-looking for work is hard work-
-looking for work is hard work-
(This is the second chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read previous chapters)
Chapter 1 http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox
Now off to the kitchen we go.
Our kitchen had peel and stick tile on the floor and a rotary dial telephone mounted to the wall. The stove and the sink shared a wall and the fridge stood tall and stout across from them. If memory serves me right, and of course it always does, we did most of our fine dining right there on that laminate topped bar. Microwaves weren’t a thing back then so heating up the grub required the use of a pot or pan and some fire. Yes, fire… from a stove… a real stove… with real fire which, by the way, came from one of those little wooden sticks with the red and white tips known as a match. All it took was a single scrape across a rough surface and voila, you were holding the only thing standing between you and that steaming hot cup of coffee. Naturally, the coffee beans had been picked, cracked and crushed fresh from the field, just hours earlier.
Ok, enough of that… let’s get to the memory…
I have total recall of the night I was sitting on a barstool in the kitchen with my older brother. Yes, I was often subjected to being left in close proximity to one of them but who would have ever thought he could injure me with my mother sitting within arm’s length of us. After all, this was a supervised visit and the lights were on. The paperwork from the courthouse stated plain and simple that I should never be left unattended, without mama or daddy present, especially since that incident with the kerosene in the coke bottle. Well, mama was talking on the phone when Chuckie decided to blow black pepper in my face to make me sneeze. Did he realize I had eyes that could be damaged? Badly! And they say he was the smart one. Needless to say, mama’s telephone conversation with my favorite uncle ended pretty quickly when that black pepper got in my brown eyes. Mama grabbed me and ran to the bathroom, and I can still hear the water rushing in my ears every time mama pushed that handle down trying to flush my eyes.
The up and down motion was making me nauseous. The only reprieve was the occasional lull created when he slowed to catch his breath. My inner thighs were sure to be sore and bruised and my legs ached so badly that numbness would have been a welcome sensation. I knew I couldn’t last much longer, but I was afraid of what might happen if I tried to stop him. I also knew that shifting in any direction, to ease my pain, would likely interrupt his rhythm and that would in turn, cause him to lose control.
I guess riding that tandem bike through the streets of San Francisco wasn’t such a good idea after all.
I was sixteen. He, a mere fourteen months my senior. We sat facing one another, my knuckles wrapped tightly around the armrest, his hands lying casually in his lap. Conversation was light, the air around us tense for me, for him, not so much. He smiled mischievously and I, trying to hide the sheer panic creeping through my every vein, returned that smile with what could not have been more than a grimace. Suddenly, his position changed, as did his facial expression. We were no longer eye to eye. It appeared that he was rising, but without standing. From where I was seated and from what I could see between the tears flooding from my eyes, the smile on his face had become a huge grin accompanied by a full fit of laughter.
By the time the plane leveled, my brother had regained his composure while I was still dry heaving into an in-flight barf bag, and my mother was feeding me ice chips and rubbing my neck. I’d never flown before.
Hi folks, check this out…it’s a story writing idea where we write stories -together-
Follow these instructions and let’s see what happens…
Now let’s see how creative we can be—-
Today a group of ladies were standing around the water cooler talking about one of those reality TV shows. Since I’m not a fan, I filled my cup and went back to my cubicle, which apparently was not the right thing to do. I’d been back at my desk for a few moments when Mona, the “office mom”, stopped by to ask if I was feeling bad or if I was simply being anti-social. In my true to form sarcastic tone, and without even turning to look at her, I said “why yes Mona”.
Below you’ll find a list of blogs I’ve tapped to join in. If I tapped you, it’s because there’s
just something about you… (: If I didn’t, you should stick around, your day is coming!
Now get writing and add your twist to the prompt then go visit the folks I tapped and you’ll soon find out why I tapped them——
I’ve worn a Kevlar Vest for so many years I’ve lost count. I still remember the first time I put one on. The person holding the tape measure was far more comfortable than I. I was as nervous wreck. I’d never felt the need to wear one before, mine had been a straight forward, by the book kind of life. Yes, there were some days that were more trying than others, but I’d always been in total control of any and all situations. I always played close to the edge, but never intentionally and never with any conscious desire to cross it.
On that day, so, so, many years ago I found myself in unfamiliar territory. Was I sure I could handle this? I mean, this was a responsibility that I was sure many dreamed of, but few indulged in. An elite crowd, a closed group… the chosen few… but if they were chosen, who was doing the choosing? From where I stood, it wasn’t a choice, there were no check yes or no boxes. No matter how long or how hard you danced around it, knowingly or unknowingly, and no matter who the dance instructor was, you would eventually trip and stumble, and fate would be standing in the shadows waiting to catch you when you fell.
Little did I realize, measuring me was a mere formality. My vest was ready long before I arrived at this day. The maker, not the measurer, knew me. The maker also knew the challenges I would face once I accepted that unwritten invitation, the one that had been stamped on my heart since the moment I was conceived. They would be more than I could handle alone— and that would never be allowed.