Author Topic: Fleming Storage Unit #20: Ingenuous Ingenious [WIP]  (Read 1905 times)

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lavecki

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I had delayed going out to the storage units. We had gotten the letter, but that didn't mean I wanted to deal with everything. My moms ex owned it and since he died and this was his last known address we got the letter. I parked the car in the street near some office buildings but was making this first trip just to see what was in the unit. I talked to the front desk guy to get the key and after and exchange of paperwork (death certificate, reciepts of payment, this bullshit letter) he handed it over. I made my way past unit after unit of the same drab lifeless colors and unlocked "my" unit. Rolling the doors up I realized that everything here was stolen by the time the sound stopped reverberating.

The actual owner of this unit was named Eric Rogers. He and my mom had lived together for the last three years. Recently, after some escalated fighting, they had broken up and he had cleared out his stuff and moved out. Two weeks later he died of a heart attack, leaving me with this mess. Apparently Eric was not keen on taking just his own stuff. From what I could see everything in here (i couldnt see inside the boxes yet) was either mine or my moms. I saw my old winter jacket from when I was ten, my paintball gun that I would be looking for come summer, there was even a box marked "Haley's Stuff" (My mom). My temper flared a bit and I rubbed at my eyes. From what I could tell, if this was all our stuff, he had been hoarding it little by little for years.

It was all well organized. Boxes were lined up neat and everything was lined up on the walls. The oddity that stood out was a small table, possibly an end table or an old phone table, sat in the middle of the unit with a silver square box lying on top of it. I made my way over to realize that the box was in fact a laptop, old by the looks of it. A 1995 mac book. I dont think this was mine, but Eric had had a lot of computer stuff when he was living with us so it was probably one of his old laptops from back in the day.

There was no power cord, hell, the unit didn't even have any power, but I opened it up and pressed the power button. The thing methodically whirred to life. Im not sure if you have ever used an old computer, most kids now a days have no idea the processing power they hold in their hands, let alone their computers. They are slow as shit. I looked it up later, this thing was running on 4 mb of ram with a 250 mb hard drive. That's not a typo by the way, thing measured in Megabytes.

The load screen popped up as did the familiar hourglass icon. I waited about two minutes before going to look at the boxes (it was gonna be a while before that booted up). They seemed to be organized in a weird way. Each pile was separate (this storage unit was huge, could probably fit my car easily), but the labels on the boxes didn't match up. Boxes marked "Books" sat next to "Kitchen Utensils", a dining room table was piled high with different kinds of shovels, and in the corner lay a broken TV (my friend and I had tried to use it to make a time travel machine when we were 7) that was surrounded by empty cat litter containers.

A chime from the computer drew my attention back, this thing was old. It had a 2 bit, greyscale and had a max resolutions of 640x480. I moved the cursor to the start (it had a trackball mouse instead of a track pad, and was a mac to boot. Add in that backlights hadn't been implemented yet and it was impossible to see, well, you can understand how it took a little getting used to). I found the files folder and it only had one listing. It seemed to match the only actual icon on the computer. I clicked on the text file marked "Somber". A list popped up, "Sorted Old Memorabilia by Eric Rogers", apparently each pile had a name. I picked up the laptop and walked over to what I assumed was the first pile (the one on the left, closest to the door) and looked at the list.

"1. Shelly - 15 hours - Unlikely". Each one of the items was organized like this. I couldn't figure out why the piles were named the way they were. Each had a name, a time and some word that seemed incoherent. This first pile had three pairs of shoes from when I was a kid, all of the shoelaces were undone and apparently tied together, my old hockey mask from junior high and a mickey mouse poncho that we had bought at Disney World. There was also a box full of National Geographic magazine, all the same issue, "Genghis Khan" from 1996.

I moved to the second pile. "2. Mercedes - 2 days - Missive". Old Textbooks from when I was in college, fifteen sweatshirts of varying size that were covered in paint stains and two empty bottles of Captain Morgans spiced rum. It continued on like that. Every once in a while the piles would have large amounts of stuff. "8. Amanda - 1 year 6 months - Alabaster": Fourteen boxes full of polished rocks and two boxes of miscellaneous silverware, but most of them were in small piles, "15. Sharon - 6 minutes - Patina": This was the broken TV, wires hanging out everywhere and the empty cat litter containers. Each pile was labeled like this and I was having trouble putting it all together.

I had thought that I had figured out the naming convention (girls names for some reason) when the next pile threw me. "16. Biscuit - 12 hours - Puddle": an old cooler, a shovel with a chipped head, five pairs of ratty boots and three, full containers of antifreeze. I closed the laptop and rubbed my eyes. This was going to be a nightmare, looking at my watch it was starting to get late. Most of this was just trash, which I guess I could just leave, but it did not help that these lists did not contain the actual items. I went back to the table and saw the drawer I had missed in the beginning. The table was facing the back wall it seemed. Inside there was a charging cable, I snagged it and closed the unit back up. I was gonna go through this list at home.

I closed up the unit, not bothering to lock it (if someone wanted this garbage they could have it.). Got to my car, threw the laptop in the passenger seat and drove my way home. Once there I got out my laptop and set it next to this new one. It would be easier to have a paper copy of this list and the old laptop would not hook up to my printer. I set out to copy everything down.

1. Shelly - 15 hours - Unlikely
2. Mercedes - 2 days - Missive
3. Joan - 36 hours - Detox
4. Hannah - 4 days - Fragment
5. Bonnie - 5 years - Station
6. Maxine - 2 months - Honeybee
7. Erica - 18 days - Painless
8. Amanda - 1 year 6 months - Alabaster
9. Karen - 16 months - Brigade
10. Priscilla - 5 hours - Distance
11. Veronica - 7 years 5 months - Foggy
12. Olive - 19 days - Embrace
13. Carla - 2 months - Diametric
14. Tiffany - 56 days - Aimless
15. Sharon - 6 minutes - Patina
16. Biscuit - 12 hours - Puddle
17. Shadow - 10 minutes - Salty
18. Chloe - 29 days - Hobby
19. Kurt - 6 years - Harbor
20. Radiance - 19 hours - Perfume
21. George - 23 minutes - Belt
22. Rebecca - 13 years - Ornamental
23. Tony - 9 hours - Gadget
24. Nancy - 13 days - Chill
25. Discovery - 46 Years - Negative

I printed out the list and went to bed. Ready to go back early, deciding right then to start on the other side and work my way back. I opened the door the next day and went to the first pile on the right. There was a stack of newspapers and six or seven boxes. I opened up the boxes and started going through them. They were full of photo negatives. I tried digging for a photo but couldn't find any. I tried holding some of the negatives to the light to see what was there but it was hard to make out. I moved over to the news papers, the first one was from 1992. I read the headline, dropped the list I had brought, stood up, closed the door and left, it was all just junk, let the police have it, throw it away, donate it, whatever, I didn't care. As I drove home, I tried to shake the headline out of my head "Shelly Conroy found dead in dorm room, Suicide".
« Last Edit: 01:38 PM, 12/ 8/17 by lavecki »



lavecki

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I have changed my direction with this story and updated it. Looking for thoughts so far. Thanks for the help.



Lysdoodle Weaver

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It's  a nice prelude. I can't tell you much more as not enough has happened. In current context, Carl's hoarding could be something creepy, a bit of kleptomania, or just Carl keeping family mementos.

" my friend and I had tried to use it to make a time travel machine when we were 8)  " your ages became cool shade a cool shade smiley. Just go ahead and throw a space between the number and the end parenthesis.



lavecki

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Finished the story, curious what people think