loudly, hoping Wizened Woman wouldn’t examine her paperwork too carefully.  “Now that the big secret’s out and we’re reunited, Imogene needs to start facing a lot of reality before our baby is born, and the internet was a way to ease into that, right?”

Wizened Woman didn’t look like any too convinced and all, but she did turn back to Imogene.

For a sec the room turned…green.  Tommy found himself envisioning a 19th century theatre and batting at something that seemed to be swirling around his eyes.

“Anyway, my darling Imogene,” the woman was saying, “perhaps I should start by sharing the bad news with you.  It’s about your mother.”

Imogene looked blank.

Tommy remembered she’d not only denied the baby’s existence but also her mother’s.  He started typing on his tablet.

Wizened Woman continued.  “I know she was in prison for treating you tremendously, tremendously badly, so I’m not sure this news will fall on the most sympathetic ears, but when her allegation that the guards were repeatedly beating her fell on deaf ears, she managed to hang herself.”

Imogene still looked blank.  “That’s impossible.  I don’t have a…”

Behind Wizened Woman’s back, Tommy was gesturing wildly at the tablet he held up so Imogene could see it.  In monster-sized letters, it read:  DON’T LET HER NO U NEVER HAD A MOTHERR

Imogene frowned.

Tommy typed a new message.

Wizened Woman asked, “Don’t have a what, my darling?”

Tommy held up:  OR THEY NEVER LET U OUTT AND PEEPS GET KILLED HEREE

Imogene stammered, “Have a…  Have a…  I like don’t know what I was saying.”

“You understand, my darling, that your mother is…most assuredly regrettably no matter what she did or did not do…dead?”

Tommy nodded his head furiously behind the woman’s back.

“Yes,” said Imogene, but she looked completely undisturbed by this news.

The woman looked at her for a while.  “Well, my darling, perhaps, under the circumstances, your reaction…or, should I say, lack of reaction…isn’t altogether astonishing.  Moving on, though it strikes me as a tad abrupt of me, shall we talk about your baby?”

Tommy was like typing furiously again, despite the return of that fucking green mist:  TELL HER WE’LL NAME BOY EDWARD OR GIRL CHARLOTTE AMELIA

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 142

Imogene like actually smiled at Tommy, not his tablet, when he walked into her room and handed it to her.  But then she started to feel all funny, like effin’ queasy and her cheeks were on fire, so she clutched the tablet and signed into Snapchat.  Still it was like she could feel him breathing or some such stupid shit while he got busy on his phone.

WTFwasImogeneCoca: U there?

^URSunPC&proud:  wheree the fuck else wud i b

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  Dunno.  MayB playin Minecraft on yr fon like Tommy.

Was it her imagination, or did Tommy freeze for a moment? 

^URSunPC&proud:  we shudd both get the fuck off our devices and try real life

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  ??????????????  U like always always say this BETTER THAN RL!!!!!!

There was a long pause, long enough for Imogene to worry about the tablet’s internet connection.

^URSunPC&proud:  i was wrongg

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  ???????????????????

^URSunPC&proud:  try tommy not mee

WTFwasImogeneCoca:  I’d off myself in heartbeat if ever lost U.

Imogene was like a whole effin’ lot more than queasy; sobs convulsed her.  She heard somebody’s footsteps in the hall.

“That’s one reason the hospital was supposed to keep you off the internet, lest anything upset you!”

Imogene had to like blink her tears back to see who’d spoken.

A wizened older woman she’d never seen before came into the room and sat down on her bed.  “Anyway, my darling, it is my decided privilege to be the bearer of extremely glad tidings.”

Lose ^URS again?  Imogene could like hardly listen while the woman introduced herself as a social worker or hospital administrator or some effin’ shit.

“Anyway, my darling, I will need to relieve you of that for the time being.”  She firmly snatched the tablet from Imogene’s clutching hands.  “But you will have it back all too soon, I fear.  You’ve been cleared for potential release!  Still, we’ll need to be sure you’re prepared to adequately tend to your baby before final approval and…”  Here she paused and suddenly looked all effin’ melodramatically somber and shit.  “I’m afraid I have some truly dreadful news to tell you.”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 141

The Storage Space didn’t even care when it felt slithers again.  If, and only if, it had cared enough to feel anything, it would have welcomed those slithers.

But it was an altogether more elegant ghost, that Shakespearean actor Edward, that was, at present, hogging center stage.  Not that elegance was…now…any less tiresome than slithers.  The Storage Space would have yawned over the excruciating tedium of it all if only a building could yawn.  Better yet, it would have ended the excruciating tedium of it all…without any absurd theatrics such as pistols held to the forehead it didn’t have, a simple wrecking ball would do…if only a building could commit suicide.  Or commit, or do, anything.  Anything at all.

That fiend!

Edward the Ghost. Was that the best Shakespearean descriptive he could muster when reliving, yet again, his rival for her affections shoving Edward off a catwalk to his death? No longer even caring enough to exert any effort to ignore him, the Storage Space was surprised to learn that Edward not only blamed his rival for his own death but also blamed him for hers..for which, in fact, Edward himself was responsible.

