Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm 40 Plus!

No, not age. Well, maybe age (shut up!) but at http://clarityofnight.blogspot.com/, if you look up my name (#136, thank you) in the "Silhouette" contest, you will discover that J. Evans and his editing team honored me with an asterisk. That means that according to his judging standards, my story earned at least 40 out of 45 points. I'm okay with that (YEAH!). Ahem.

Watch for my story from a few weeks ago appearing at http://powfastflashfiction.com/index.html. I'll let you go there to discover which one was accepted. Thank you Karen!

This week's 3WW and #fridayflash contribution is:

TRADE MARKS

"Two and tree lines," Saul yelled. Bryant resented the sheet-rocker. After ten years in America, couldn't the hairy Canadian translate "tree lines" to "three-eights-of-an-inch?" Bryant fumed, swore his best harsh-k's under his breath while Bryant whistled an Alanis Morissette tune.

"Bri-ent, bring me up more nails you."

Bryant balanced the cut piece of sheet rock up the ladder and considered what his ideal job would be. A CIA agent maybe, trained at Guantanamo Bay, one skilled in the art of torture. He'd use those skills to administer pain to anyone that couldn't sing all eight verses of America the Beautiful. Or not read a goddamn tape measure. Or whistle "All I Really Want" incessantly.

Bryant struggled over to Saul, shoved the freshly cut section of wall at the Canadian. Saul thanked Bryant, replenished the supply of nails under his moustache and blithely seated the dry wall, biceps bulging, still whistling. Saul's effort exposed armpit stains which not only offended Bryant's gaze, but also his nostrils… and his machismo. Two hours a day at the gym and he could barely balance one sheet of drywall, never mind lift it alone. Where did the goddamn Canadian get his strength?

Saul wriggled nails to the corner of his mouth. He snapped the tape measure out, marked the air between the studs. "You cut piece, eh…."

"Two and tree lines? Isn't that what it always is?" Bryant sneered. "Come on man! It's TWO FEET, THREE EIGHTHS OF AN INCH! INCHES! Not 'TREE LINES'!" Bryant punched a hole through the new sheet of drywall. "Cris-sakes, you live in AMERICA!" Bryant punched a second time.

His knuckles, obscured by a cloud of chalky dust slammed a stud. Bryant screamed in a pitch high enough to rival pre-teen girls at a Jonas Brothers concert. He yanked his throbbing fist to his chest, held it with his healthy hand and side-stepped in rhythm to his, "Ow, ow, ow, fuckin' OW!"

Bryant stumbled onto a loose piece of plywood, rocking it off the support beam. His arms—hurt fist and unimpressive biceps included—wind-milled as he teetered between second-floor sub-flooring and space-between-cross-beams.

Saul shook his head, took one giant step and reached for Bryant's tool belt, yanking him back onto the sturdy, nailed-down flooring.

Bryant collapsed, gasping for air. "Thanks, man. You saved my life."

Saul shrugged, wriggled the nails between his lips and hummed what Bryant eventually recognized as, "You Oughta Know."

22 comments:

Andy Sewina said...

Yeah, I get the picture here, Saul saves Bryant's life after Bryant slags him off. I had to re-read it a couple of times to get the relationships right, I must be a bit slow on the uptake. Phew!

Crybbe666 said...

I love the musical references through this, as well as the story in general.
Although, I must say, as an Aussie, it took me a few reads to understand the meaning of "tree lines".

ThomG said...

I immediately got tree lines once I knew Saul was from Canada. I like the musical references, since the songs are recognizable and they get into your head while reading.

(and congrats for the asteresk).

Jay Thurston said...

Love the "tree lines" as well as the "eh" in his speech. I enjoyed this as I can easily relate to annoying cowokers.

Congrats also on the "Silhouette" contest result!

Laura Eno said...

I loved the 'tree lines' as well. :)
Congrats on the 40+!

Linda said...

Great dialogue here - vair Canadian. Congrats on the 40+ points -- you done good, girl. Peace, Linda

Marisa Birns said...

Have a friend living in Canada and always enjoy the"ehs" in his speech.

Laughed at Bryan squealing louder than the fangirls at Jonas Brothers concert. That is very loud!

And annoying coworker or not, A grateful Bryan will realize that Saul will reach the "And I'm not gonna fade" part, and mean it!

John Wiswell said...

It took me far too long to figure out the "tree lines" thing and I'm not even of age. Good thing I'm not in charge of nails and hammers.

(And no, that's not criticism! It was cute once I got it.)

elizabethditty said...

Ah, pride comes before a fall, eh? Very amusing stuff here. :-) Good work!

TriciaDark said...

如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。 ....................................................

CJT said...

Pride - it can get in the way, but I can honestly say that I often feel the same way as bryant... Great job! LMAO.

Never Centered

Tumblewords: said...

I think I've seen those guys. Real as daylight, they are! Nice tale!

gautami tripathy said...

Great story. It comes alive!

tattoos, race car, mobile oil and book

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Tree lines made me think he was Oirish to start off with :)

It's always the nice, gentle, sweet people that can be really bloody annoying, isn't it?

Karen from Mentor said...

Bryant needs one of those toddler tethers that people [mean people] put on their kids at county fairs. Or maybe a safety harness would be more appropriate.

Thanks for the shout out for Pow. Your story is getting happy reviews from readers.

Karen :0)

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

I like this piece, but I was more annoyed by the upstart Bryant than I was by Saul. Having been married to a couple in the construction business - the "Saul's" are the good guys, character AND ability - the Bryants are the whiny ones you can't wait to be away from...
Just my opinion ;)
Very well done, proud to say I got the "tree lines" immediately.. must be my proximity to Canada, here in Daloot. (Duluth)

Eric J. Krause said...

Good story. Wasn't a real fan of Bri-ent, but liked Saul. Looks like ol' Bri will be a bigger fan now, too.

Mark Kerstetter said...

I enjoyed this tale. The fact that I've done my share of work on ladders made it especially vivid. Hopefully Bryant learned a life lesson, but he'd better not start putting nails in his mouth, that's very dangerous!

Michelle said...

Love the dialogue - well written :)

Cascade Lily said...

Aboot time someone stuck the boot into those Candians, eh? Do they all wear moustaches too? It could've been worse for Bryant - Saul could have been a bit Celine Dion fan...

Laurita said...

I actually LOLed at "two and tree lines." That's how I would say it. :)

Loved the dialogue. Great story.

Christian Bell said...

I'm late getting to this but, nice story! Well written with nice dialogue!