Fuck the owner of 1A, I thought. I work here, I take care of these units, I do my job at making this place a business. Who the hell are these people to come into 1A, and threaten Bob and Joe? Or me? I want that owner here, I thought. I want to tell him to leave, to get the hell out of here and never come back.
I went to 1A and opened the door. I stared at everything in the unit – a baseball and baseball bat, some board games, Jack Daniels, old ashtrays, a twenty-something year old Honda Nighthawk (which I ended up putting back), rugs with dust on them, an antique rifle, an antique handgun, more Jack Daniels, Paul Mall Reds, a machete, a dog collar, and a pair of black cowboy boots. The China tea set was still in the middle of the room. Without thinking, without blinking, and I swear to god, without breathing I ran to that machete. I picked it up and with all of my might I swung it at that tea set. I shattered it and the Jack Daniels. I cut the board games in half, and I sawed through that dog collar. I was on my way to the cowboy boots when I heard an enormous bang.
I turned around to see the man. It was the man from before with the cowboy hat – the owner of 1A. He was holding the antique pistol in the air. Smoke was coming out of it and he looked like some zombie who’d started a marathon race. I still couldn’t see his silhouetted face, but he was about 30 feet behind the unit. Behind me.
I froze, but I still had adrenaline pulsing through me. I turned around with the machete held high in my right arm. “What do you want!” I yelled.
He slowly lowered the pistol until it was pointed directly at me.
“You’re going to kill me over some crap in a storage unit?” I asked. “What do you want?”
He was still standing in the same spot, but the word “everyone” flew into my ear as if he were right next to me. We both still didn’t move, I still couldn’t see his face.
“W-what do you mean ‘everyone?’” I stammered.
He pointed his gun to unit 2A. The door flew open and as if someone in the back of the unit had thrown it, a VCR tape flew a couple of feet and then slid right to where I was standing. Bob & Joe / Last Tape was written on a piece of duct tape that was attached to the VCR tape. I looked up when I heard the sound of the motorcycle from 1A being started.
The man was leaving. I don’t think this is the last time I’ll see him, though.
By now it was evening. I quickly locked every entrance to the units, got in my apartments, and locks all of its doors and windows as well. Then I got my VCR player out.
I rewound the tape when I put it in, but it still began in the middle of a frame. It was Joe, younger looking though. She was sitting on a wooden porch somewhere. Her face looked so terrified. I played the tape and found out Joe was at some sort of party. Someone (I’m guessing Bob) is grilling hotdogs and hamburgers. There are other people there, maybe five or six. They all look like family, old and young. They’re just talking, two kids are running around in the grass, a couple is standing off to the side. Joe won’t stop looking at something though, with that horrified look on her face. Why did that man want me to watch this? What would anything with Bob and Joe have to do with him tormenting me now?
“Grandma, are you rich now that you sold your store?” The girl running in the yard comes up to ask Joe.
“Hey,” says Bob, smiling at her. “It was my store too. Your grandma isn’t the only rich one.”
“No. No, we are not rich. Stop it. No!” Joe is in the same spot, staring the same way, but she’s yelling now. “We are not rich! Shut up!”
The girl begins to cry. One of the other adults tells the person behind the camera to shut it off. The tape goes to a black screen.
I fast forwarded the tape but I couldn’t find anything else. Just this one scene.
I need to talk to Joe again.