WIP: Reality Storage

Cup of Coffee

Coffee cup

Finishing up the final polish of a story today, titled “Reality Storage”. It fits in both the Villa Encantada series as well as the category of “stories inspired by the remodeling and moving process.” Here you go:

So there I was staring at the bank of monitors. It was still early in the morning; my coffee was half-full but I’d finished my muffin. I was thinking about the way Bonnie smelled in the morning, before she showered, still a little sweaty but with a lingering edge like lilac and mint from her bodywash, and a little musty too, when you burrowed your face down into the hollow of her neck.

On monitor three, the guy entered, got a cart, and then pretended to load stuff onto it from his car. That’s what made me look a second time, catching him lifting empty air up. He did it five or six times, then trundled the cart onto the elevator and took it up to locker 234.

I watched him all the way, sipping my coffee, wondering what he was up to. He opened up the locker, mimed lifting six things into it, closed and locked it. He even wore work gloves to protect his hands. I wondered if he was practicing some kind of act. It looked so realistic, to the point where he staggered on the last lift, as though thrown off balance by the burden’s heaviness.

He stripped off the gloves, closed up the unit, and locked it again. He didn’t bother to take the empty cart back down with him, just left it there, which made me think the worse of him. It’s shitty not to do little things like that, to make someone else clean up after you.

While he was in the elevator, he looks straight at the camera. He rubbed at his ear, frowning. Then he shrugged and gave the camera a wave, as though he saw me watching.

Then he got back into his sporty little pickup truck and drove away.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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