The Storage Space couldn’t stop shuddering. And it didn’t even think a building could shudder. Yet whatever had prompted those simply awful shudders seemed to have disappeared, but in an odd way…as if instead of going away it had slithered so close that the poor, long-suffering Storage Space could no longer see it.
No matter. Something slithered through the Storage Space’s mind that told it it had far more important things to think about: Karen, that frigid fucking bitch!
The Storage Space was appalled, simply appalled. Where did that thought come from? Such language!
Was it recompense, or more of the same, that directed all of the Storage Space’s attention to dear, most beloved Karen?
Poor, long-suffering Karen! How truly extraordinary that she had survived without medical care through so very, very much and for so very, very long. But now, seated half-unconscious behind the reception-desk counter, she was being cared for by an absolute angel. For not only was it equally miraculous that this angel, almost equally in need of medical care herself, was the one administering treatment rather than the one receiving it, but it was very clear that this angel knew what she was doing.
The lovely Karen moaned, clinching her lovely teeth, eyes still half-closed.
“I deeply regret causing you pain,” said the old woman with the exquisite voice, mostly to herself, “but it’s medically necessary and…though the supplies I stole from that mad man include almost everything, even this suture tray with scissors and scalpel…they didn’t include as much as a single aspirin, let alone anything substantive for pain like Dilaudid.”
Both the Storage Space and the old woman shuddered.
Karen’s eyes snapped open, not seeing for a moment before focusing on the old woman. “Who are you? What are you doing to me?”
“My name’s Amelia. I’m trying to provide you with medical assistance I don’t think you can wait for a moment longer.” Amelia wadded up some bandaging and shoved it between Karen’s teeth. “All I can offer for the pain is to ask you to bite on this, and forgive the following pathetic attempt to distract you.”
With that Amelia started to sing, “Sleep my child and peace attend thee. All through the night,” as she resumed her work. Not surprisingly Amelia’s singing voice was as beautiful as her speaking voice. What still remained of the grand old stage, though relegated to a mean space under a hideous metal staircase, settled and creaked happily. The once-exquisite carving of Romeo’s Juliet came to life again under Unit 38’s tacky 20th century carvings.
Karen screamed again.
Amelia stopped singing.
“Sing!” Karen sobbed.
Amelia went on with, “Angels watching, e’er around thee. All through the night.”
“Like, what is this, a fucking ER with lullabies? Like, I really need my things!”
Karen swooned. Amelia looked up at the pregnant teenager that neither of them had noticed walking in.
“Like, carvings…” the teenager trailed off as she narrowed her eyes, studying first the unconscious Karen, then Amelia. “Unit 38. I…um…like…forgot my key.”
Karen stirred, starting to come around again. Amelia hurried to finish treating her.
Karen let out a heart-wrenching sob.
Frigid fucking bitch! Again the Storage Space didn’t know where that alien thought came from, but then that same slithering, illusive alien presence seemed to be prompting the poor, long-suffering Storage Space to communicate with what was, after all, the poor, long-suffering Karen, to console her. That the Storage Space could most heartily approve. Though it heard some other words, “witness this time,” that made no sense.
The teenager yelled, “Like, my key, please! Unit 38!”
Amelia sang, “While the moon her watch is keeping. All through the night,” and put the scalpel down, almost done.
Karen whimpered pathetically.
And the Storage Space then did all it could possibly do to reach her, in her mind with every soothing image possible, every beautiful thing the Storage Space had ever seen or heard. But something else came slithering through the Storage Space’s connection with Karen, something about “self defense” and jugular veins.
Karen grabbed the scalpel.