One Photograph, Two Points of View: Comparative Flash Fiction
Forgotten by Julianne Snow
I can still remember the feel of the wind that day as it whipped me across the face. The sky had turned a glorious shade of crimson an unspoken indicator it was quitting time when, from somewhere deep in the belly of a cloud, it lashed out and hit me. Like a slap across the face, reminiscent of the last one I got from Gwendolyn. Not that I hadn’t deserved it; I had, but that’s beside the point now. Nothing much matters now.
That night is a night I will always remember. We had been buffeted by the wind all day but working out on the steel, you got used to it. Fast. Heck, it was the heart of the depression and no one turned down a job that paid a decent wage. No one. There had been a few close calls; times when the gusts just caught you in the wrong part of the body. You’d be left teetering on the thin ten inches of steel wondering if you would regain balance. You never tried to regain it; that was a sure fire way to end up overcompensating then tumbling through the maze of steel to the concrete below. No, you held your breath and waited, hoping your body would right itself.
Panic was hard to avoid, but after a week on the beams, you stowed it quickly or else you’d never show up again. But the wind that day was evil. It knew we’d poured the concrete earlier and that it hadn’t cured yet. While it wasn’t a soupy mess, it could still swallow a man whole if he wasn’t careful. When that wind hit me, it hit me hard. I held my breath and prayed. God wasn’t answering that day, and down I went. Swallowed. Buried. Forgotten.
All Rights Reserved © 2013 Julianne Snow
Ghosts in the Field by Nina D’Arcangela
Everyone around here knows the story, hell; everyone has a different version to tell. They all want to add their own tragic bit, make it sound like it damn near happened to them. Well, I can tell you it didn’t, because it happened to me. Yeah, I was one of those iron workers they’re all so fond of spouting off about. Christ, it irritates the shit out of me when someone wants to tell me my own story. You wanna know what really happened? What the hell, I don’t have anything better to do. I’ll tell you how it was.
Gus was working the planks that day. Man, we all got nervous when Gus was on the planks. He was unpredictable; joking, not paying attention, smoking, dropping shit because he was a clumsy bastard. Funny, but clumsy. Anyway, Gus was on the planks, maybe 65-70 feet up, when all of a sudden, a guy yells out “Fire”. You understand what that means? An iron worker on steel girders with nothing but planks of wood between him and the ground below shouting fire! Just about the last word any crew member wants to hear. For many, it was. We had plenty of planks up that day, big push to get the job done, maybe 30 guys working. Gus was smoking a stogie, he’d put it down on one of the planks, must have forgotten about it. The site, it went up in a flash – all that wood around. Fire, it travels quick. Lots of guys just jumped. I can still remember the screams.
There are times I sit staring into the field, hours pass, but there’s nothing out there except those damn gnats. Other times, walking past, my eye catches the color of rust and I hear that old metal creaking.
All Rights Reserved © 2013 Nina D’Arcangela
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