For the Red Dress Club this week, we were to write about jeans. If you look really hard, you'll see that I mentioned them. I think that totally counts.
I'm writing fiction this week, inspired by the non-fiction piece I wrote previously.
Concrit is always appreciated.
After the hurricane, Donny found me temp work with his Uncle Robbie. Tree removal--you know, chainsaws, tearing up shit. A regular Redneck Christmas.
It's was all under the table, of course--I'm not bonded or trained. But Robbie sent my skinny ass up trees anyway, while he sat there on his, holding the ground down. Not that I was complaining. Hell of a lot better than being at home. And cash was cash.
We were working at the Scallon place. The storm smacked them like a motherfucker, throwing shit around, hollering and carrying on. Kinda reminded me of my stepdad.
Robbie scratched his gut, then spat some chaw on Mrs. Scallon's driveway. An oak had fallen from behind her house, the top branches dangling like a question mark over her front porch."Get on the roof, Eli," he grunted, "Take care of it."
"Yes sir," I mumbled. I wiped my hands on my jeans, leaving streaks of sweat on the denim. I adjusted my belt, and hoisted myself up.
I scanned the tree, studying the pattern of the cut, the fissures along the surface of the bark. I couldn't help but smile. You know how some people see a statue in a block of stone? I can look at a fallen tree and see its whole sad story. Where it's overburdened. Where it's still strong. You need to prune it with care, trimming away the branches and the rubble. Give it a little hope.
"What the fuck are you doing up there?" Robbie yelled. Mrs. Scallon's kid popped his head out the window. "Stop thinking of your boyfriend and get to work!"
I jerked my head, my gloved hands clamped into fists. The only thing stopping me from telling the fat fuck where to shove his chainsaw was the kid, still looking out the window. His little hands were cupped under his chin, staring at the Bobcat as if it was made of magic and chocolate bars.
Kids. They don't need any pruning yet. They just bend in the wind.
They'll learn soon enough.
For the sake of the kid, I didn't beat Robbie's ass. I cleared the tree, and then cleared three more. At the end of the day, I took his goddamn money.
I promised myself not to piss it all away. Again.
You see, I'm getting out of here. It's pruning season.