The Audition


Billy stared. "What happened?"

"Bowled my fingers off." Cecil lifted his left hand to show the missing two fingers; the stump of a thumb.

Billy's eyes widened. "Really?"

Cecil shrugged. "Show me and Antony what you got."

Billy stood and hiked up his jeans, patched roughly with them iron-on jobs that peel at the edges. He plugged his fingers neat into the ball, lifted it and did some kinda' two-step.

"You got ants in yer pants?"

"Can't help it." The back of Billy's neck reddened. But he repeated the dance before releasing the ball.

It was a beauty. Dead-on. Knocked them pins clean over. Billy turned around, grinning.

Cecil took a pull from his sweating bottle of Coke. "Beginner's luck?"

Billy shook his head. Again, the ball was true, slamming the pins over, no tentative back-and-forthing before yielding.

Cecil blinked, but kept his cool in an admirable way. "Think you can nail them a third time?"

Billy nodded. He repeated the entire procedure: Pants hiked up. The flapping of the knee patch. The funny little dance. And then, finally, blessedly, the release.

It seemed an eternity before that ball made its way down the lane. And then...

"A turkey!" Billy shouted, the knee patch flapping in celebration.

"I think we have a place for you on the team," Cecil said, as a single drop of sweat rolled down the side of his bottle and traced its way onto the table.

Billy beamed but Cecil looked sad: He was missing his fingers, blown clean off when he was dynamiting a mountaintop for the coal beneath.

They named the hole in the ground for Cecil, but I don't think that impressed him all that much. Now, I suppose, those fingers are a part of that empty mountaintop, bone and flesh claimed by rock.

Billy still dynamites for the coal company.

Every day as he heads out to work, he promises his wife he'll be back.

"I hope so," she replies.

I do, too, a' course.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was turkey.

Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: The Audition

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Audition


Billy stared. "What happened?"

"Bowled my fingers off." Cecil lifted his left hand to show the missing two fingers; the stump of a thumb.

Billy's eyes widened. "Really?"

Cecil shrugged. "Show me and Antony what you got."

Billy stood and hiked up his jeans, patched roughly with them iron-on jobs that peel at the edges. He plugged his fingers neat into the ball, lifted it and did some kinda' two-step.

"You got ants in yer pants?"

"Can't help it." The back of Billy's neck reddened. But he repeated the dance before releasing the ball.

It was a beauty. Dead-on. Knocked them pins clean over. Billy turned around, grinning.

Cecil took a pull from his sweating bottle of Coke. "Beginner's luck?"

Billy shook his head. Again, the ball was true, slamming the pins over, no tentative back-and-forthing before yielding.

Cecil blinked, but kept his cool in an admirable way. "Think you can nail them a third time?"

Billy nodded. He repeated the entire procedure: Pants hiked up. The flapping of the knee patch. The funny little dance. And then, finally, blessedly, the release.

It seemed an eternity before that ball made its way down the lane. And then...

"A turkey!" Billy shouted, the knee patch flapping in celebration.

"I think we have a place for you on the team," Cecil said, as a single drop of sweat rolled down the side of his bottle and traced its way onto the table.

Billy beamed but Cecil looked sad: He was missing his fingers, blown clean off when he was dynamiting a mountaintop for the coal beneath.

They named the hole in the ground for Cecil, but I don't think that impressed him all that much. Now, I suppose, those fingers are a part of that empty mountaintop, bone and flesh claimed by rock.

Billy still dynamites for the coal company.

Every day as he heads out to work, he promises his wife he'll be back.

"I hope so," she replies.

I do, too, a' course.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was turkey.

Labels: ,

7 Comments:

At August 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

How sad for Cecil. Mining is dangerous work. Good for Billy, though. Impressive!

 
At August 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM , OpenID melstepp01 said...

Excellent imagery! Nice post. I especially liked "pull from his sweating bottle of Coke."

 
At August 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM , OpenID trudgingthroughfog said...

Oh, I love this line: "Now, I suppose, those fingers are a part of that empty mountaintop, bone and flesh claimed by rock." The whole story is a wonderful little vignette. Fantastic job!

 
At August 28, 2013 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Draug said...

Giving my name to a hole in the ground that took my fingers wouldn't make me happy either.
Great work with the prompt.

 
At August 28, 2013 at 6:38 PM , Anonymous steph said...

Subtle and thoughtful... mountaintop removal mining is horrific - including for those with the jobs, who, of course, need those jobs. Our insatiable need for fossil fuels. I love the way you wrote it, Kelly. You got us thinking, and that's always a good thing. Great writing, as you always bring..

 
At August 29, 2013 at 8:39 AM , Blogger Ruby Manchanda said...

Great piece

 
At August 29, 2013 at 9:12 AM , Blogger kymm said...

Oh, that Antony! Love the hitching of the pants, and the fingers neat in the holes.
Love the irony, too!

 

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