My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 07:15:31 PM

Title: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 07:15:31 PM
It's a bit of a hackneyed idea, I know, but I'm writing something where a character finds a key to a locker. He then goes to said locker and finds something weird inside.

These days, places like bus and train stations don't have lockers because of security risks, so my question is:

What kind of places still have lockers which are available to the public?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Xerika
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: thatollie on February 29, 2008, 07:18:04 PM
My local train station still has lockers.
A Gym perhaps.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 07:24:55 PM
Blimey, Ollie, that was quick. Thanks for that.

I'm not too familiar with gyms ( :D) so I don't know how easy it would be for a non-member to rent a locker. The person who puts the weird thing in the locker does not want to be traced.

Train station would perhaps be better. I hadn't realised some of them still had lockers.

Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: thatollie on February 29, 2008, 07:27:22 PM
If there's a pool at the Gym, there will be plenty of non-members renting lockers.

I think you need more identification to rent a train station locker though - easier to trace.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 07:33:22 PM
Ollie, I wonder if you could do me a small favour and nip down to your local station and find out what personal information they need to rent a locker. No rush, but if you could do it and get back to me by 1am your time (which gives you a full half hour) that would be great.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: thatollie on February 29, 2008, 07:35:11 PM
Half an hour to go nine milers without a bus or a car, sorry mate, even my imagination doesn't stretch that far.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 07:40:32 PM
No bus or car? Couldn't you get a train?
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: thatollie on February 29, 2008, 07:41:25 PM
Get a train to my local train station?
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: rewh2oman on February 29, 2008, 07:41:36 PM
Amusement Parks.
e.g., Disneyland or Disneyworld.
Of course you have to pay to get into the park. But lockers are there so visitors can store whatever belongings they have on them that they don't want to carry around.

Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 07:57:40 PM
Quote
Get a train to my local train station?

Sorry, Ollie. Just a bit of post-modern irony.

(Incidentally, does anyone know why people's names that I quote from don't show up now. Used to work OK.)

Russ, thanks for the suggestion. The weird thing has to be in the locker for a day or two. I don't suppose you know if there's a time limit? It also has to be in the UK but maybe we have an equivalent at e.g. Alton Towers.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: thatollie on February 29, 2008, 07:59:18 PM
Sorry, Ollie. Just a bit of post-modern irony.

(Incidentally, does anyone know why people's names that I quote from don't show up now. Used to work OK.)

Irony, yay.
This is quoted directly from your post.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: rewh2oman on February 29, 2008, 08:04:35 PM
I got it, AIRPORTS!
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 08:36:15 PM
Ollie, why does your blue thing have my name above it and my blue thing doesn't have yours?

Russ. More post-modern irony?  ;D
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: domenic on February 29, 2008, 08:38:15 PM
Mens locker clubs........ Some high class.. others very low class.. Even if they don't have them in your country, who will know? (it's all fiction).
 domenic
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: PaulW on February 29, 2008, 08:42:10 PM
http://www.yourcityoffice.com/business_address.php

Professional mail drop businesses. International, discreet...   

Master Criminals Inc ( + moderator )

Paul ;D
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: ronshannon76 on February 29, 2008, 08:53:36 PM
Shopping malls still have lockers. But, I think they clean them out nightly. I don't know if that applys to UK, but US is like that.
-Ron
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CollegeGuy on February 29, 2008, 09:05:35 PM
To rent a locker at a train station you need money, and thats it. at least around here.

Amusement parks go through all of the lockers each night after they close (long story about how i know that).

How about a large post office box? You need a forwarding address, but it can be botched so it doesn't really matter. Plus, unless the location is extremely important, you could get by just as well using a post office box or even a safety deposit box in a bank...

~~Collegeguy~~
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on February 29, 2008, 09:14:26 PM
Domenic. Not sure what you mean by men's locker clubs or if we have them in the UK or if I'm just being naive. Anyway, I'm surprised at you that you should suggest that fiction shouldn't have a basis in authenticity  ;).

