"Now punch in seven-eight-three-one, then hold down 'Enter'."
Clara struggled to hear Shane over the rain. She repeated the sequence in her head as she pressed on the worn keypad. Her other hand tried to find the best angle for the umbrella. A crack of thunder sounded in the distance and Clara wondered if making contact with an electric keypad in the middle of a thunderstorm was something she should be doing. If lightning did wind up striking her down, at least Shane would have a great story to tell back at the Fogelsang office.
Shane pushed the car door open and Clara jumped back in, trying not to drag too much rain with her before she pulled it shut.
"The forecast this morning didn't call for this," Shane said, practically shouting over the downfall.
"Do they ever get it right?" Clara asked, ashamed of the clichéd weather talk coming out of her mouth.
As they passed through the front gate of the storage facility, Clara made eye contact with the manager through the office window. The bearded man chomped down on an oversized sandwich and looked like he hated life in general. She hoped to never have a job as depressing as his appeared to be.
Shane drove past three long rows of storage spaces before turning down the fourth. He slowed the car, peering at the numbers on each orange pull-down door. It looked like a community of attached garages.
"They're all exactly the same," Clara said. "How do you remember which one is ours?"
The car splashed through a deep puddle. "Sometimes I get it wrong," Shane said. "Most of the paint on the numbers is washed away, so I usually just look for the door with the big scratch. We're two down from that one."
Clara nodded and saw a scarred storage unit that matched Shane's description. The gash that spanned its surface must have come from the side of a car that got too close.
"You mean that one?" Clara asked.
Shane slowed the car to a stop. "Yep," he said. "That's it."
They got out. Shane pulled a keychain from his pocket. He grabbed the padlock on the door and slid the key into it. He tried turning it but the old lock didn't budge.
"It's usually not this much trouble," he said. He turned the key and the lock finally popped open. Shane pulled it off and raised the door to the unit. It creaked and rumbled as it rolled into place above them.
Clara looked around inside. It wasn't much different from the basement of the Fogelsang building. Dozens of old file boxes in a few different styles lined the front and sides of the unit, with a couple mismatched pieces of furniture and a smattering of outdated office equipment peeking out from the back.
They stepped in. "Have you ever considered just expanding the basement of the office?" Clara asked with a hint of sarcasm.
"I wish we could, but there's really nowhere else to go." Shane pulled the chain to the overhead light, illuminating the space. "Most buildings in Breach Point don't even have basements. We got lucky."
"I suppose you did," Clara said. "So, the Yeomans project – right?"
"Right," Shane said as he began shuffling boxes from one pile to another. "It'll probably have the name written across the top. If not, look for a project label on the side."
Clara dug into a pile on the opposite side of the unit from Shane. She saw how dense the files were packed and understood why her company needed the unit. Even if the Fogelsang basement was doubled in size, storing these files in a way that gave easy access probably wouldn't work.
"Do you ever just get rid of the files?" she asked.
"Not really," Shane said. "Even if the project is long done, Theresa would want the contents to be scanned before we destroyed them, in case we needed to reference them for legal purposes. And any drawings would be big enough that they'd need a commercial scanner. It's way easier and cheaper just to pay for this place and hold onto everything."
YOU ARE READING
Breach Point (Haunted)Paranormal
When high school sophomore Clara Tuffney is hired for a summer internship at an engineering firm, she accepts an invitation to live with her Aunt Maureen in the quiet seaside town of Breach Point, New Jersey. Soon after arriving, Clara learns of t...