Tales of the Storage Space, Part 107

Imogene had like two effin’ choices, stare at the still-wet, water-leak stain on the acoustical tile right over her head or stare at her ugly sleeping roommate with, like, gray skin and no effin’ hair.

Finally the door slammed open again.

Imogene prayed it was the super-sexy-cute guy again.  Or even that nurse that was always Draking…if she brought a TV.

It wasn’t either of them.

It was a cop.  Almost as old as her roommate.  He pulled a chair over next to Imogene, took out a tablet, and like blabbed a bunch of dumb preliminaries before getting down to it.  “I understand, little lady, that you came in with another patient?”

“Cray cray bitch from the storage space building?”  Imogene was wondering if she could get to Snapchat on that tablet…

“Excuse me?”

“That blonde bitch.  Cray cray.  Def not woke.”

“Actually the young lady in question is no longer asleep.”

“Like I didn’t mean like literally asleep…”

“And quite upset.  Won’t stop screaming.”  He rolled his eyes and looked disgusted.  “Thinks she saw a ghost.”

“Like I say, totally, like completely, cray cray.”

“‘Cray cray’?”

“Crazy!  Don’t you know anything?” Imogene snapped, then caught herself.  “Like, sorry, officer, but I like get carried away because like that cray cray…sorry…really truly totally crazy bitch is always at that storage space building, like works there, and is so def not woke…that means so definitely completely out of it…that she thinks all kinds of cray…crazy things and was probably so out of it that she thought she was helping when she like stabbed that guy with that scalpel!”

The officer didn’t respond, too busy struggling to take notes on a tablet he was obviously def not woke about using.

So there, thought Imogene, that should get that cray cray bitch locked up for, like, forever.  She turned away to look back up at the still-wet, water-stain on the acoustical tile right over her head.

“That poor, beautiful blonde…”

Compassion?  Understanding?  Those were like not at all the effin’ responses Imogene was expecting.  Or wanted.  She was about to look back towards the cop, and maybe think of something else she could say to make the cop hate that cray cray bitch as much as she did, when a drop of water splashed right into her eye.

“And in the worst hospital in the city,” said the cop sympathetically.

Imogene looked back at the cop.  He looked up from the tablet and clapped a hand to his mouth, like he hadn’t realized he’d been talking aloud.  She was pretty sure his sympathy over the effin’ hospital hadn’t been about leaky ceilings but about that effin’ cray cray bitch Karen.

Imogene could have screamed.  She opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t think of anything to say, so she turned back to the ceiling.

A water drop splashed into her other eye.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 106

The Storage Space would have screamed with pain when its front door was slammed open against the wall, if only a building could…

Why was it deigning to think in human terms again?  Why could it not free itself forever from even the last vestige of association with those wretched, vulgar creatures?  Why couldn’t it concentrate solely on objects with dignity, id est inanimate?

The Storage Space thought of art, that upstart Claude Monet’s multiple paintings during different seasons of that bridge in Giverny.  It thought of architecture, that oddly sensuous new movement also coming out of France:  Art Nouveau.

It thought about how it could be argued that all these inanimate objects might in some vague way be associated with humans.  Such an insidious consideration was firmly swept aside.

“May I help you?”

That beautiful voice.  Human!  Well, yes, but some humans were…at least tolerable.

“Hey, sup?”

Unlike others.

“I beg your pardon?”

Amelia of the beautiful voice.  But did the Storage Space detect a hint in her voice of the revulsion it shared?

“I beg pardon,” the intolerable other mimicked.  “How are you this fine day?”

“Fine, thank you, young man.  That’s an awful lot of suitcases, even for a storage space.  You…believe in quick getaways?”

“Really!”

Another voice, forced high and dreadful, along with all the speaker’s pink hair.

“Fifi…you know this guy?”

The pregnant teenager’s father, with his arm around this…Fifi creature.