Paul. Checked out the link and decided to give up writing and do dodgey stuff instead. P.S. Also looked up Master Criminals Inc on Google and top of the listings was "MWC - Contact Rubber Duck".

Ron. Thanks for that. I don't know if it's the same in the UK as I don't live there any more but perhaps some Brit shopaholics could advise me.

CG. Money's not an issue with the person who deposits the weird thing. (I'd be interested to hear your story about amusement parks sometime by the way.) PO Box? Yes. Maybe as simple as that.

Anyway, feeling somewhat somnolent now as it's well late here so I'm off up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire.

Thanks for the comments so far and please do keep them rolling in whilst I slumber.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CollegeGuy on February 29, 2008, 11:50:05 PM
my story involves a lot of stolen souvenirs, a few angry parents, and a ton of great friends, making for one hell of a time.

I'm sure you can put it together.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Amie on March 01, 2008, 03:17:41 AM
You could set it in the past, say 1980's or early 1990's. There used to be public lockers in train stations then that anyone could use.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Symphony on March 01, 2008, 10:47:51 AM
Hospital staff have lockers, too. And kids in boarding schools in fact, maybe even any secondary school level kids.  Sports halls ...

Or it could be the key to a storage space? I mean - a larger sort of storage space - for holding stuff too big for your house, for example - more like a very small room. These would be accessible by the public with a key (and easy to rent, too). Just a slightly 'larger' locker, but it could work in your story and gives you good ground to manoeuvre.

Symphony
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Gyppo on March 01, 2008, 11:48:12 AM
Lockers in shops...  A few years back one of the big stores in Bournemouth had lockers with see-through fronts.  Your stuff would be safe enough, but anyone could see at a glance if you shoved a dog or troublesome child in there ;-)

More reently my eldest rented a 9 foot 'cube' at a self-service storage facility whilst 'between houses'.   The same place also had three foot cubes advertised as being 'ideal for students'.  All you needed was the key - and you could provide your own padlock or trust theirs - and a four letter code to get into the building 24/7.  We made several visits and never saw anyone else there, no matter what time of day.

The three footer would be ideal for hiding quite a bit of stuff and it would remain locked as long as you kept up the payments.  You could have easily folded a limp body into one - as it says, 'ideal for students' - and no-one would know until it started to smell.  (I was thinking of two people going into the building and only one coming out...)

There was a large notice in the entrance saying that the owners reserved the right to open lockers which they thought were being used illegally, and a request for all users to keep an eye open in case   terrorists might be using them.  It even included the dire warning that 'It is illegal to store explosives or livestock' in these lockers'.  Damn, I was really looking forward to stuffing a locker with pigs wearing Semtex belts ;-(

It was an eerie place to visit at 2am.  Miles of empty corridors in three levels, quiet music playing softly, wind rustling and whistling under the eaves of the building.  As a writer I couldn't help picturing a running gunfight with bullets ricocheting off the walls, or a stalker living in one of the bigger lockers and pouncing on lone visitors.  Good place for a drug dealer to keep his bulk supplies.  Great floor for skateboarding too ;-)

In the lobby part there were some reasonably comfortable chairs and a canned drinks machine.  If you were truly between houses you could have used your code to get in and 'hole up' overnight.

There were signs about video cameras, but if there were any other cameras apart from those on the entrance they were well hidden.  I expect when they played the overnight images they wondered what that 'daft old bugger in the cammo jacket' was looking for  ;-)

Gyppo   
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 02, 2008, 05:58:42 PM
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

Saturnine. Has to be present day unfortunately.

Symphony. It has to be somewhere that's easily accessible to the public. The storage space idea is interesting but the locker or whatever doesn't have to be very big and I'm not sure how anonymous you can be at those kind of places.

Gyppo.
Quote
I was really looking forward to stuffing a locker with pigs wearing Semtex belts
Damn. How did you know that's exactly what my character finds? I'll have to start all over again now  :).

Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CQWeave on March 03, 2008, 06:32:05 PM
   Sort of off topic. . .

   A body was found in a storage unit in a nearby town
here in Massachusetts a few years ago.

   Suddenly, I'm interested in researching the particulars.
   There must be more about it I missed.
CQ
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: dynodreamer on March 09, 2008, 03:02:18 AM
It looks like I've got to revamp my movie script a little. I was planning for the lady in the blond wig to pick up the incriminating evidence at a locker in the bus station. Times, they still are-a-changing
Now I gotta go down town and check this out.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 09, 2008, 06:28:15 PM
CQ. Even though my character doesn't find a body in the locker or storage unit, I'd be interested to know if you find any links to the Massachusetts story.

Dynodreamer. Seems like we're trying to solve the same kind of problem. Let us know what you find out down town.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CQWeave on March 10, 2008, 01:55:17 PM
Hi again, Xerika,

   I spent a little time (4 hours) researching the story. What a tangent I can go on sometimes!

   I don't know how to post links, but if you Google (storage locker body)
you will get LOTS of stories.

   I first just started with the Whitman, Massachusetts story. That led to Arizona.  Then there are stories in Illinois, Texas, Ohio and more.  I still
haven't found out what the outcome of the Whitman case. 

   You will let us know, where you eventually hide the key?
CQ   
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 10, 2008, 08:08:50 PM
Hi CQ,

I found various bits and pieces about the Whitman case - very strange. I know you know this but other people might be interested to hear that it involved a 73 year old man with the interesting name of Oral Wayne Nobles who had a fight with his 63 year old room-mate, Kenneth Stuart.

Stuart died and Nobles cut up the body and stored the pieces in a freezer in a storage locker for three years! The body was only discovered when somebody noticed a foul smell coming from the unplugged freezer.

This is only a summary and if anyone wants more detail, have a look at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-166302700.html (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-166302700.html).

He was sentenced to eleven years in prison - http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-167921225.html?Q=oral%20wayne%20nobles (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-167921225.html?Q=oral%20wayne%20nobles).

Quote
You will let us know, where you eventually hide the key?

CQ. I know where the key is found. The problem I've been trying to sort out is what the key opens  ;D.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CQWeave on March 10, 2008, 10:30:38 PM
Hi Xerika,

   Thank you for the links.  Fascinating, don't you think?

     I learned from you a little about searching.  I didn't search
the man's name.  Did you use Google or another search engine?
A drive across country (Arizona to Massachusetts) with U-Haul
must have taken days!

   I could not believe how many people use storage units to hide bodies.
They are all over the map.  Ranging from mummified child's body to
73 year old's roommate.

   CQ
PS  About the key, can you tell (do you know yet) what is found in the     hiding place after you unlock it?
       

   

   
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: dynodreamer on March 10, 2008, 11:54:48 PM
My gosh! Lockers are by nature a temporary place of storage. Where does a murderer find even a nit of solace stuffin his x-friend in one?
Could be he thinks his head will clear, and he'll come up with the appropriate place later on maybe.
One of the best places to stash your evidence is in freshly poured office building or motorway bridge foundations I'm thinkin.
 ~Xerika ...
My nervous lady has to recover a Hi-8 cassette containing a record of the illegal activities of a senator. Before he gets reelected and gains access to the major purse strings of congress and fronts his evil scheme with the peoples money they need to and blow the lid off his plans. Since her and her husband are fighting against the senators ability to go back in time and thwart those who might want to thwart him, this proves to be particularly problematic...almost impossible in fact but they try.
[The bus station in downtown Toronto is my mental model. They used to have lockers, a shoe shine set up and [I think] a dry cleaners.]
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CQWeave on March 11, 2008, 12:45:42 PM
Hi Xerika,


Okay, we have established the MC has already found a key.

The question is what does the key open. The prize is smaller than
a closet.  Some U-Store It are that small.

