Fleming Unit #64: Kindergarten Karaoke (WIP) (incomplete)
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I had no idea what to expect when I got to my brother’s storage unit.  I’d been paying for the unit since 2015 and I still considered it to be his storage unit.  Truth be told, if not for the emailing saying I had until October 14th to get what I might want out of the unit, I wouldn’t have been there rolling up the heavy metal door and wincing at the god-awful noise it made in protest.  Two years of non-use had taken a toll apparently.

The first thing I saw was an old console television.  I recognized it as a Curtis Mathes just like the one my grandparents had in their home.  All that worked on it was the turntable but there was something magical about listening to Elvis Presley records on it.  Why Scott would have one, I had no idea.  It couldn’t be the same one that my grandparents owned and it made no sense for it to be here.

I looked back at the black Bronco and Mr. Whiskers who was curled up on the dashboard.  He was already sleeping so I assumed it was still warm in the vehicle despite the chilly air outside.  There was no way the console was going to fit in the vehicle so if I wanted to take it, I’d need to rent a U-Haul.  I walked past it, hoping I hadn’t paid just to shelter an old television for two years.

There was a large yellow tub with colorful pictures of LEGO bricks.  It even proudly proclaimed to hold 607 pieces and I thought that I would have loved that when I was a kid.  Next to that was what I first thought was a kid’s radio.  I picked it up and set it on top of the console for a better look, finally seeing the cheap microphone clipped to the side.  It was a karaoke machine.  I laughed at the idea that young children would be into karaoke and leaving the machine where I’d set it, I kept looking around.  There was no light in the unit and my phone didn’t provide enough light to really see.  Not eager to trip on something or come face to face with a spider, I picked up the LEGO tub and began to walk out when I thought to look inside the console.  There were two doors, one at each end, and my grandparents would store their vinyl records in there.  I foolishly expected to open one of the doors and be greeted with the sight of old album covers protecting the records inside.  Instead, I found a small black portable safe that looked large enough to hold a laptop inside.  There was no keyhole, just a keypad and nothing to indicate the combination. 

I carried out the safe and the yellow tub to the car.  Mr. Whiskers had decided to sit in the driver’s seat, paws on the door so he could stare out the window at the other people who I imagine were there for the same reason I was.  I wonder how many of them were there only because of the dead body that was found.  Sad that it took another death to get me to Havre when Scott lived here for ten years before he died.

The door didn’t want to close but one of the officers was kind enough to pull it down for me.  He looked like he would have been more suited to football than police work, honestly.  I was tempted to ask him if he knew Scott but realized that it would probably sound stupid.  The town wasn’t small enough for everyone to literally know everyone so instead I thanked him for getting the door down, moved the cat to the passenger’s seat and left with the LEGOs and the safe on the floor.

If you’re wondering about the cat, Mr. Whiskers is 12 years old and loves to ride in the car with me.  Luckily a Best Western in Havre allows pets so I brought him with me.  He’s all I have left now.  No family, no friends, just a cat for emotional support.  Obviously I made some wrong decisions in my life to end up here.

The warmth from the heater vents felt good as I drove back to the hotel.  I wanted to get something to eat but I also wanted to get the safe open.

« Last Edit: 04:47 PM, 12/ 2/17 by Secoura »

Posted by Secoura on: 04:25 PM, 12/ 2/17
So the first half or so of the rough draft is posted if anyone wants to read it and give their thoughts.

Not much to go on yet, but I like the narrator's voice so far though I felt the line "Obviously I made some wrong decisions in my life to end up here." might have been a little heavy handed. I like the imagery of the old furniture style TV station, and of course, the kitty :3

Discord: Dan(Urkel) #2760

If you take the last two sentences of paragraph 3 and move them up to the end of paragraph 2 (where they kinda belong), you can push the exposition paragraph about the kitty up to paragraph 3. That would let you get rid of an obvious exposition moment and the need to address the reader with an "in case you're wondering." It would also give the reader a more tangible grasp of the emotional connection to and significance of the cat if given it's own "moment" in the story instead of being spread out and addressed with explicit exposition.

I hope I'm not coming across as bossy or nitpicky. I really, really like the inclusion of the cat. If you set up the emotional "hook" behind it early on, the every time it comes up again not only will we remember it, we'll re-experience the emotions behind it. That gives you a tremendous amount of leverage to manipulate the reader later on.