Wednesday October 28th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: the lumber yard.

This afternoon Becky and I took Natalie and Max to the petting farm that's just north of Oliver (same one we visited back in March... oh man, that picture again). They're doing a Halloween theme this week, which mostly seemed to feature decorations around the farm house. Anyway, Adam was at work and Kat had a counselling client so we took the opportunity to go, seeing as Becky is working as a substitute teacher for the rest of the week.

It was a little rainy and cool, so we had the place to ourselves. We all had fun, though once again the kids were hellbent on playing with the toys and had trouble remaining focused on the, you know, animal portion of the tour.

I did manage to get this picture of the two cousins though:

They had even bigger bunnies but I guess they weren't interested in coming out to see visitors.


"That's uh... that's a mighty big order you're picking up there."

I looked at the teenage boy offering this sage observation and blinked. Slowly. He looked down at the clipboard in his hand again and shifted his weight from foot to foot several times.

"It's just that... um... some of the guys in the yard have been, you know, wondering who put this one in."

"And whether or not I'd actually show up to collect it once it was ready?"

"Yeah, something like that. Just saying stuff like, Is this a prank? You know?"

"Well I'm glad to see my request was taken seriously enough for you fellows to put it together." I returned my attention to the forklifts loading the lumber into the five delivery trucks I'd rented. "If any of my vehicles get so much as a scratch you can expect an invoice before end of day."

"Yes, of course. My boss would have it paid immediately. Not that any of these guys would damage your-"


"Yeah." He cleared his throat and dared a peek up at me. "So, uh... what's all this for? Like, what are you going to build?"

I remained silent as I watched the last of the wood get loaded into the trucks. The boy shifted and grimaced at my side the whole time. If that was torture for him, his curiosity must have been killing him. As the trucks began to drive away I finally relented.

"I am constructing a life-sized replica of King Kong."


Greg said...

I guess it's hard to theme animals around Hallowe'en unless you happen to have a couple of undead hanging around. And they're often not very pettable if you do.... It's nice that they made an effort though, and it looks (from the photo) like the kids were enjoying themselves there :) Although I suppose they could have tried to find a Jackalope.
Heh, I like the way you portray the awkwardness of the kid wanting to know what all the lumber is for; he definitely comes to life in the piece today. And the punchline isn't bad either, though I'm not sure that only five trucks will be enough :-P

The lumber yard
"Hey you!"
Across the lumber yard the young man in the chef's jacket looked up. In one hand he had a couple of squares of oak and there was a clear plastic bag of wood shavings at his feet. He looked over at the shouter, and waved a hand hesitantly.
"Who are you?" The man doing the shouting, Henry, clumped over, favouring his good leg. It had been a wet week and his bad hip ached abominably. "What are you doing in here? We're closed!"
The young man shook his head; his eyes were red rimmed and half-closed; Henry couldn't decide if he was drugged or just sleep-deprived. "Sorry," he said. "Sorry, the guy at the gate said I could come in."
"Norm? Norm!"
The shouting produced a short guy almost as wide as he was tall from out of a ramshackle shed that served an office.
"Henry, for God's sake stop shouting. Too much green whiskey last night, and that was just you!"
"Norm, did you let this guy here in?"
Norm looked at the young man, who smiled hesitantly and then hid a yawn behind a scarred hand.
"Yep," he said. "Nice kid, he's a chef at Leo's. He can't get in here when we're normally open."
"Huh. Fine. Keep the noise down then." Henry stumped off, chewing his lower lip and staring around looking for anything else wrong he could shout about.
"How you getting on there, kid?" asked Norm. "Find what you're after?"
"You got some more of these?" The young man held up the squares of oak. "I reckon I can build a pretty decent smoker from these, and the oak should add a subtle flavour."
"Hmm," said Norm. "Well, I think we might have a couple of old whiskey barrels round the back; can't guarantee they're oak, but let's go see."

Marc said...

Greg - ah, you got me there. I'd meant to make it clear that these were the five *final* trucks (the other twenty or so had already come and gone).

I quite like this scene. For all of the characters in play and the location, it was surprisingly... normal :P