Clutching my weapons anxiously, with my favorite book bag swinging at my side, I followed Sophia and the Boss. I softly hummed the wild blue yonder as we climbed the secret stairs, but the further we went the darker it seemed.Eventually, the “wild blue yonder” started to sound ominous in my mind. Boss opened the door at the top of the stairs, and leads us into the dark cavern labeled “Carter Storage”. This storage could comfortably fit four baby dragons, but what did dwell there was much more terrifying. Boss turns to us “I didn’t realize how bad this was! I’ll come back in fifteen minutes with trash bags, but until then, you two get started. This Storage facility needs to be swept by 11:00.” and with that she left us, dust clouds billowing in her wake. Wide eyed I look about me. The giant room is divided into six main fenced off sections, two on either side of a dimly lit hallway which itself was split in two. The fences gave the room a cage like feel, 4 cages for 4 long departed baby dragons. In their place, dust, litter, and insects coated the floors. The left side of the cavern was lit, but the right side had succumbed to the darkness. I pondered this and wandered idly to the end of the hall where Sophia already stood.
“Which side do you want?” Sophia asked determinedly, she is a Senior member and very experienced in the ways of the broom.
“The lit side!” I said my eyes wide as I looked at her, wondering why it wasn’t obvious. I was the innocent freshman and had no idea how to clean something so vast. If I was going to venture into the realm of dust and litter, I’d prefer to see it coming. She shrugged and was soon shrouded in darkness. I, on the other hand, pulled open the gate and trudged warily into my own murky mess. The dim light was oddly comforting, very reminiscent of my bedroom at home but even my bedroom was cleaner then this lair. Each brush of the broom felt futile as the dust flew into the air. My eyes widened as they caught sight of a butter knife.
“What’s a butter knife doing here?” I asked in surprise. Sophia shrugged. “I’m going to collect it.” And I put it in my bag. My imagination went awry with murderous plots, ( why else would a butter knife be in a little used storage facility?) and then I saw the hockey stick. Or should I say the head of the hockey stick. It’s beheading must’ve been violent, because all that was left of the wood were sharp splinters. In an attempt not to get cut, I carefully picked the dirty head up by the plastic and stuck it in the gate for safe keeping. Two murder weapons! I returned to my sweeping, and manage to make a slight impact on the level of dust in my section just as our Boss returned with the trash bags.
“Boss! This is impossible! I don’t think we’re gonna be able to finish this in time!” I remarked anxiously. Usually, I am a very hard worker, but this task was so daunting, I didn’t know how we were going to manage.
Boss agreed with my fears and relayed “Rapunzel will be up here in 15 – 20 min. Until then, do your best and focus on the trash.”
I felt relief knowing the trash was the important issue, the mission seemed more achievable. Still, I couldn’t wait for Rapunzel to join us. All help was appreciated, and Rapunzel’s cool. With a new spring in my step, I danced past the gate, and dumped my trash into one of the bags Boss had provided. Sohpia had been sweeping the hallway of trash, and watched as I entered the second cage on her side. “Switching sides!” I informed her unnecessarily, I felt but stop at her warning.
“Careful!” she shouted, “There’s glass in there!” I look down and sure enough, broken glass lay everywhere!
“Good thing we’re wearing sneakers! I don’t want to be mortally wounded!” Internally I remarked, ‘this place really is a death trap, no wonder they sent us to clean it up!’ I continue dancing with my broom, listening to the sharp scratch of glass on concrete, and humming happily, sure death looms around every corner but is that a reason to be miserable?
Suddenly, I felt a sting on my arm. I tried to ignore it, and continued sweeping, but I felt suddenly aware of just how many pests would love a lair like this. As my mind brought up lists of dangerous spiders, and my imagination hijacks that train of thought into the realm of acromantulas and Shelob and her brood, and radioactive spiders….hmm…that last one might actually be fun…Before I let myself ponder what I would do with Spiderman’s powers, I asked “Err…Sophia..just how many bugs to you think are in this place?” I asked.
“I don’t even want to think about it.” she shuddered. “Any bugs you see. Kill them on sight.”
“Got it!” I said, and suddenly, my broom became my weapon in the war on bugs. I fought bravely, sweeping many a spider into my dust pan, and depositing their carcasses into our handy trash bags, but many more continued to bite me. “These bugs are gonna kill me!!” I cried jokingly, which sent my imagination running into a land of fire ants, wasps, hornets, and black widows, which sent me to Black Widows, and Wasps, and Ant Men, and before my mind could get too distracted from the task at hand, footsteps sounded on the stairwell.
“Rapunzel! Save us!” I shouted. “Save us!” As I shouted, Rapunzel entered the room, bespectacled and bemused.
“Boss sent me up here to help you two.” she said looking about.
“And we are very grateful, you have no idea how messy this place is.”
“Where should I start?” she asked, and I pointed to my right.
“Sophia has been sweeping the hall, neither of us has started that cage yet. Careful, there’s glass.”
We continued working and I laughed happily. There was an entire colony of brightly colored erasers abandoned by their previous owner. Quickly, I stashed them in my purse. “I’ve got loot!” I sang and I looked over at Rapunzel, “Do you want any?” Rapunzel just laughed and shook her head. Now. I was on a quest, what hidden trophies could I discover? I thought back, one butter knife, the head of a hockey stick, shards of glass, erasers, and then, my eyes caught sight of something shiny! “Oooh! Look at this!” I held up my find for my coworkers to see.
“It’s a star.” Rapunzel observed unimpressed but I was mesmerized.
“Yes, it’s a star, and it’s shiny! It’s a Christmas ornament!” I spun the star by its string just watching it.
“You have no idea where that thing’s been!” Sophia warned. I frowned in agreement but I refused to be discouraged.
“True. But, we have plenty of disinfectant downstairs!” Pleased with my argument, I put the shiny into my bag, and finished sweeping. All the glass went into the trash bags, along with the butter knife and the hockey stick head. My trophies went back to my dorm with me. Boss was impressed by all the hard work we did, and I had fun learning the wonders of being a working woman!