The Storage Space swayed with pleasure.
Amelia was singing.
“Mommy, Mommy, the building’s moving!”
“Hush up, Suzy Q, buildings don’t move.”
“But it is so moving! It is so! Look at your Frappucino! It’s gonna spill, Mommy! It’s gonna spill!”
“Must be the subway.”
The Storage Space swayed a long, leisurely sway that did indeed spill a little of the “Frappucino.” Amelia finished up the last heartbreaking verse of a Puccini aria. The Storage Space couldn’t help but shudder with the thrill of it.
Amelia started in on Puccini’s lesser-known La Rondine, with its exquisite aria about a young girl’s dream. The Storage Space had always preferred Ileana Contrubas’ version over the usual Maria Callas but hadn’t heard it in so terribly long that it managed to convince itself that the best version of all was Amelia’s. It shivered with delight.
The Storage Space was seeing its own staircases, not as they were now…oh no!…but as they were then. Gleaming wood balusters so intricately carved they seemed to sway and shiver to the music like fine lace. Veritable hordes of the haute couture, prancing up and down its stairs like sensitively bred horses with the highest pedigree.
“God fucking damn it!”
The Storage Space was wrenched back through subsequent centuries to Unit 38. It was the pregnant teenager’s father.
“Mommy, that man said bad words!”
That far-too-talkative brat in Unit 37 again.
“Suzy Q! Hush up and mind your own business, or we’ll never get out of here!”
Said brat’s mother.
“God fucking damn it to hell!”
The pregnant teenager’s father again. He followed up by pounding the metal walls of Unit 38 with both his fists, seemingly forever, sending a cacophony of ricocheted racket throughout the whole building.
“Suzy Q, come back!”
“Mister, that’s not nice. You’re saying bad words. And all that pounding hurts my ears.”
An even louder racket, with the brat screaming.
“Stop! Stop! Mommy that bad man’s hitting me!”
Having abandoned both her singing and the unit she was scrubbing clean, Amelia raced toward Unit 38.
Mr. Fists slugged Suzy Q’s mother.
Suzy Q raced into the hall but stopped when she ran into a rather peculiarly dressed man carrying a crowbar who the Storage Space had never seen before. “What’s your name?”
“Pat,” said the peculiarly dressed man with the crowbar, obviously caught off guard.
Then Suzy Q spotted her mother and Amelia and commenced a wailing, at the top of her lungs, that would have put any Wagnerian opera singer to shame.
Mr. Fists threw an already broken carved elephant against the wall, shattering it into a million pieces, before collapsing to the floor. “Of all the data sticks, those two had to be missing?”