Tales of the Storage Space, Part 52

Jennifer’s kitten. Judy. Jennifer came to screaming, telling herself over and over again that she’d never had a twin sister named Judy. But something was wrong; she couldn’t scream. A big hand was clamped over her mouth. Then she heard the homeless woman scream.

Suddenly a man’s voice whispered in Jennifer’s ear, “Count to ten. Then go ahead and scream.” The hand left her mouth. She heard some kind of motion behind her. Of course she had no intention of following his directions. Why should she bother counting to ten just because some idiot told her to? But her headache pounded her and it took her a few moments to catch her breath anyway. Then she opened her eyes.

In front of her the “homeless” man had his fingers wrapped tightly around the homeless woman’s throat. She wasn’t screaming any more.

Jennifer screamed.

The “homeless” man dropped the homeless woman and wheeled around to look at Jennifer, eyes widening.

Jennifer was very sorry that she’d screamed.

“How could I? How could I have forgotten about you?” The not-homeless man was closing the distance between them, babbling something about how Jennifer was just like some bird, but she wasn’t listening anymore. She was thinking about blond hair, chiseled cheekbones, and piercing green eyes. Who had told her to count to ten?

She turned away from the homeless man to look behind her. Nobody was there. All that was there was the ratty old oriental rug she was lying on, with some kind of big stain on it…maybe red wine. Nobody had told her to count to ten.

Blond hair, chiseled cheekbones, piercing green eyes… Bird… Birds singing beautifully. What was that…song of some kind?…going through her mind? Whose laughter was that?

But there was no man with blond hair, chiseled cheekbones, and piercing green eyes. Just like there was no…and had never been…evil twin Judy. And besides, Jennifer’s eyes were closing again.

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