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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Uncertain Future - 3. UF Chapter 3

I watched, as a couple approached an apartment building which looked like it hadn't been very well maintained, and they used a card to open the door. Before they stepped inside, what they didn't realise, but I spotted, was that one of them had dropped the pass card on the ground as they entered the building.

When they were clearly out of sight, I cautiously approached the building and picked up the card. Nervously I put the card up to the sensor and it beeped, with a tiny light going from red to green. I pulled open the door and walked in with my bike, making sure the door closed and locked properly behind me. Carefully, I walked down the dimly lit hall way till I came to two elevators and a doorway that said “Stairs”. Pressing the button for the elevator, I waited for just a few seconds before the door opened and cautiously I stepped in.

When the door closed I looked at the panel that indicated how many floors there were, 6 in total, a roof terrace and a basement. I pressed the button to the roof terrace, and slowly the elevator began to climb. When the door opened I stepped into a small passageway, were there was a set of stairs going up at one end and a door nearby that was marked “Elevator Motor Room – No Entry”. I turned towards the stairs and I saw there was only about twelve steps leading to a closed door. Leaving the bike in the passage I climbed the stairs and looked out the door, which I noticed was locked from the outside. It was getting cold outside and I needed to find a place to sleep. As I returned towards the elevator again I noticed a small passage that runs along the other side of the elevators, which comes to a stop with a half-height door that was marked “Cleaners Store”. It wasn't locked, so I cautiously opened it and bent down to look in, feeling around I located a light switch and turned it on.

The room was very dusty with a few cobwebs around. There was an old broom, bucket and dustpan near the door, and there were a number of large boxes stacked up further back. The store room had not been used for a long time, obviously forgotten, and it was perfect for me to stay in for now, it was only about 5 feet wide, but at least 25 or more feet long, running along the back of both elevators and the stairwell. I carefully brought my bike into the storeroom, and closed the door, which has a lock and an extra switch to stop people with keys to the room from getting in. Quietly I walked down the room, till I estimated that I was behind the stairwell, and I laid out my camping mattress and sleeping bag before laying down and dropping to sleep almost straight away.

I woke up once during the early hours, to the sound of the elevator motor in motion as someone pushed the button to go down or up, but I was soon fast asleep again. The next time I woke was when the elevator was in regular use, with people leaving their apartments to head off to work or whatever they needed to do during the day. I just laid quietly waiting for the elevator to stop, and this is when I realised that there was a small window almost above my head and there was daylight, I also noticed that I had left the light on. I climbed out of my bed and walked towards the door to turn it off. That was when I saw a small cabinet that was open slightly near the switch. Carefully I opened the door some more and saw that it contained some keys.

“Roof Terrace Store” was the first key tag that I saw. I grabbed it and carefully and quietly unlatched the lock and opened the door, before placing the key into the keyhole of the door and turning it. I was thrilled as it now meant I had a warm dry place to sleep, even if it is a bit noisy from the motors of the elevators. Looking at the other keys in the cabinet I saw keys for the Basement Laundry, Basement Bathroom, Basement Store Room, Roof Top Terrace, Ground Floor Main Cleaners Store and a key for the Front Door. I was thrilled to have found these keys as it now gave me access to all that I needed, but firstly I had to sort out this room. As quietly as possible using the broom and dust pan I swept the whole room, moving the large heavy boxes so I could sweep under them before placing the boxes closer toward the door to form a kind of barrier wall to hide my belongings in case someone did actually look into the room.

This gave me a room approximately 8 feet wide and 20 feet long, with a window providing plenty of daylight, and moonlight when it is a clear night, with plenty of room for my bed and my bike. Once I was happy with what I had achieved I decided that I would try and explore as much as possible without being caught. So, with the extra keys in my pocket I made my way up to the roof terrace which was a big open outdoor area, which at one time was probably used for entertaining, there were a number of planter boxes with dead plants due to the lack of watering, there was a large gazebo with a damaged roof as the result of a storm at some time, and some outdoor furniture that was very weather worn. There was also a large spa pool, which had no water in it, just a lot of dead leaves, and a very rusty barbecue that looked like hasn't been used for about a decade.

After a good look around, I went down one level from my little home and I counted a total of 8 apartments on this level. I went down to the 2 - floor and it was the same amount, so now I knew there was 48 apartments in the building. Next, I went down to the basement, where I checked out the cleaners store, which was quite messy, the laundry and the bathroom, the latter looking like it hadn't been used in a long time either.

Finally, I went to the main store room, there I found an assortment of furniture and household goods that obviously had been abandoned over the years, and just placed in the store room and forgotten about. Using the stairs, I went up one level to where there were two doors, one into the ground floor passageway, and the other door lead outside into an alleyway, checking that I had the pass key and main key to get back in, as well as my wallet, I entered the alley and out into the main street where I located a street name for the where the building is.

