Written for OLWG# 210
Harley Jenkins impulsively pulled the wheel to the right. He hadn’t planned on following the large red arrow on the hand-lettered “Garage Sale” sign tacked to the pole, but he did it anyway.
This whole trip had been an impulse. Harley was a heavy equipment operator currently on hiatus. He’d been rough-grading for a new housing development off Airways Boulevard on the east side, and when he went into the job one morning after a heavy rain. There were a lot of people gathered around his dozer, which he’d left where he had finished up the evening before. The rain had washed some dirt away and exposed what looked like a human skull. Harley would undoubtedly have uncovered it this morning if the rain hadn’t beaten him to it. The foreman hovered at the edge of the crowd. He beckoned Harley over.
“Did you see this last night?” he asked.
“No, I sure didn’t. Looks like the rain uncovered it.” Harley answered.
“Yeah, it looks that way to me too. I’m sorry, but I had to ask. Look, we can’t move this dozer right now and it might be a while before we can sort this out and get you back to work. You want to go pitch in with the cement guys or, you want to take the morning off?”
“I’m not dressed for cement. I’ll run some errands and come back at noon.” Harley said. The two men nodded at one another before Harley turned to walk back to his pickup. When he got back after lunch, there was a canvas cover over his dozer and the skull. The foreman told him that there were some people from the university on the way over. The coroner had been called. He told them that the bones were old. There was a complete skeleton there and scattered fragments of clay pots. The suspicion was that the remains were probably Native American. Harley said he was going to go home. He asked if someone could call him and let him know if he should come to work in the morning. The foreman agreed and once again, Harley walked back to his truck.
It was nice to have a Friday afternoon off. Harley decided to treat himself to a nap from which he was awakened about an hour later by the phone ringing.
“Hello?” Harley grumbled into the phone.
“Hey, Harley; it’s Elaine from Davenport.” Elaine was the ‘Girl Friday’ at Davenport Construction. Harley did a lot of work for them.
He sat up on the couch, yawned and rubbed his face, “Yeah, Elaine, what’s going on?”
“Them professors took a look at what you uncovered this morning and declared it a burial ground. They’re shutting the site down for the immediate future.”
“Shit! How long is the immediate future?”
“We don’t know yet,” Elaine said, “Billy’s got some more work for you though. Problem is that it don’t start for about a week. If you want that, I’ll text you the particulars.”
“What the hell am I going to do for a week?” Harley wondered out loud.
“I could take the week off too.” Elaine said, “You could shack up with me.”
“That’s a real tempting offer, Elaine. You’re a sweet girl, but I’m thinking I might get out of town for a while. I haven’t had a week off in a long time.”
“Suit yourself, Harley. You’re the one’ll be missing out.” They both laughed and Harley disconnected the call. He paused to consider whether Elaine might have been serious.
He shook his head, Nah, , couldn’a been.
This week’s prompts were:
- a simple kitchen chair
- mistake my big talk for truth
- big door prize