Welcome to my writing corner. Here you'll find stand alone stories and tales that stretch much longer. You'll find tales ranging from medieval adventure to modern stories about real people with a sci-fi twist. If you like/hate what you read, drop me a line and let me know.

You can find the stories grouped by the labels just to the right.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What If? - Chapter 9

I feel myself flung forward again, I feel the jerk as I stop, the dark haze clears and I am barraged by noise. Whirling, twisting, clanging and banging machinery. My calloused hands slide a tray into a metal behemoth then press a round black button. Over and over again I repeat the motions with a practiced fluidity. Smells of metal hang in my nostrils; I can taste it on my tongue.

After an uncountable amount of time an air horn blasts and all the machinery stops. I walk off the floor and grab my jacket, waving goodbye to a few bored looking men. Out in the parking lot I open a squeaky truck door and hop in. The key turns in the ignition, the starter grinds for a few seconds too long and the engine groans to life.

Rolling out of the parking lot I flick on the stock stereo; a few minutes of sports scores, some right wing political talk and then classic rock. Blue collar me pulls into a gravel driveway and parks the faded blue truck beside a good sized old home. It’s an old farmhouse that was moved to its current location decades ago. The kind of house that only stays standing because the man who lives there pours his blood and sweat into it. I open the white, paint chipped, front door; it opens too fast, probably because the spring in the door wore out long ago.

Inside light bulbs glow yellow, just enough to throw brown shadows onto the walls. Three kids meet me at the door with crooked teeth, big hugs and hand me down clothes. Mop heads full of brown hair they shout “Daddy!” as their tiny limbs wrap around me. I might not have children and these might be Blue collar me’s kids, but I feel an instant warmth and connection to them. I try to guess their ages; I say eight, five and three. Two boys and a baby girl.

The smell of macaroni and cheese hangs in the air and it takes me a moment to make it out over the smells of the factory that hang in my nose. I look up and in the painted trim doorway between the living room and the kitchen stands Amber. She looks almost exactly as I remember her, straight long brown hair, thin arms and fingers. The only differences are the small crow’s feet cropping up on the edges of her eyes and the slight bulge in her belly. Another kid on the way? Blue collar me is a busy guy.

I open my mouth to speak and I feel a tingle around my shoulders. It’s almost over. I try to stay, I want to see more. Then it happens, the yank pulls me back into the uncomfortable chair in the shitty lab. My stomach wrenches, I feel bile creep up my throat. I’m prepared this time and choke it down as Pat pulls the helmet from my head.

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