I sat on the charred floor of the abandoned Home Depot. Around us gutted walls rose into darkness. An eerie unnatural cold permeated the sad wreck of once luxurious corporate headquarters, its freezing current twining around the support columns. Long ragged scars cut across exposed concrete as if something with three-foot claws had scoured the walls.
Across from me Derek rubbed his hands. “Damn, it’s cold.”
Jim emerged from the gloom carrying a cardboard box. “You got a match? I found this stack of extended warranties. We can burn them to keep warm.”
He dumped the warranties on the floor and I set it on fire. Orange flames danced across the curling papers.
“So what happened here?” Derek asked.
“Some Russian woman,” I told him.
“Not one of Roman’s relatives?”
Jim shook his head. “No. This was awhile back. Story goes she bought a GE dishwasher from Home Depot and after a year, it quit. Home Depot sent out tech after tech to replace the motor, and in the end, they screwed up. The dishwasher leaked and caused damage to the kitchen floor. She tried to get help, but Home Depot kept passing the buck, first to the techs, then to GE. Finally she lost it, walked in here in the middle of the night, and summoned a tornado of metal blades. Gutted the whole place.”
“Guess they should’ve replaced her floor,” Derek said.
I nodded. “Guess they should’ve.”