The Storage Space was appalled, simply appalled.
Karen looked equally appalled, staring in surprise at the scalpel before dropping it.
The Storage Space was furious, something about one witness still there.
Karen looked equally furious, scrambling to retrieve the scalpel, still unsteady on her feet.
Amelia got it first. “Please, you must stay seated!” Then she turned toward that dreadfully beat-up woman who’d screamed after asking for the key to Unit 3. “Don’t be frightened; she was just trying to retrieve it for me.”
But the screamer was now too busy texting to notice.
The Storage Space was completely confused. Among other things, what precisely and exactly was “texting”?
Karen sat with her eyes half-closed.
Amelia was looking at the woman across the counter. “What is it with this neighborhood? Has every woman here been beaten? Except for the woman who just exited with that little girl?
Karen’s eyes widened at “little girl.” Suddenly the poor, long-suffering thing looked terrified.
The middle-aged woman at last looked up from her phone to repeat her whispered request for the key to Unit 3, shyly but insistently pushing some money across the counter.
The Storage Space, still completely confused, concentrated on the play of emotions sculpting Amelia’s exquisitely wrought features as she looked deep into the eyes of the woman across the counter. Some other thoughts, about Amelia’s jugular veins, slithered through its consciousness but fled like cockroaches from light when the Storage Space sensed them.
Finally Amelia caressed the money before resolutely pushing it back across the counter. Then she reached under the counter and pulled out a key to Unit 3. “Why do you need this?”
“To save someone’s life.”
Amelia paused, still looking deep into the middle-aged woman’s eyes, then pushed the key across the counter.
The woman clutched the key to her heart, then quickly texted something, before meeting Amelia’s eyes again. “One last favor…”
“Please, whatever you do, don’t let anyone know you gave me this.”