Her…  What was her full name?  Playbills pirouetted through the Storage Space’s memory: Charlotte Amelia Booth.

Slither.  Who cares?

Indeed, agreed the Storage Space though, of course, the ghost of Le Grand Rat didn’t hear it.

Slither, slither, slither.

What was Irwin up to? the Storage Space wondered idly.

Then, against its will, it found itself concentrating on the most detestable creature of all, Karen.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 140

The Champ looked up from pouring through the contents of the remaining data sticks when he heard a woman in reception scream, “Fuck you!”  The Champ frowned, knowing he’d heard that voice before but not immediately remembering where/when.  But then he shrugged.  Whoever she was, he could handle it.  He could always handle it, whatever it was, and he always, always came out on top.

Like getting his wife convicted for his beating their pregnant daughter right here in this motherfuckin’ storage-space building.  And, speaking of mother fucking, he’d had so much fun getting Imogene pregnant.  He wondered how soon he could have fun with his grandchild…

Thinking about that got The Champ in the mood and he went back to the data stick he’d been checking through, glad that…in addition to all that election-tampering shit…he’d backed-up at least some of his extensive collection of kiddie porn.

“Excuse me.”

Motherfucker, thought The Champ, the hand he’d been using elsewhere jerking toward the Beretta 3032 Tomcat he always, always kept in his pocket.  Palm-sized but lethal, and he knew how to use it and had done so many, many times…like that little kid he’d found all alone in a park who hadn’t wanted him to have fun.  Cops never even got close to figuring that one out.

But then he saw it was only that old bitch, Amelia.

“Didn’t mean to disturb you but did want to congratulate you on getting your wife convicted and sent off to prison for life.  Must have been hard for you, but I for one am so happy to know she’ll no longer be a threat to either Imogene or her baby.  But you should now get your daughter out of that hospital…right away.  I’ve always heard it was the very worst-imaginable hospital but seeing what it must have done to poor Karen’s mind is the ultimate proof.”

The Champ rubbed his chin in thought.  Kiddie porn could only take him so far.  Imogene home?  His grandchild on the way?  That would really, really be fun.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 139

Karen heard a hysterical mother behind her, repeatedly screaming “Suzy Q” just as a little girl brushed past her and ran into the street.  A car screeched and swerved all over the place in its attempts to avoid what would most probably be a fatality.

Karen didn’t bother to watch the outcome.  She was busy on her phone, as boldly as possible offering sex to her old boss if he’d take her back after her very-long unscheduled absence…while dragging her suitcase back to her fuckin’ storage unit so she could pick up the rest of her shit.

She heard a thud, suggesting impact.

“Fuck you!”

“What?”

“Not you, sir!  So sorry!”  Karen tried to think of a lie to cover her outburst, which had been directed toward a jealous ghost of Frank that she’d imagined was protesting her offering her old boss sex.  Just then the hysterical mother, now sobbing, pushed past her.  “Some fuckin’ asshole on the sidewalk just about knocked me over.”

“But your language, Karen!  I don’t ever recall your using such language!  Or being so…er…forward.”

“That Karen’s lost and gone forever, sir!  And I think you’ll find this one is a whole hell of a lot more fun.”

“But you know ours is an ultra-conservative investment banking firm.  ‘Old sport’ and all that.  Honestly, my dear, you never before showed the slightest interest in the business itself, let alone any of the ‘stuffy’ people involved…like me…or the clients.  Which is why I had you doing due-diligence number crunching in a back office.”

“So you know how demure and discreet I can be.  Doesn’t mean you, and maybe some of our very best clients, wouldn’t like to…er…enjoy themselves a bit from time to time.”

“Karen!”

“Come on!  What’s a little unscheduled time off?  I remember how you used to look at me.  And I’ve changed.  I can still crunch numbers for you, but you’ll also see I’ve learned a whole hell of a lot about things that have nothing to do with crunching numbers.  Think about it.  I’ll call back soon.”

Fuck you!  But this time she only thought it silently at the now-apparently-apoplectic ghost of Frank as she got off the phone with her old boss.  Then she pushed her way through the door to the storage space building, ignoring the siren she heard behind her…probably an ambulance…possibly more accurately referred to as a meat wagon in this case…and totally ignoring the stupid exposed wood carvings around it that she vaguely remembered liking at one point.

She was immediately assaulted by alien thoughts, not her own:  Enter Center Stage:  The Consummate Appalling Creature.  Whilst I now concur completely about all that appalling old-theatre rubbish, there is one thing in this miserable world that is even more “stupid,” and that is you!

Fugettaboudit!  Karen had had enough with her imagined Frank ghost without still imagining she could hear the thoughts of a building.  Next she’d be communing with that Irwin she’d killed.

Murderer!

“Fuck you!”  Karen had screamed it aloud this time.  To a fuckin’ building!  The smile that had greeted her from that homeless bitch Amelia now wavered.