Okay so before I post the entire story, from beginning to end, I am so glad to be writing again. Even if it is just this little bit that I added to finish up the short story I started over a year ago. When I write I know, for the most part, the beginning and the end of my stories. I then just fill in the middle. I have not checked this for grammatical errors so please excuse this, I will make sure my future posts are free from errors. Anyway here is the story:
The sound of the machine running is on you’ll never forget. The grippers thrusting the steel forward until they collide with the stationary grippers at the front of the feed. The steel sliced by the shear blade, like a hot knife through butter. The grippers returning to their initial spot to repeat the task. Eight hours, sometimes more, I stand listening to this machine bellow. I watch what seems like an endless coil feed through and sheets being chopped into various sizes; forty-eight by ninety-six, sixty by twenty, forty-five by thirty-two, the combinations are endless.
Finally the skid has been filled with the appropriate limit, the table lowered down, rolling down the skid to the end of the line and finally it gets wrapped up and secured with metal bands. In that moment is when you receive your break. The low continuous screeching of the exhaust fans are a welcoming noise. The hum of the forklift motor and continuous beeping when backing up is even music to my ears.
Though it isn’t long enough and another skid is placed upon the table, rolled up and ready to be filled.
That wretched bellowing always returns.
I survived another day with my sanity intact. Though my work isn’t done yet. I return home and gather my things to start the night.
Outside I lock the house and take a stroll around the neighborhood. It’s a quiet place that is within walking distance for anything that one may need. I stop at an alley that is connected to the back of a pizza joint one street over. My mind gets lost almost four years into the past. I shake myself from the memories and make my way to the bus station.
I glance at the surroundings of the station, nothing has changed. It is merely a place for junkies and dealers to either support their habits or feed off the wealth of one’s addiction. I make my way inside and towards the young woman at the desk.
“I need a ticket to Telten.”
I could already hear the conversation just by looking at her bewildered face.
“You do realize Tel….”
I cut her off there so I could speed things along, I don’t have time listening to the same conversation every time.
“Yes one ticket to Telten.” I place the money onto the counter which she took, punched some information into her computer and then handed me the ticket. I nodded, grabbed the ticket and made my way to the bus.
That wretched bellowing returns.
I jolt up, surrounded by darkness. The red glow off to the right side of me lets me know that I’m in my house. I turn to the alarm clock, 4:15, and turn off the alarm. I turn out of bed to place my feet on the ground, stretch my hands over my head, when a sharp pain jolts through my left side. I make my way to the bathroom to see what last night’s adventure has bestowed upon me.
I stare at my side in the mirror, the softball size bruise laying on the surface of the ribs. I prodded it and welcomed the sharp pain as well as the pulsing feeling after removing my two fingers from it. It made me feel good about what I was trying to do so I accepted it and wore it like a badge. Sure nobody would ever see it nor would they know who it was but it felt good what I was doing. I shook myself out of the daydream and started getting ready for work.
Eight hours to go like every day but today is going to be a bit different. I’ll be taking a day to rest from the second job. Not due to the small bruise but since today was the anniversary of my, let’s just call it my alley awakening. I make my way into work, clock in and start the shift like I do every day.
That wretched bellowing returns.
Work is finally over and I make my way towards the clock to punch out. I get into my car and head back home so I can change out of my work clothes.
I jump into the shower to get all the filth of work, both physically and mentally. I can’t believe I work with a bunch of guys who are like drama filled high school kids. I change into a pair of jeans and plain blue shirt. I leave my house, lock the door and walk down the road to the bar that’s close by.
I get to Corner Bar, it is literally named that due to being on the corner, I notice a couple of bikes and cars which is nothing out of the ordinary. This bar was actually a house at one time that was converted to a bar. It was a single floor house that only had two bedrooms, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The front had a porch that ran the length of the building. The only reason I know this was a house is due to the fact that when I moved out here seven years ago it was one that I thought about buying. Five years ago someone bought it and turned it into a bar. The front porch has enough room for about three chairs on each side of the door. I made my way towards the door and opened it up.
