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Unit 232



Estimated reading time โ€” 3 minutes

In a nondescript rural corner of the American midwest, in a long row of units at one of the many dilapidated mini storage businesses that dot that dreary landscape, is a unit, Unit 232, with barely-noticable scratches in the concrete in front of the sliding door.

Upon closer inspection of Unit 232, the careful observer will note a few things: the frame around the door to the unit is dinged and bent up along its entire length, to the point that the door cannot be slid open even an inch; the door itself is curiously warped (some describe it as “pinched”) at the center, though not badly enough to see at first glance; the brown-tan paint covers up several much older layers that can be observed where chipping has occurred. An even more careful observer will discover that the entire row of units in which 232 is contained is of an older architectural style than the other rows, indicating that it alone has remianed in place possibly since the inception of the storage facility.

The owner, of course, has a story about Unit 232, although he doesn’t like to tell it. When he was much younger, someone rented the unit–he doesn’t recall who–and then disappeared after that, never paying the next month’s rent. Such things, the owner will say, happen often in his business, for all kinds of reasons, and so he and his boys clipped the flimsy lock from the unit along with several other unpaid lots a few weeks later, intending to sell its contents at blind auction and recoup some of their losses. Unfortunately, even with all three of them grunting and heaving at the door, it would not lift at all. Angry, the owner hired out some heavy machinery to tear the door down instead.

Behind the door, the owner says, was nothing but a solid wall of dull steel. The small backhoe tore the flimsy aluminum door out easily, but barely made a scratch in the metal. Exploratory cuttings elsewhere around the unit revealed that the same metal pressed against every wall. Whatever it was, it seemed practically bolted into the concrrete.

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The next revelation was the discovery of a large, plain keyhole set into the block–which, the owner supposes, must actually have something else inside of it–on the side that faced the back of the unit. A locksmith was hired to examine the keyhole, but the moment he began feeling out the hole with his turning tools, he fainted clean away. When he came to an hour or so later, he was in such bad shape that his eyes would not focus and his tongue would not form words, and he was eventually committed to the county mental health ward (back when it was still called an asylum, the owner will say) where he managed to hang himself with a towel a few months later.

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Having had quite enough of these goings-on, the owner called in a full-scale demolition service to take out the unit with a bulldozer, but when the vehicle arrived, the engine cut out and could not be started again until it had been towed some miles away. Spooked because of the story about the locksmith, which caused a small local media sensation at the time, the driver decided against trying a second time, and when word got round to the other heavy equipment companies in the area, the owner was left with no one to try and finish the job.

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Naturally, he will say, he decided to rent the equipment and have one of his employees take care of it for him instead. But this is where he trails off, every time, and if you press him for the story of that worker, he will say nothing, only staring off out the window of his office as though you are not there at all. In the end, he will say, clearing his throat, he carefully re-paneled the walls, attached a new door, welded it in place and banged up the frame as an added precaution. The “pinching” at the center of the door, he will tell you, seems to happen on its own, but he has learned to stop asking questions about whatever is locked up inside that huge steel box.

Of course, every lock has a key somewhere in the world that fits it. What is inside the cube in Unit 232? Whoever has the key might know; more likely it has been passed along from attic to attic and rummage sale to antique shop so many times that whoever has it has no idea what it is for. Check your garage, basement, attic or junk drawers: almost everyone has a few big, old keys lying in a dark corner somewhere that he or she cannot recall the purpose of. Perhaps one of yours fits the lock hidden inside Unit 232….

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66 thoughts on “Unit 232”

  1. im 10 my dad has a old ford and in dashboard theres a key so where is unit 232 im gonna try it first I will rent a bulldozer 20 open the door of course.

  2. The unknown Man

    Inside….that……thing…….is something you could never understand……..the dark horror that surrounds it would follow you for the rest of your days……..So go enjoy your life and hope that unit 232 is never opened……..

  3. Very creepy, but the unreveal just feels like a cop-out, as if you couldn’t think of anything scary enough to justify the build-up. Frankly, I feel a let-down would’ve been better than this. Then I would get closure AND I could sleep tonight.

  4. Jeez guys it wasn\\\’t bad at all. Apart from being well-written, it\\\’s one of those you CAN\\\’T stop reading. It left me wondering…about whether or not there might actually be a place like that somewhere. THAT\\\’S a good story. Those of you who say it\\\’s been done before are obviously closed-minded, it\\\’s different every time. I am extremely selective with anything, but I liked this a lot.
    9/10

  5. God pasta, would have been great if a few changes were implemented. Both things were already mentioned by others- including that joke that was the final paragraph that was tacked on to the story and the locksmith that went crazy. Both are things that, sadly, make this pasta readable, but not noteworthy.

