Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Lift--two paragraph sneak-peek

(I can't wait until I get this short story done; it's going to be marvelous)

On the rainiest nights of the year, Kern would suddenly recall an obscure moment of his childhood and he would relay the stories to me, word by word, without a conceivable end in sight. He would hand me a damp notepad that collected dirt from the road and ask me to pen down notes, since he could never be bothered to write anything himself (though I gave him the benefit of the doubt—I suspected him to be mostly illiterate). The pens would almost always give out somewhere around fifteen bullet points in and he would become irate with me and abruptly cease his storytelling to sulk in the little corner of his cart in disgust. He was such a burly man that I thanked the stars he never resorted to physically striking me; I knew with full certainty that he was capable of murdering me. I knew Chief would never allow it—our numbers were too small and I proved too precious to them on multiple occasions—but I was wary.

“Salmaj,” Kern began with his characteristically charming voice, his protruding belly shaking as he spoke, “was wherr it ‘appened. I mean, yah, I was liftin’ ‘eavy rice crates—you know th’ deal—just liftin’ them an’ I was probably maybe aroun’ a teenager at th’ time. I mean, I didn’ really know what was goin’ on, you know, I was jus’ followin’ all o’ th’ other men, an’ a marvelous thing ‘appened…” He spread his bulky arms out in front of himself, his expression vivid and genuine. “I saw ‘t! I saw a rainbow ‘n th’ sky! An’ ‘t was movin’, I tell ya! ‘T was movin’ across th’ clouds an’ ‘t vanished, an’ e’eryone saw ‘t, too! ‘T ‘s exactly what we’re strivin’ towards, I think. We want t’ be e’eryone’s rainbow ‘n th’ sky…”

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