“401 Grenadier Street”, which I repeated in my head a number of times to make sure I remembered it. I walked towards what looked like the busier part of the city and I soon located a news-agency, were I purchased a local city map, a pen, which I used to scribbled the address onto the top of the map, before I looked at it to see where the address was located, and spotting a street sign nearby I worked out where I was at this moment. Studying the map carefully, I was near the edge of the Central Business District, where there was a lot of inner city apartment buildings, as well as some small parks, cafes paved open places. I sat there watching the people go by for a while, before I saw a young couple sitting down and avoiding eye contact with each other.

For some strange reason, I felt I need to try and get them to communicate with each other, and my theatre skills kicked in, during the two years that I had studied theatre at school, the teacher said I was very good at mime and basic circus tricks, like hand walking, juggling and a bit of acrobatics. I began miming that I was walking along a field and a spot a beautiful flower, located close to the couple, which I picked and smelled before spinning around in delight, before I notice the couple, I look at the flower and smile. I look at the couple and go sad, I look at the flower again, before I take a few steps forward and pass the imaginary flower to the couple, who both look at me strangely, then at each other.

I pointed to the man and then to my heart and then to the women in a questioning look, the man looked at the lady then at me and gave a slight nod yes, I did the same to the lady and she gave the same yes nodded response, I then motioned for them both to move closer to each other, and they looked at me, then at each other and they smiled. Once again I offered the imaginary flower, and the man pretended to accept the flower, before giving it to his lady friend, who smiled broadly before giving him a kiss. Suddenly there was applause coming from all around them, unaware to us, a group had gathered to watch what I was doing, and I just waved to the couple and dissolved into the crowd, leaving the couple to try and fix whatever troubles they were having with their relationship.

Leaving the small open area, I realised that I needed to have a shower, and get into some fresh clothes, firstly I needed to get some supplies, and I soon found a small deli, where I found deodorant, a hair comb, body wash, shampoo, and a toothbrush and tooth paste. I also grabbed a loaf of bread, a few puzzle magazines, a 1 litre of lime flavoured cordial, a pack of disposable plates, cutlery and cups. Once back in my little room, I grabbed my towel from my backpack and made my way to the grubby bathroom in the basement, on the way there I grabbed the mop and bucket, some cleaning cloths and disinfectant so I could clean the bathroom while having a shower. An hour later the bathroom and I were both spotlessly clean, and once dressed I replaced the cleaning equipment where I found it, before returning upstairs to my little hidden room.

I kept myself busy for the remainder of the day, by working on the puzzles, and listening to the sounds of the elevators going up and down, plus the occasional echo of someone taking the stairs. When it was dark I slipped out of my room, and took the elevator down to the basement. I went out into the alleyway, and into the cool crisp evening, were I began to walk around the area with my map in hand to guide me as I tried to get my bearings around the area. There is a local community arts college nearby, with plenty of small cafes and some restaurants scattered around. I located an ATM machine and withdrew $50, before entering one of the cafes where I ordered a toasted cheese, ham and tomato sandwich with a strawberry milkshake, and sat down at a small table near the window, not far from the back of the cafe.

As I ate my meal I listened to the college students as they chatted, laughed and pull funny faces at each other, then there was a comment that caught my attention. “Did any of you catch that young dude who did a mime near the open amphitheatre earlier today, man he was good, actually he was really good” was one comment. I listened a bit more, “Yea I saw it, damn shame I didn't have a camera with me, would have loved to have caught it on film, to show the lecturer, I agree his was very talented, and he looked very young too, what he did for that couple was amazing” another guy mentioned and they started chatting to see if anyone knew where this mysterious mime comes from and does he attend the college.

I smiled as I listened to them, unaware that behind me the couple that they were talking about were sitting in the cafes having a light meal, and they too heard the conversation. After I finished my meal, I tried to hide my face as best as I could and made my way towards the door, glad that I had showered and changed so hopefully I wouldn't be recognised. Once outside I stopped and took a deep breath and released it, glad that I got away before they saw me. I made a point of looking at the name of the cafe so as to ensure I didn't go in there when there are college students inside, before disappearing into the night as I made my way back to the apartment building.

Entering via the basement, I decided to have a closer look at what is in the main store room, and I soon found a thick foam mattress, that was wrapped in plastic, looked like it was brand new, also there was a small book shelf, and a bed side cabinet, which I thought would help to improve my living situation a bit more. For the next hour, I carefully and quietly moved the items up to the roof terrace level and into my little room. I now had a very comfortable bed, and some storage space for my clothes and my few items of belongings. Once I had completed this I settled down for a good night’s rest, which was my third since I left home suddenly.