    A 2.5/5 for me, because I have thought about the mystery behind all of those storage units that dot the country side where I live.

  6. It’s where Patrick hid his secret box with the embarressing photo of Spongbob at the Christmas party after that one episode.

  7. Inside is the most horrible thing… I’ve found the key hidden within Pandora’s box, and have traveled to this “Unit 232.” Inside you will find a world much like yours, everything will be the same… or at least that’s what you think. A remote is sitting on a coffee table in the middle of the room. You turn the t.v. on to see the news. The date is November 4th 2008… and Hillary Clinton was elected President… dun dun dunnnnnnnn.

  8. Just Call Me Ted

    It’s pretty good. The part with the locksmith was dumb, but the rest built the mood pretty well. And for my part I’m glad they didn’t tell you what was there. That almost certainly would have ruined the story entirely.

  9. Short but sweet. I quite like the open ending. I guess you could have continued, but plus points for stopping while it’s still good. A lot of stories on here seem to NOT do that.

  10. I know what’s inside the box… What’s inside the box couldn’t be contained. It’s…. Fail or, as others have recognised, the ending of this story.

  11. Eh not creepy, but it kept my attention. I thought it was pretty well-thought of. For some reason, I picture a bunch of dead people to be in the cube. Sort of like in Jeepers Creepers’ basement scene.

    But, being me, i have to ask…

    BUT WHO WAS LOCKSMITH?

  12. The whole concept of people dying or going insane when approachinga mysterious object is way too overused and I think that killed this pasta a bit for me.
    However, i did enjoy reading about the “every key will fit a lock” because many of us have found strange keys that we can’t remember which fitted which lock =P

  13. Meh. Too much mystery and there’s nothing to actually frighten the audience. I’m not even curious, ’cause I know the author didn’t even bother to think up something for the storage unit to contain.

  14. Gj dude. By the way, the box contains a zombie virus, and it shall be opened 21th December 2012, destroying the whole human race.

  15. Poorly written, and needs editing on both spelling & grammar. The plot had potential, which was definitely not fulfilled.
    MEH.

  16. Woulda been better to leave it at:
    “…he has learned to stop asking questions about whatever is locked up inside that huge steel box.”
    Otherwise, it was pretty good.

  17. I liked it quite a bit. The buildup was enough to keep me interested, and the ambiguity of the box left me wanting more. Would eat again.

    1. I like potatoes but I don’t believe that YOU, someone who’s named Applesauce, can have the key to something like that.

      -Moosen’s Reply to Applesauce

  18. Interesting and mysterious, but not everything posted to /x/ needs to end with a hint that the reader could be involved in it. If I had the key, I would never know, and even if I did, I would never have any reason to try to open the storage unit. If it has something inside of it that can drive someone who doesn’t even see it crazy, then I think I would just let it be.

  19. Inside that unit, there’s nothing to be afraid of. I just take extreme caution when hiding my child pronz.

    I do wonder where I put that key, though..

    This story kinda lacked substance, a little. I understand the allure of not even giving the slightest hint as to what was inside, and the whole people going crazy when they try to get in and whatever. But, it’s been done before. Several times, really. It’s just not entertaining anymore. Well written, though! It was a good effort, just not my cup of tea.

    7/10

  20. You can’t please everyone all the time, and I’m certainly one of the harsher critics that visits this site, but this was wonderful. Well written, interesting, and mysterious. Kudos. It’s one of the best.

  21. As others have said, the utter vagueness rather kills the story. The final paragraph strikes me as tacked-on, and tries too hard to inspire fear. Otherwise, it’s generally well-written. I just wish the buildup had a more defined payoff.

    1. You cannot just use that adjective to describe anything you don’t like. While I believe everyone has a right to their own opinion they should still not compare it badly with the word gay. Because gay means happy.

  22. This pasta had potential. I really liked the writing style and the suspense was wonderful. However, I’m left hanging. This feels like it was the first half of a story, plus some added mysterious teaser lines at the end.

    I, for one, am looking forward to a part II. Until then, 6/10.

  23. I agree with #2, i’m still hungry cause that pasta cut out right when it was getting good. Mystery is great, and you did mystery well, but this is just to inticing to go WITHOUT an ending. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WAS INSIDE! i will pay you munny!

    …..
    …..
    …..
    WHO WAS STORAGE CONTAINER?!

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