The other criteria is that it has public access.  It must stay longer than
a day.  Not be traced by rental records or ID.

This morning I remembered a friend who collects money from vending
machines.  They are in public places and a key is required to open them.
If the "weird thing" is small enough, it could be slipped inside the machine.

That's all I have today.

Still curious,
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 11, 2008, 07:15:16 PM
Fascinating, don't you think?

Did you use Google or another search engine?

PS  About the key, can you tell (do you know yet) what is found in the     hiding place after you unlock it? 

Hi CQ,

Macabre and weird but, yes, fascinating too.

I use Google most of the time but Wikipedia can also be very good if the case is famous enough.

Do I know what's in the hiding place? Yep. Can I tell? Nope, sorry  ;D.

Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 11, 2008, 07:22:23 PM
My nervous lady has to recover a Hi-8 cassette containing a record of the illegal activities of a senator. Before he gets reelected and gains access to the major purse strings of congress and fronts his evil scheme with the peoples money they need to and blow the lid off his plans. Since her and her husband are fighting against the senators ability to go back in time and thwart those who might want to thwart him, this proves to be particularly problematic...almost impossible in fact but they try.
[The bus station in downtown Toronto is my mental model. They used to have lockers, a shoe shine set up and [I think] a dry cleaners.]

Hi dynodreamer,

Sounds like a great story. Not just intrigue and corruption in high places but time travel as well!

I assume you're saying you've checked and that the bus station in Toronto doesn't have lockers any more and you're having to find an alternative.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 11, 2008, 07:30:56 PM
Okay, we have established the MC has already found a key.

The question is what does the key open. The prize is smaller than
a closet.  Some U-Store It are that small.

The other criteria is that it has public access.  It must stay longer than
a day.  Not be traced by rental records or ID.

This morning I remembered a friend who collects money from vending
machines.  They are in public places and a key is required to open them.
If the "weird thing" is small enough, it could be slipped inside the machine.

That's all I have today.

Still curious,

Hi again CQ and thanks for the input.

The vending machine idea is interesting and the 'weird thing' could possibly be hidden inside. I'll have to think about the logistics a bit more but I've certainly added it to my list of 'possibles'.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: CQWeave on March 12, 2008, 08:32:47 AM
Xerika,
   Glad I can help.  I'll be looking  to see what you eventually
use as the hiding place.   CQ
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: dynodreamer on March 13, 2008, 11:57:02 PM
Hi dynodreamer,

Sounds like a great story. Not just intrigue and corruption in high places but time travel as well!

I assume you're saying you've checked and that the bus station in Toronto doesn't have lockers any more and you're having to find an alternative.

I've been holed up in the apartment for the last few days not to have found out. At the moment I'm feeling confident enough to try and get my shoe on the foot with the dangling toe-nail this weekend. It'll eventually drop off on its own. For now all I have to do is tape it down.
I could just phone the bus station like a normal person but there's more detail floating around which a visit to the adjacent European style open air market might flush out for me. 
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on March 16, 2008, 07:23:24 PM
I'll be looking  to see what you eventually use as the hiding place.

Still working on it, CQ, but I promise you'll be the first to know when I finally decide  :).

At the moment I'm feeling confident enough to try and get my shoe on the foot with the dangling toe-nail this weekend.

I could just phone the bus station like a normal person...

Hope you succeeded with the shoe.

Dynodreamer, if you were a 'normal person' you wouldn't be a writer  :).
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: shawneepaints on April 21, 2008, 10:42:55 AM
Public schools have lockers here in Northeast Texas.
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Xerika on April 22, 2008, 07:07:49 PM
Hi Shawnee and many thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks also for commenting on Buster's blog. He has left a reply  :).
Title: Re: Lockers. Where are they?
Post by: Swampfox one on May 03, 2008, 01:07:29 PM
How about a golf club house. My club has keyed lockers as long as the yearly dues are paid no one lokks in the lockers.
jhm