Author Topic: Fleming Storage Unit 125 Dedicated Devient  (Read 1163 times)

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When Lenny had called me up about the unit, and told me about his brother's passing and that he had never known the unit had existed until today when he finally went back onto his email after two months, I thought it would be a shitfest, as in there being way too much shit and not enough time. The metal door clanked open as dread wound up in my stomach.

Thankfully there wasn't a lot in the unit, there was a nice rosewood bedroom set (desk, bed frame, nightstand, mirror, dresser), a mattress, an old dyer, three black milk cartons that were filled with worn vinyls and a few comic books, two cardboard boxes, and two white trash bags.

If Adrian had been here, we could have moved the heavy stuff together, or maybe just him because I’m weak as fuck.

But now here I was in front of a unit with half the shit I couldn't move with my strong ass boyfriend at work and he couldn't leave because his boss is a cunt.

So I walk into the unit and I’m trying to think of a moving company or something or if I may actually be able to move some of the stuff myself.

Feeling defeat before even trying but I noticed something on the far side of the desk.

There was a painting of Ivan the Terrible and then I noticed two whole stacks of paintings leaning up neatly up against the wall.

So the guy was into art, I opened a drawer in the desk and was met with colored pencils, oil pastels, a metal tin of drawing pencils and a small worn notebook.

So he was an artist also, I eyed the notebook. I wanted to know more about this guy but I couldn't just take it and read it without permission or something, I didn’t even have the right to read it.

I looked to the paintings, they would give me more insight into who this man was. Curiosity burned in my stomach as I looked through the paintings, this was the first time my 3 years of art history in high school and my minor in art history was useful in a while.

The first painting was Ivan the Terrible by Viktor Vasnetsov. Ivan stood tall with a harsh glare and red rings under his eyes, not the best of Vasnetsov’s work in my opinion but not a bad example either.

The next one was one I didn’t recognize, it was a Pre Raphaelite portrait of a black haired woman. She was surrounded by Hawthorn and Monkshood. The third was another one I didn’t recognize. It was a Romantic era painting of a blacked haired man asleep by a lake as a wolf crept up on him.

I gently set the paintings back. There were a few more but I wanted to take more of a look around first and that meant poking around the desk.

It mostly had nice art supplies and nice paper, random things, gray cotton gloves, spearmint gum, black and blue pens, playing cards, sunflower stamps, crisp envelopes, paper clips and rubber bands, normal things you’d find in a desk. I had to remember to get duct tape so they wouldn't fly open.

I couldn't help but pick up the notebook.

It was a small notebook with black covers, worn by age. Maybe it was a diary?

I shoved it back in the drawer my cheeks red with shame.

Fuck I couldn't read a dead man's diary but it wasn’t wrong to look through his art collection.

I went back to the paintings and continued looking through them. It was mostly just portraits of men and women with dark hair and big eyes from various different eras and styles, some were just cut out of bigger paintings.

The paintings got more and more risqué, some were just straight up erotic, full nudes with spread legs and lusty looks, I didn't want to spend my time looking through some old guys fine art porn collection but I fuckin’ knew I needed to see, I was too deep. 

I finally got to the last two paintings, The Rape of Ganymede by Gabriel Ferrier and The Abduction of Ganymede by Eustache Le Sueur. In Ferrier’s painting, Ganymede was draped over Zeus a look of sad acceptance on his face. In Sueurs painting, he was clutching his fist his face contorted in shock.

I set the paintings back down again, I readjusted my coat as a cold sweat crept down my back and looked up and down the unit. I grabbed one of the milk cartons and both trash bags and started back to the truck.

I put the milk carton and the bags in the back seat. I pulled out my phone and tried to call Adrian again, it went right to voicemail. I shoved my phone back into my pocket, frustrated. I moved the second milk carton and one of the boxes. Trying to lift the second box was like trying to move a fucking boulder and all the other shit in there was way too heavy.

I sat on the box and shut my eyes and tried to think of a way to solve this, but my mind kept on going back to the notebook. Something about this was off, not just this unit but this whole place gave me a weird vibe.

