Thursday, May 29, 2014

Prompt: Misjudged by appearance, Part 1

The foreman eyed Shelly up and down with a dubious frown. She kept her hand in her pockets and her mouth shut. She needed the work. He just needed a moment to adjust to the idea of a woman handling a digger. She was used to it.

“You’re Cyrus’s girl, huh? He was a good man. Best rider I ever knew. Shame what happened to him.”

Shelly ducked her head. She didn’t talk about her Daddy. Ever.

“Are you sure you know how to handle this thing?”

Shelly didn’t feel the need to answer that directly. She just gave the foreman a level look and turned to the digger shuffling behind him. It was a full-grown male, twice as large as one of the old elephants. Shelly untucked her hands and held them wide by her face, slowly waving them to get the digger’s attention. He shifted his head and whuffed in her direction, blowing dust over her worn black boots.

She started a rumble deep in her chest, and the foreman grinned, stepping back to let her approach the digger. Testing her. She ignored him, focused on the big male. Still waving her hands to make her face look larger, and direct his attention to her eyes, she slowly stepped forward, stopping a few feet in front of the beast. His ears twitched in greeting, and he lowered his head, his mouthful of jagged teeth swinging close to her.

Suddenly Shelley was two years old again, her Daddy holding her tight as she buried her face in his neck. The digger musk combined with his own skin and soap until she couldn’t tell them apart. Daddy and Digger smelled the same to her.

“Diggers teach us not to judge by appearance,” Daddy said, his deep voice rumbling beneath her. “People are terrified of them, but they are the most gentle souls I’ve ever known.” He started his rumble, sort of like a cat purr, and Shelly felt him lift his free hand to pet the digger facing them. She felt its hot breath on her skin, in her mouth.

Turning her head to the side, Shelly squinted her eyes open to see the giant digger. She reached out her little hand next to Daddy’s and ran her fingers over the jagged teeth crowding out of the digger’s mouth. “He’s rumbling, Daddy!”

“He likes you.”

“I like him too.” Shelly sat up in Daddy’s arm, turning so she could reach her hand up under the digger’s lip like Daddy was doing. The digger rumbled, and Daddy rumbled, and Shelly tried to rumble, too.

By the time she was four, she could rumble deeper and louder than most riders. She rode in front of Daddy on the broad saddle, and he taught her everything he knew about riding diggers. By the time she was six, Daddy would have let her ride alone if their foreman would have let her. By the time she was eight, Daddy was gone. They said it was a digger, but Shelly never believed it.

Sting, “St Agnes and the Burning Train”

Time writing
~60 minutes

May word count

1 comment:

  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, finished first draft Ch13a. Start reading around it to see if it's in the right place.

    Time: ~20min