“I’m so innocent.  Really!” Fifi protested, squirming within his embrace.  “Rainbow Shoes, here, with all the suitcases?  I was just talking to him on the street when I was waiting in your car while you took care of…  What’s your daughter’s name?  Really!  I just can’t remember these things.”

“Imogene.  I can’t help it if it took a while.  My wife beat her up again.”

“But isn’t Emily, Imelda, Whoever in the hospital now?  Really!  I remember that!  So what are we doing back here?”

“Nothing you need to worry your pretty pink head about, so you wait here.”

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 105

Sebastian couldn’t stop thinking “god-awful” when he contemplated his discovery about Fifi in Unit 3.  Bad enough getting head from a middle-aged woman with two-tons of makeup and pink hair…he’d only agreed to it as a goof because with her tacky clothes she managed to match every color in his rainbow platform sneakers…but to discover that she wasn’t even a woman!  What an idiot!

Still, he couldn’t stop thinking about her, him, them, whatever.

And he needed to concentrate on what he was doing.

It hadn’t been easy to weasel his idiot girlfriend Carmen into letting him “borrow” all her big, wheeled suitcases…which of course he had no intention of returning.  Idiot didn’t even admit to being his girlfriend, or to liking the sex he kept having to force on her.  Or the little, fun, slapping around he had to give her to get the suitcases.  But here he was, on his way back to that storage space building he’d stolen all those keys from with enough suitcases to do a whole shitload of shopping.

Lights, cameras, action…he was about to swing through the door where he’d have to pass reception with a ton of giant suitcases, a fistful of stolen storage unit keys crammed into a pocket in his skinny, reveal-all jeans and what…a big, shit-eating smile?

He froze for moment outside the door, thinking yet again about all the shit he had to go through to make a living in such a god-awful world and the idiots who kept jacking up the prices for the substance abuse necessary to make it tolerable.  Then he remembered “he who hesitates is lost” and “carpe diem” and crashed through the door.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 104

Karen clung to her dream, not wanting to wake up.

Frank, she was in bed with Frank.  She loved him so damn much she didn’t care that he’d murdered Martin; she couldn’t care, no matter how wrong that was.

Something caressed her thigh lightly.  Then she heard Frank whisper in her ear, “But do you care if I’m no longer alive?”

She shuddered.  Was it Frank’s words in her dream, or had someone really moved her sheet a bit, exposing even more of her thigh to a sudden chill.

A scream snapped her eyes open.  The ceiling and walls were all so very far away.  It wasn’t her storage space.  Where was she?  She couldn’t remember.

It was night; the room was dark.  The wind whistled outside, whipping the shadows of tree branches that flowed across the ceiling into a frenzy of rustling leaves.  The curtains over the window had been pushed back.  A street light outside spotlighted her exposed thigh and butt.

Karen reached for the sheet to cover herself, but was brought up short as metal clanged and cut into her wrist.

Handcuffs.

The hospital bed.

She thought she caught movement in her peripheral vision.  Turning, she saw a broom with a handle long enough to reach between the two beds drop to the floor, its closest end pointing toward her exposed butt and thigh.

Another scream.  More metal clanging, but these weren’t her handcuffs.  It was all coming from the other bed.

And then she saw it, rubbing her eyes over and over again because she couldn’t believe it could be true.  On the other bed was…why had the hospital allowed this?…a man.  He too was handcuffed to his bed.  She gathered he’d been jerking off but was flaccid now as he stared up at…

Frank.  In all his muscular glory. Furious.  No doubt because this guy had pushed aside Karen’s sheet with that broom handle.  Frank, every bit of him just as she remembered except…   He was floating over the handcuffed man’s bed.  The same streetlight that spotlighted Karen’s partial nudity was shining brightly through Frank, who was nothing more than a green and endlessly undulating…cloud.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 103

Martin couldn’t believe they were booking him, about to haul him off to prison to wait till either someone bailed him out…he couldn’t imagine who, not his Calvinistic mum or dad certainly…or he went to trial.  A real cock-up.  All that running.  Three thousand miles.  And all he ended up being in the end…all he’d ever been all his life…was an utterly pathetic damp squib who couldn’t do shit.  Unable to bear it, he looked away from the ink the cop had managed to get on Martin’s vintage Frank Sinatra shirt while fingerprinting him.

