A Storage Facility Disaster
Jordan rubbed his palms together, a greedy expression on his face. “Let’s set off a couple of them tonight, Mike.” Mike, the more responsible one of the two, shook his head. “No way, Jordan. My uncle’s not leaving until tomorrow. We gotta wait until then. He just about killed us last summer.” The boys had summer jobs at Mike’s uncle’s business - an Irvine, California, self-storage facility, located on the outskirts of Irvine.
Last summer the boys had brought some paintball guns to the storage facility. It had so many prime nooks and crannies to duck and roll into. They had thought their uncle wouldn’t be back for a couple days and were planning to clean up before he returned. But their uncle showed up early. The look on his face when he walked up and found the boys and his storage units covered head to toe in brightly coloured paint – well let’s just say the boys knew they were in sure-fire trouble.
But this was next summer and feelings of remorse and cautiousness were long gone in light of a new opportunity for a bit of mischief. The boys had brought a couple roman candles to the storage facility. Their plan was to set one up like normal, facing the sky. With all the metal units around, the light reflecting off their walls would look incredible. Tomorrow Jordan’s uncle was leaving for a two-day trip, so he wouldn’t be around to squash their creativity.
The next day rolled around and the boys waved goodbye to their uncle, his last words echoing in their heads. “Now if I get back and anything’s messed up, you kids better run for the hills.” Jordan’s uncle was no dummy. He knew the boys’ mischievous nature and was glad this was only a two-day trip.
After he left, the boys went back to their regular jobs at the storage facility. By five o’clock, Melissa, the office manager, had locked the office and waved goodbye to the boys. They decided to go home for dinner and meet back at the storage lot at ten o’clock. Ten o’clock rolled around and the boys had set up the first Roman candle in between the storage units in section D. Jordan had suggested two at once, but Mike had squashed that idea quickly. There was no room for error with these things.
They lit the spark and ran back to a decent distance to watch. A bright red-hot ball flew up and into the sky with a loud BANG! Then another. And another! All of a sudden, a streak of brown rushed past them, towards the Roman candle. It was a dog. The boys watched in horror as the dog grabbed the Roman candle, treating it like a stick and turning as if to run with it. The boy suddenly realized that the once-vertical stick was now horizontal and pointing towards them.
Letting out a yell, the boys fled in different directions, the red-hot balls shooting sideways out of the candle in the dog’s mouth. The dog seemed unafraid of the fiery weapon it had in its mouth and seemed to think the boys wanted to play. It trotted after them, tail wagging as it ran. “BANG! BANG! BOOM! BANG!” The boys turned to see that one of the fiery balls had hit the remaining pile of Roman candles and they were all shooting outwards now – in a spew of red-hot light – BANG! BANG! BANG! At this, the dog seemed to realize he was in the line of fire, and dropping the original Roman candle, he turned and ran – tail between his legs.
The boys ducked and rolled in between the storage units – the sounds of BANG BANG BOOM – echoing all around them. And then – suddenly – there was silence. The air became so still, the boys were afraid to look. Was it really over? Peeking out from the storage units, they could see that the candles were blackened and still. Jordan walked over and picked one up – “Man, that was crazy. Where the heck did that dog come from?” “Well, it’s gone now,” Mike, replied, the absurdity of what had just happened settling into his mind. Just then he remembered – the storage units! Turning slowly, his mouth dropped to the floor. He scanned the rows of storage units – could this be for real? Jordan followed his friend’s wild expression and his own eyes opened in surprise. He saw nothing. No holes, no scratches, no smouldering storage boxes.
He leaped up in the air and yelled out loud, “Whahooooooooo! Your uncle’s not going to kill us after all!” Mike joined him and the boys whooped and yelled until their voices were hoarse. They couldn’t believe it but they weren’t going to object. Their uncle would never know. Tomorrow was Sunday and they were off work. He’d be back on Monday and all would be as before.
Monday rolled around and the boys sauntered up to the storage office Monday morning, not a care in the world. Their uncle met them at the door, a serious look on his face. “You two have some explaining to do,” he said solemnly. The boys exchanged glances – what could he be talking about. They followed their uncle down the line of storage units. But instead of turning towards section D, he led them down a side aisle to section C. They walked around the corner and stopped in shock. Before them lay a storage unit. But not just any storage unit. A blackened rusty mass of a storage unit. The boys looked at each other in shock. A blast from Saturday night must have sailed over section D and into section C.
Their uncle had been watching their reactions and knew something was up. “All right. Somebody had better explain,” he threatened. “Uhh, Uncle Mark,” Jordan said, “you’d better sit down to hear this story.” After he was finished, they both looked at Jordan’s uncle, waiting to hear their what their punishment would be. He had put his head in his hands and appeared to be – crying? No wait – he was laughing! Mark lifted his head and looked at his nephew and at Mike. The image of the dog running after the boys with the Roman candle, flames shooting out at them, was more than he could have asked for. “Well, boys, I think you’ve learned your lesson. I certainly do…”
This story was inspired by the people we know, the stories we've heard, and the things that are most important in our lives.
Thanks for reading,
The Find Storage Fast Team