Chapter 6 Part 5
Dell and Sorrel tore through the IKEA on wings and wheels. They filled two huge shopping carts with linens, dishes, down comforters, storage containers and pillows. Sorrel was in charge of gathering all the numbered papers with the bin and aisle number on them for the big ticket items that would need to be assembled.
Dell was going to get the IKEA Ektorp sofa and loveseat and two armchairs as well as 2 chaise lounges that she could picture flanking the large windows that looked into her back yard from her den. Depending on the size of the truck they could rustle up, she thought she might enlist Panda and Paul to load up the floor models with new slipcovers so she had that much less that needed to be assembled at home.
She told Sorrel to pick out a bedroom comforter set for when she came to stay in Dell’s guest room. This tickled Sorrel no end and since she had already demonstrated such good taste when helping Dell select curtain panels, Dell knew she would pick out just the thing. At the end of the whirlwind spree they ended up with baskets heaving in front of the cinnamon bun and hot dog station at the back of the store near the loading dock.
Dell looked at the 3 day old hot dogs on the little heated rotisserie display case and thought they looked delicious and just about ready to eat, just like the dogs at the movie theatre. The cinnamon buns were another matter; rock hard and inedible.
She tossed out one tray that had been removed from the oven but not put on display and got into the freezer for a fresh batch. These buns were all pre-made and just needed 10 minutes of baking. Easy as pie! They were coming out of the oven just as Panda and Paul came down through the lobby having thoroughly enjoyed their rooftop foray of the solar array. They all sat and had hot dogs and cinnamon buns before loading 3 large truckloads of fabulous IKEA merchandise and driving to Dell’s.
The Anderson’s thoroughly loved Dell’s house and Panda’s too. Paul approved of the neighborhood because of the power grid but warned that there would be risk of flooding when the levees broke from lack of maintenance in the not too distant future. Dell rolled her eyes and Panda informed Paul that she and Dell had already discussed this issue at length.
“Why don’t you guys just get a boat and park it in your driveway?” suggested Sorrel Bay.
Everyone laughed and agreed that this would be the best get-away plan ever in the event of a water emergency. Dell discussed getting a huge sea cruiser with all the comforts of home and Panda made a mental note to raid a camping and outdoor equipment store for a very good inflatable raft to add to her emergency gear.
Although the goal was to go get Panda and Dell’s stuff from their old houses, free those yard pigs at Dell’s for the last time, and to begin to get settled into their new neighborhood, they decided to take a detour from the plan and head to the Wells Fargo Center with Paul and Sorrel Bay to get a good look at the city from on high.
The Wells Fargo Center, at 420 feet tall, was the highest building in Sacramento. Although hardly a skyscraper, it had the best view from the upper floors of anywhere in the city. With 30 stories, 13 elevators, a basement and 2 sub-basements including a huge glassed atrium on the first floor and housing the Wells Fargo Historical Museum, there was so much to explore and poke around in.
Panda really wanted to get down to the sub-basements. What could be down there? That might be exciting! Dell and Sorrel wanted to poke around in the museum gift shop for treasures and everyone agreed it would be worthwhile to tidy up the Il Fornaio restaurant and forage for a delicious dinner for later. But first, to the upper floor to explore for an opening onto the roof.
Although there was no public observation deck on the roof of the building, all buildings had some roof access and with no security to stop them, they were pretty sure they could find a way onto it. Panda had her good binoculars and Paul was betting on several of the corporate offices having telescopes by their windows. It was just human nature to have a telescope in a high rise. But even without that, the view would be spectacular to the naked eye, with a full panorama of the whole valley and both rivers.
Sorrel skipped ahead and pushed all the call buttons for the double bank of elevators in the lobby, as she and her Dad played a game of guessing which elevator would arrive first. When the middle elevator went ‘ding’ and the doors slid open, Dell let out a terrific scream and everyone stepped back in shock. Sorrel scrambled to get behind her father and Dell clutched onto Panda who turned her face away.
The elevator—in fact all the elevators—were knee deep in ash, bones and even a human skull. Panda shuddered in horror at the thought of the people, racing to get downstairs and out into the sunny pavilion steps, who had been incinerated inside the elevators together when their DNA time bomb set itself to zero. Perhaps because there was no sunlight whatsoever, or for some other unknown reason they would never know, the bodies did not completely go up like a torch leaving only ashes behind. It was truly a scene from a horror movie as door after door of the elevators opened to reveal more piles of bone and dust.