Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Storage Unit

The storage unit was in the middle of a godforsaken chunk of ugly fast food grease pits, bad pizza delivery joints, used tire stores and shuttered pawnshops out on the edge of town that blossomed briefly 30 years earlier. One of those ugly disposable unplanned stretches out on the edge of a crumbling desert suburb.
He'd gotten the call earlier in the week from his Uncle's estate executor, and decided it was worth checking out. His Uncle had been a queer old duck, the black sheep of the family and had popped off his last stroke while sitting in his vibrating recliner.
From the sound of it, it was ugly, and rather a rude way to go. They'd found his desiccated remains a month back, and for some reason that escaped him, he'd been left the storage unit's contents. He didn't expect much, and had no use for most of his low rent family.
Sill, given how everything he'd tried had gone bust, it was worth a look to see if the old fart left anything interesting.
He pried open the creaky unit door, and a blast wave of heat rolled out. The space was huge, and it felt like a drying oven for making beef jerky. It was loaded with crap, box after box of the kinds of worthless crap old people never seem to be able to part with. Broken stereos, clothes they would not have fit in for decades, and worthless pulp books.
He cursed his luck, his family and his broken finances. He might be able to sell a few things, enough to maybe pay his gas for the trip home, although he didn't have anything there but a pile of overdue bills.
Then, he found the chest. Buried under layers of dust and broken crap, it looked like more of the same useless clutter, until he pried it open and saw the collection of coins, the bundles of cash, and the two bars of gold under the top layer of junk papers. After a closer look, he realized the junk papers were bonds totaling over a half million bucks!
As he leaped with joy, realizing what he'd inherited from his formerly useless Uncle Bob, he managed to not only knock over the pile of boxes behind him, but to hit the garage door enough to slam it shut.
The snap of his spine mixed with the slam of the garage door. As he hit the floor, paralyzed from the neck down under the huge pile of worthless paperbacks, he realized with a twisted irony that at least he would die rich, and well preserved in the dry air.

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"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson