The Warehouse, Part 7

If you haven’t read parts 1-6, this story is about an abandoned warehouse and the night that I spent there a few years ago. I was invited by a couple that had lived there for 15 years, in what they referred to as, the apartment. It seems I would make my escape, even though maybe that was not their original plan for me.

Part 7

I was granted a tour, and it was time to leave the apartment. I had done a bang-up job at the time of controlling my claustrophobia, not giving my host and hostess any weaknesses to build on.

I said my final goodbye to king of the castle, kicked my guard up another notch, well past my usual point of readiness, and pushed the button on the meter reset. What meter reset? My weirdshitometer of course. One second while I add this word to my grammar dictionary. Since this is the first time I’ve written about my weirdshitometer, I shall disclose the definition. The WS Meter is an invaluable tool that I use to scale the strange, spooky, and completely fantastic. Or just like it sounds, it’s used to gauge weird shit.

It didn’t take long for my hostess to prepare, and since I was more than ready to get the heck out of the apartment, the two of us were on our way within a few minutes.

My smiling host, King Trash, sat proudly on his garbage throne, volunteering pleasantries, completely ignorant of so many facts. One of which, the fact that his would-be captor was born with a nearly unrivaled discerning ability. I had a distinctly familiar and compelling feeling, not unlike what the fly must feel right before breaking free of the spider web. The difference here, of course, this spider had few options, and a deep hardwired sense of self-preservation had gotten the best of him. Good for him!

The Queen unlocked the heavy padlock, seized the door by the large handle with both scraggly hands, then gave the big door a quick jerk, freeing it just enough for me to squeeze my hands between the outer edge and the door jam. Our combined efforts were more than enough, then free at last.

Strand by sticky strand, the spider web was continuing to fail. I was unwearied, completely centered, on point and ready to complete what had turned into one hell of an arduous journey. As we locked the apartment door, I calculated we had to be doing everyone a favor by incarcerating the Garbage King. Although I’m confident there must have been another entrance slash escape hatch somewhere in the darkness, since fifteen years would have been ample time to engineer such a clandestine portal.

My guide carried a single flashlight and no other gear. My backpack was right were if was meant to be, keeping both of my hands free, my left hand for my Navy Light, still pretending to be a combination flashlight and taser, and my right hand, held a baseball bat size stick, which I used to check sketchy (no pun) areas of the floor for possible weak spots. I wouldn’t want to fall through and break a leg, or worse, get knocked unconscious. Please excuse my language in advance, but fuck all that.

We made our way through the darkness, mostly side-by-side, but quite often my guide would take the lead, completely unafraid, of both the warehouse and also of me. The Queen and I had been talking now for many hours, if she had any evil thoughts or plans earlier in the evening, our conversations had ultimately changed her mind, and I was happy for it. Fortunately, it’s rare that I’m forced into a situation that can’t be solved free of violence, that’s real power.

We changed floors a couple of times, avoiding a few dangers, some pointed out by my guide, others undisclosed, easily spotted and carefully noted in case the two of us were separated by accident, or intentionally by accident. Not seeing danger at hand isn’t enough, I had to split my mind between my immediate environment, and somewhere else. Okay, where would I send my brain? I realize it sounds very odd to say such a thing, but it’s not easily explained, think of it as extreme multitasking. In this case, I needed to feel for danger throughout the warehouse, searching with senses developed throughout my life but sharpened during my attendance at The Universe University (please see that series).

As we made our day at through a large storage area, covered in paint, tagging, and murals from floor to ceiling, she stopped at a doorway, the large door long gone, including the hinges. Behind the portal lay the landing for a staircase, leading both up to the next floor and down to both floors below. Most likely an old fire escape, the only method of changing floors on that side of the warehouse. I had only spotted one elevator during the tour, boarded up decades ago, most likely to prevent deadly accidents.

The Queen seemed almost lost, or at least turned around. I don’t believe that she intended to show me the room at the bottom of the stairs, but it was too late. What was surely intended as a series of four secure storage areas, now presented by the darkness, could easily be passed off as four jail cells, strong enough to hold four of the strongest men in the entire world? Each door painted with different scenes, not one of them something that I would choose to decorate with. What happened next changed everything.

End Part 7

It’s an undescribable feeling, knowing that someone chose to spend their time, any amount of time, reading something that I wrote. It’s very humbling, and I love it. Thank you so much for reading.

J.S.

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