Two dese/dem/dose-type Brooklynites were also being fingerprinted while they smacked what was probably vintage Hubba Bubba gum.  They must have weighed over 20 stone…each.  When they caught Martin looking them over, they looked him over, then leered and winked.

A thin-shouldered, “effeminate” Brit in prison?  And to think he’d once imagined it would be preferable to a lifetime of picking up Jennifer’s dry cleaning.  Or even paying off her debts.  Or even…

Speaking of Jennifer, where was she?

Jennifer.  Her phone she’d left in his apartment!  He’d been so distracted by that porn with her on it that he only now realized the men involved were politicians he recognized.  And…the rest.  That stupid little bitch had actually been instrumental in throwing a major election!  If he wasn’t such an incurable damp squib he would have, instead of confessing, silenced Jennifer back in that bitch detective’s apartment with just one mention of what he’d seen on Jennifer’s phone.

Bollocks!  Bloody fucking hell!  Was the only thing in his life he could possibly be thankful for that he’d finally stopped hallucinating?  He looked up again.  Right into the eyes of one of the gum-smacking monsters they’d just finished fingerprinting.  The monster took a step closer.  No one stopped him.  He smiled.  Martin cringed.  Maybe there were things even worse than hallucinating…

And then it happened.

Martin was almost relieved to see Jennifer ride in on top of a T-rex.

Tales of the Storage Space, Part 102

Imogene thought she could like never, ever hate anyone more than that cray cray blonde bitch who’d come with her from that storage space building to the hospital.  Cray cray bitch had the def-not-woke hospital peeps thinking Imogene was pregnant too!  So now she had to lie on her back like to keep from miscarrying when…duh!…that blood must be her period, proving she couldn’t be pregnant.  Even worse, OMG, they effin’ wouldn’t let her use her phone!

Hahaha.

Imogene was staring at the peeling paint on the dirty white ceiling, but she was thinking about ^URS, who always made her laugh.

Hahaha.

How would ^URS Snapchat-filter this ceiling?

Ha…

She couldn’t do it.  She couldn’t imagine how to Snapchat-filter that OMG ugly ceiling.  She couldn’t make herself laugh.  She couldn’t do anything to escape OMG ugly Real Life!  She couldn’t do anything without ^URS.

The door slammed open.  Some nurse was Draking about how there was no room in Oncology.  Some super-sexy-cute guy shoved a gurney through the door, heading for the empty bed by the window with a bunch of other peeps in white.  Thirsty, Imogene craned her neck to watch him, but they like yanked the curtain separating the room’s two beds and all she could do was listen to her new roommate Draking about how much getting transferred to the bed hurt.

OMG Real Life was ugly.

Finally the super-sexy-cute guy came out from behind the curtain.

Imogene did her best to look super-sexy-cute herself, though it was hard when all she had to work with was that her chest had gotten bigger lately, for no apparent reason.  “Uh, like, could you please help me?”

“Sure.  What’s up?”

“There’s, like, not even a TV in this room.  They told me I’m supposed to lie on my back, but that’s only because they, like, think I’m pregnant, and I’m not, and…”

“Sorry, no TV in this room.  Sorry, gotta go.”

What?  Not even a TV?

The last nurse to leave pulled the curtain back.  Maybe Imogene could at least, like, talk to her new roommate, who, like herself, was def not pregnant…way too thin.  But they must have like given her new roommate something to shut her up.  She was all out cold with her tongue hanging out.  Besides she was all gray and, worst of all, she was really, really, really old.

Real Life was cray cray ugly.

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.