Lenny didn't say anything else about why the place shutting down other than

“There was a bad accident Cal, you gotta be real careful these days”   

A hand touched my shoulder and my heart almost jumped from my mouth.

I jumped up from the box looking at the person who had touched me.

Adrian stood there almost shocked looking as I was.

“Fuck, Adrian, you scared the shit out of me” I said out of breath

Adrian wilted back like a dying flower

“Jeez Cal I’m sorry”

Suddenly, I felt like the biggest asshole on the face of the earth, the kind of asshole that made his fucking amazing boyfriend feel like an asshole.

“Don't be sorry, I just got startled, but fuck am I glad you’re here, how did your boss cut you lose?”

“He didn’t, it’s my lunch break so we gotta do this quick, it's just this?”

“Yea, there's already some stuff in the truck”

“Alright, a friend is coming down to help and she’s also got a van so we probably won’t have to make a second trip, that dryers gonna’ be a pain in the ass though”

We moved all the stuff we could, then Adrian's friend, Teresa came and they moved the rest.

They finally moved the desk last. As they hoisted it up a drawer under the bottom of the desk flew open and a cascade of papers flew down.

“Heck” Adrian mumbled

“It’s alright, I’ll get it just get the desk to the truck”

I crouched down to clean up the papers and realized that they were studies of the paintings that were in the unit and some original sketches.

I looked through a few of the studies until I found a full study of Ferrier’s Rape of Ganymede but it didn't look like him, he was shorter, had a thicker body, bigger butt, but the face hadn't been drawn and the hair was only half drawn. I saw a date in the corner of the paper, 8/4/17.

My heart dropped, Lenny said that was the day he died, this could have been the last thing that he put into this world. I held it farther back to get a better look and noticed a paper clip on the top right. I flipped over the paper to see what it was.

I studied the picture for a second before something clicked, it was me, the picture was of me.

It was from one of my first interviews as an author when we still lived in New York, this was even before I met Adrian. There was another picture under it. I lifted it, it was me after I had gotten out of the shower, I was completely naked, my back towards the camera, this was the bathroom in my old apartment. 

My brain whirred like an overheated computer. My mouth was dry and my hands shook as I shifted through more of the drawings, all of the drawings, all of them were of me. All the paintings in the unit, all the black haired and pale men and women. Where they all just stand ins for me?

My breathing came out in a dry rasping and sweat ran down my brow as I tried to figure out what the fuck was going on even when I knew what this was.

I started walking down the corridor of units, I started to slowly gain speed as I felt my eyes grow damp and spite rase in my throat. 

I was sprinting by the time I turned the corner and saw that Adrian and Teresa about to move the desk into the van. When I got close enough I yanked the bottom drawer out of the desk.

Papers exploded from the drawer and I kept on hearing Adrian ask what was wrong but I had to see what was in there.

More pictures, they were from social media both public and private, interviews, yearbooks, and then there were the endless sketches of me, doing anything from lounging around half naked from being carried off by some Zeus or king like figure.

I'm sure Adrian and Teresa had both seen the pictures and drawings because they both stopped asking if I was ok. I quickly stood up my fists clenched.

I turn around and began to stomp/run back to the unit, I heard Adrian calling my name but I didn't listen.

The only thing was raging through my mind was, fuck this.

I stomped back up to the unit and with one last glance into the cold empty space I slammed the metal door shut.


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on: 12:59 AM, 12/ 8/17
Really liked this story.  Only thing I could say to add is maybe times and a date so people can fit this better within the rest of the stories.
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on: 01:36 PM, 12/ 8/17
Before I started reading, I was like "Hey, I'm gonna read this one aloud! See how it goes." And then your first sentence is a bit... long. XD haha.
You use a lot of commas where there should be periods. There are also two, three or four ideas in a sentence which could each be contained in their own.
I would suggest reading it out loud to yourself. See what feels natural and what doesn't.

Who is Lenny? What is their relationship to the narrator? Why does it fall to the narrator to clean out the unit?
And also, who was Lenny's brother, and what was his relationship to the narrator?
Did the narrator know this brother at all? Did they have an opinion about him that was shattered by this discovery in the unit?

I just feel like it might need little more backstory to make the discovery in the unit more significant to the reader.