The inside wasn’t much. When you first walk in you had a single pool table to your left. A couple of feet down from the pool table was a juke box on the left wall facing the direct middle of the bar. It was easy for the bartenders that way so they could use the remote to control it. A couple of round tables, about six, were spread out on the floor with about five chairs to each of them. The bathroom was in the back right corner that the bar connected to the wall. It was a unisex bathroom since it was the only one in here. Though they did install an “occupied sign” that was connected to the light switch so people would know someone was in there. Though I thought it was always a distraction since the sign was bright red. It was my go-to bar though so I just have to deal with seeing it while I sit at the bar when I’m here.
I make my way towards the bar and pick my regular seat that’s closest to the door. The bar tender nods at me and I give a half wave at him. He brings over my regular, Guinness, and I place a couple of dollars on the bar and tell him to keep the rest as a tip. There was a handful of people in here. The two bartenders, a couple playing pool, one other person at the other end of the bar and a couple sitting at a table. I sat there and drank my beer and listened to the room. Between the music and the two televisions they had going not much could be heard unless you were practically talking into someone’s ear. I noticed the couple getting up from the table and what looked like the young lady wasn’t too happy with the gentleman. I couldn’t make out the words but it really wasn’t any of my business. She made her way towards the door and the guy followed her. They exited and the door shut behind them. The next thing you heard was a loud thud. I finished what little bit of beer I had left, ordered another and laid the money down on the bar letting him know to keep the change. I walked towards the door, opened it up, and noticed the two yelling in the parking lot.
I sat down and glanced towards their direction. The woman had a red mark around her neck. The gentleman had his back towards me but neither one noticed I was out there. The guy grabbed her again by the throat, I sat my beer down and sauntered over.
“I wouldn’t do that”
The man tightened his grip, ignored me and continued yelling at the woman. He raised his other hand to hit her. I grabbed his wrist and twisted it behind his back. His grasp on the woman’s throat let go and she darted off cowering behind a car. I shoved him to the ground and opened my mouth but the next thing I know, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what appeared to be a bottle in full swing directed towards my face. The glass shatters and the cold liquid washes over my face. I could feel it running down, but maybe that was my blood, at this point I honestly couldn’t tell.
I wipe my face but the liquid had impaired my vision causing everything to be extremely blurry. The next thing I hear is the guy’s voice, the one that was hitting the woman, tell whoever hit me to finish it. There was a loud bang and what felt like a big green dude punch me in the chest. Another shock ripped through my chest, then a third one. It’s funny I thought the second job would have been the death of me. Guess I just wasn’t put on this world to help bring it justice.
“Maybe if we…”
“Has someone called…?”
I lay there and listen to the familiar voices. Then all of a sudden I hear it.
That wretched bellowing returns.
I force my eyes open, blinded for a few seconds by the overhead lights. My eyes adjust to them and I notice everyone standing over me. I was at work, the machine still going, never stopping. The guys help me up and walk me over to take a seat on the steps near the operators stand.
I looked at everyone after asking, waiting for someone to let me know what happened.
Finally one of the guys stepped forward and filled me in.
“You fainted down by the end of the line, quite possible from the heat. When you fainted your left side hit the end of the table causing you to land on the ground face up but hitting your head fairly hard. We thought you had a concussion or something so we called for an ambulance. Since they still haven’t gotten here we decided to throw some water in your face thinking maybe that would wake you up if you didn’t have a concussion. Then finally someone grabbed the defibrillator and well, we shocked you three times with it. Then you woke up.”
I stared at his face as he told me all of this. I shook myself out of the trance and slowly stood up asked.
“What day is it?”
The one guy that informed me of what happened said.
“It’s Monday the first of February, your first day on the job.”
I stood there, thinking about the events that had played so vividly in my head. It was all a dream, at least something like a dream. Then it hit me, this was a sign. I knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life. This was my second chance and I was going to do it right this time around.