*** Chapter 6 Part 9
They entered the penthouse from the garden, into the family room. On this level were 4 bedrooms each with its own on-suite bath and hideaway . An open central staircase led down to the first floor which housed the kitchen, dining room, library, large laundry room, maid’s quarters and a formal living room that had its own giant terrace with southern and eastern exposure. In a beautifully tiled alcove was the private elevator. Sorrel discovered it and pointed it out to her father and then went and stood over by the windows while he checked it out. It was clean, and they all heaved a sigh of relief.
Dell was utterly enthralled. She had only seen things like this in Architectural digest. In spite of the 30 floors of stairs and the risk of a power outage trapping one in the elevator, she felt like this was the safest place in the whole world. There must be hidden treasures like this all over the city; each one a jewel yet to be discovered and explored. But this one felt special, somehow.
Off of the kitchen was a huge butler’s pantry and a large utility room with the garbage chute next to the service elevator and stairs. This was how they moved the furniture in, as it was as large as the ones in IKEA, and it led directly to the basement level and the underground parking. The utility room and butler’s pantry shared a smaller private deck that ran the length and connected to the kitchen deck for breakfast on the terrace overlooking the city. Panda poked her head out to look at the deck and gave a squeal equal to any pocket pig facing an edible delight.
Everyone skipped over to see what she was so happy about. She was literally jumping up and down and clapping her hands in uncharacteristic giddy delight.
Tucked into the corner of the utility room terrace was a fully contained urban chicken coop, with 3 hens contentedly scratching and clucking softly, happy to see human beings after 4 days and totally oblivious that the world around them had ended. Self-filling water bottles and renewing feed troughs as well as a chicken mister and small dust bath had kept these poultry princesses in fine shape. Industrial sized bags of chicken feed, crushed oyster shells and Monsanto-free cracked corn were stacked under the overhanging roof, safe from wind and weather.
Dell said what everyone was thinking, “I think we should live here forever and ever!”