I shook involuntarily at the thought of home, and decided that it was best to not think about it, as it brought back sad memories of the shop and Mr Schwartz, so I took out a puzzle book and worked on a few puzzles till I was tired enough to go to sleep, and was soon a very peaceful sleep for the first time in a long while. Over the next few days, I managed to sneak out of the building easily at any time after 8am, when most of the residents had gone to work, and I spent a lot more time exploring the neighbourhood, where I found a local library and after some searching I found a book on clowns and mimes, and I had a number of pages photocopied for future reference. I looked for and found a directory for the region and located a number of arts and crafts stores and one of those stores that sold a lot of things very cheaply.

A few days later with this information at hand I went searching for this shop, locating it a few blocks closer to the city from where I was living, and inside I found face paint, a good size hand held mirror, a rubber red nose, as well as a got a few spares, a number of multi colours clown wigs, and some art brushes of various sizes. On the way back to the apartment, I called into the pharmacy to get some lanolin cream, a packet of face wipes, and a small first aid kit. I also grabbed a snack from the small deli, as well as a copy of the local college newspaper, and the main city newspaper. Once back in my little room I sat on my bed and ate my snack, while reading the college newspaper, where I found a small article about me.

“A young couple struggling with their relationship, were sitting near the Albans Amphitheatre yesterday, when a unexpected encounter with a young mime, made them realise that their argument was not a big issue after all, and they kissed an made up after accepting an imaginary flower from the young mime. Witnessed by a crowd of about 20 including students from this college, the performance was regarded as amazing and of a high standard. Unfortunately, no one was able to record the event, and the young mime disappeared into the crowd not to be seen again. So now we are calling all college staff and students to keep an eye out for this young man, and try and get a recording of his performances.” I was a bit surprised by this and I was glad that I had bought the supplies to help hide my identity.

On another day out, I found a hardware store with small garden nursery, and I thought I could start working on fixing up the old roof terrace, to make it usable again, so after a bit of a look around, I found the clear fibreglass poly sheeting that I needed to fix the roof to the gazebo, plus a small bag of pool salt, a water testing kit, some reticulation fittings, some basic tools and a new 30 metre hose with fittings.

I paid for them including delivery costs to the alleyway beside 401 Grenadier Street, and they informed me they could deliver it at the end of the day at 6pm, which I said was perfect. I just hoped that no one was in the basement when the delivery arrived, so I could hide the new items in the main store room, till it was safe enough to get it up to the roof terrace.

When the delivery arrived, I was at the door waiting for them, and they assisted me to get them inside the basement before they departed, and I was able to get it all into the store room undetected. Later that evening, I returned to the basement and carefully fitted two sheets of the roofing material into the elevator at a time, to get it up to the roof terrace, where I weighed them down to the floor with the old furniture. I had already searched for and located the two main taps; one for watering the garden boxes, and the other for filling the spa pool.

I checked the small pump, and it appeared to be just very dusty, and needed a bit or oil in the sump before it is restarted. As quietly as I could, I removed the eight sheets of damaged roofing of the gazebo, and slowly transported each sheet down to the basement and out into the alley where there is a big dumper rubbish bin, and disposed of them. The next morning, I returned to the hardware store with a small list of items that I needed and explained to the owner of the store that I would be helping my uncle to renovate a courtyard at an apartment block that he is caretaker and maintenance man for, and he is using the storage facilities at the apartment block he lives in to store the supplies till needed.

This explanation seemed to satisfy the curious hardware store owner, and he helped to gather the supplies that I required, which were small enough for me to carry in two large carry bags. Once back on the roof top terrace with all the noise going on with traffic below on the streets, I began to install the replacement sheets of roofing for the gazebo, hoping that the street noise was enough to hide the renovation work I was doing on the terrace. When this was completed, and the pump was now filled with oil, I began to fill up the spa pool with water.

While waiting for it to fill, I replaced and repaired all the reticulation hose for the garden boxes, and pulled out all of the dead plants, dumping them over the side, in the alleyway, aiming for the open dumper bin, sometimes the plants landed in the bin sometimes they missed, I didn't worry about it as I was planning to clean it up later.

With the spa pool filled, I made sure there was no leaks anywhere, before adding the pool salt and chlorine before I checked the pH levels of the water, to make sure it was at the suitable level for soaking in. Once I was happy with this I turned on the spa and watched it carefully, to make sure it all operated properly, before I turned it off, so no one would hear it downstairs.

Next on my list of things to do was to rejuvenate the outdoor wooden furniture, which appeared to be in good order, apart from the condition of the wood, so with the wood oil that I bought, I began to cover every surface of the six chairs and one big table, before going down to my little room to rest for the rest of the afternoon. I had just glanced at the main newspaper a number of times, and as I sat down on my bed, I opened the next page from where I stopped earlier, and was shocked to see an old picture of me when I was 12 years old.

“Missing; 16-year old Wesley A. Devonport, left home in the middle of the night two weeks ago, and has not been seen since. The most recent photo of him is when he was 12 years old. Now aged 16 years, he is 5 foot, 9 inches or 1.8 metres tall, straight brown hair to the collar, blue eyes, no distinct features, the Devonport Family’s much loved son and older brother, who they would dearly like him to return home”.

On reading this I realised that I did miss them very much, especially my little brat brother Toby, but I couldn't go home now. I was a mental wreck there, with so many memories, and I didn't want to be like that again, it was just too painful. After a bit more crying, I ended up falling asleep again, and it was late afternoon, so I went down to the basement and out into the alley to clean up the mess of the scattered dead plants everywhere, and once completed, I went for a walk, not going anywhere in particular, but somehow I ended up at the hardware store.

I decided to check out the plants in the nursery, as I wanted to get it all looking nice with greenery again, that is when I spotted the artificial turf, which I thought would look great under the gazebo, so I purchased enough to cover the whole 6 x 3 metre area, along with some artistic wooden panels, that could be used as a partial wall screen, I also bought 6 large bags of potting mix for the planter boxes, to freshen up the soil.

Once again, I arranged for it to be delivered to the alleyway, and I managed to get it all stored away, before any of it was discovered by the apartment building residents, and over the next few days I managed to cart it all up onto the rooftop terrace, where I carefully swept clean the floor before laying the turf down, securing it down with a heavy-duty resin glue.

Next on the two-opposite sides of the gazebo, I attached the wooden panels to the corner posts, each panel was 2 metres wide and 1.5 metres high, allowing a 2-metre gap in the middle on both long sides of the gazebo. The furniture had received three coats of wood oil, and was looking in a much better condition, as I placed them in the gazebo, out of direct sunlight and weather.

With the gazebo area now completed, the terrace was starting to look like it is a proper entertainment area, and, next I had to complete sweeping all of the remaining terrace floor, fill up the planter boxes with fresh soil and plant new plants into them. Each day I had been running the spa pool for half an hour, twice a day, to keep the water in good condition, without causing too much attention from the residents. When I had the planter boxes ready for some greenery, I returned to the hardware store nursery, and after some looking around, I decided on getting 6 Golden Cane palms, 3 Tree Fern palms, 3 Kentia palms, a variety of ferns, some native grasses, 3 large purple philodendrons, plus 4 large Ficus Trees in large tubs, and 4 large various citrus trees also in large tubs, so they can be moved around, to suit the party situations.

What it really needed now was some kind of feature, and I found it in a garden pot and fountains store located a further away from the city, and they were able to deliver the items that I purchased to the ally way, and assist with getting them down to the basement. A few days later with that assistance of a borrowed barrel trolley from the hardware store, I was able to get the giant deep terracotta dish and pot. Up onto the terrace, and placed it centrally between the gazebo and the door leading indoors, so it is the first thing you see as you come out of the door stepping onto the terrace, Around the corner, near the spa pool on the wall is a copper water feature on the wall, where the water drizzles down the copper wall into a big collection tray.

Both water features are solar powered so there was no need for organising an electrician to connect it all up, finally after nearly a month of hard work, I had completed the renovation of the terraced garden and it looked magnificent, and next I had to organise a surprise terrace party for the residents, who were all mostly professional people, who owned the apartments, although there were three apartments that are leased out.

Copyright October 2015 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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hi quokka, chapter 3 is exact same chapter for both Frontier and Uncertain Future

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I feel like there's something missing. We went from Wesley getting off of the train to characters named Simon and Anton. Are these the people Wesley is gonna meet? Did Welsey change his name so he couldn't be found? I'm confused.

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Ok, this chapter makes more sense. Happy to see Wesley found a place to sleep and something to pass the time. The terrace sounds great, and the surprise party for the residents will introduce him to some new people. Kinda sad reading the article about him missing and how worried his family is. It would be difficult to stay away, but I feel his mother put too much responsibility on him.

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The work helped Wes not think about what he lost and left behind. But he isn't dealing with it. Simetimes helping others helps you. I'm interested in how this goes. 

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sorry about the mixup earlier folks, I accidentally added a chapter of Frontier onto this story, but all is fixed now.

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Thank you everyone for your comments

I am sorry I don't get back to everyone

not enough hours in the day to do everything

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It’s a shame that Wesley has not got in touch with his mother, 

she must be very worried about him. 

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