Story:

The Logical Sight

They wouldn't have found the dead girl if it hadn't been for Charlie.

It all started with a surveyor's screw-up.

"That's wrong."

Charlie hadn't wanted to speak up to the site manager, but he had no choice. If he didn't say anything, they'd end up with a problem of fetid proportions.

"That can't be where we want to hook into the sewer line."

"That's where the surveyor marked."

"The surveyor is wrong then."

Well aware of the mud on his boots and the pale yellow stains at the armpits of his work shirt, Charlie crossed the relatively clean site office and pointed to the blueprints. He pointed out what he saw. The pipes, the flows across the city, the pressure they'd be causing.

Charlie couldn't help what he saw.

The world was logical. The world was angles and geometry. It was causes and consequences. It was rules. Often, Charlie couldn't understand how anyone could see otherwise. At least, this time the manager agreed not to be blind.

"Fuck," the site manager muttered. And then work stopped while he called the surveyor.

Charlie felt no satisfaction when the dig was moved an eighth of a mile to the east. But he was aware that Max was staring at him as they moved the equipment, including the yellow Case backhoe that was Charlie's specialty.

"You're unbelievable, man. You should be running this damn place." Max was in his early forties and would be a career construction worker as long as his body could handle it.

"Whatever." Charlie hated seeing. His father had been able to see and it had only led to grief for them all. The thing he wanted most was to not think, to drown it all out.

"I don't understand you young people." Max continued on and was eventually drowned out by the roar of the equipment. Charlie was happiest when he could get lost in the concrete absolutes of moving earth. He was happy until he saw Max signaling for him to stop. The urgency made Charlie wonder if he'd been wrong, and if the surveyor had been wrong a second time. Had he hit a main?

No, worse.

The guys were dismissed from the site when the cops came in. The response hadn't been quick and most of the worker got as good of a look at the body as Max had. Charlie had stayed away from the ditch that he'd dug and the girl's body at the bottom of it. He didn't want to see.

Charlie passed on going to a bar with Max and some of the guys.

"Come on, man. It's like a snow day."

"I grew up in California," Charlie responded. All that they were going to talk about was the dead girl.

His mother called him that evening. His step-mom actually, but it didn't matter. She was the parent that was there everyday for him since she married his father.

"I heard something about a murdered girl at a construction site and I thought of you." She'd been divorced from his father for nearly four years now, ever since Charlie had moved out, and she still sounded tired. She'd be in a long-sleeved t-shirt, graying corn silk hair pulled into a ponytail.

"Gee thanks, Mom."

"You know what I mean." He did. There was a long pause. "It didn't happen at your site, did it?"

"It did."

"Are you okay, Charlie?"

"Sure, Mom. Why wouldn't I be?"

"Because, well, you know." Again, long silence. A whole continent of silence. Charlie was about to try to gracefully end the conversation and get on to the Hot Pocket that was going to be his early dinner. "Charlie," she sounded so far away, "the best thing about your father is that he always wanted to help. It wasn't just the puzzles. I always blamed them, but it wasn't."

Charlie wasn't sure if he believed that, but he thanked his mother anyway. He ate his Hot Pocket and then another while he watched the 5pm news. It was a slow day and the top story was of course about the dead girl. They'd been able to identify her quickly and her parents were already on on TV. Her mother's face looked crushed. Halfway through the interview, she'd given up worrying about her mascara. Of course, they flashed the dead girl's picture. Probably from a yearbook, blonde hair teased high.

Charlie didn't want to see.

When he laid in bed that night, he didn't want to see the dead girl's mother's face or the ditch that he'd dug that led to the discovery. But he couldn't not see.

And as he walked back to the site, he didn't want to see the police tape or the place where the body had lain.

He didn't want to see everything. But he did.


 Word count: 804


Process:

Day 2: Develop a story inspired by a movie character

 17-08_Day2.png

Ideas:

20 something. Works construction even though he could have had a math scholarship. If he hadn't decided to tank his education.

Can't help being smart and a little awkward, hates it. Has a friend at work that's like Ben Afflack's character in Good Will Hunting. Can't understand why MC isn't at least management.

During a job, the crew finds body. Will Mark decide to help solve the murder?


Junk:

Charlie had gone with Max and a few of the other guys to a bar nearby. It wasn't often they were let go for a liquid lunch.

Charlie ordered a Coke, but he decided he'd start to drink

The bar was dark, the type of place day drinkers ended up. Max wouldn't shut up and if he kept talking Mark would start to drink. Ensconced TVs bracketed the bar. On one was ESPN. On the other MTV.

"Jesus, it's amazing that you didn't dig into her, Charles."

(Back to site)

(Phone call from his mom)

(Deciding to see)


First draft:

They wouldn't have found the dead girl if it hadn't been for Charlie.

But it all started with a surveyor's fuck-up.

"That's wrong." He hadn't wanted to wanted to speak up to the site manager, but he had no choice in the matter. If he didn't say anything, they'd end up with a problem of fetid proportions. "That can't be where we want to hook into the sewer line."

"That's where the surveyor marked."

"The surveyor is wrong then." Well aware of the mud on his boots and the yellow stains at the armpits of his work shirt, Charlie crossed the relatively clean site office and pointed to the blueprints. He pointed out what he saw. The pipes, the flows across the city, the pressure they'd be causing.

Charlie couldn't help what he saw.

The world was logical. The world was angles and geometry. It was causes and consequences. It was rules. Often, Charlie couldn't understand how anyone could see otherwise. At least, this time the manager agreed not to be blind.

"Fuck," the site manager muttered. And then work stopped while he called the surveyor.

Charlie felt no satisfaction when the dig was moved an eighth of a mile to the east. But he was aware that Max was staring at him at they moved the CATS and equipment.

"You're unbelievable, man. You should be running this damn place." Max was in his late thrities and would be a career construction worker as long as his body could handle it.

"Whatever." Charlie hated seeing. His father had been able to see and it had only led to grief for them all.

"I don't understand you young people." Max continued on and was eventually drowned out by the roar of the equipment. Charlie was happiest when he could get lost in the concrete absolutes of moving earth. He was happy until he saw Max signaling for him to stop. The urgency made Charlie wonder if he'd been wrong and the surveyor wrong a second time. Had he hit a main?

No, worse.

The guys were dismissed from the site when the cops came in. The response hadn't been quick and most of the worker got as good of a look at the body as Max had. Charlie had stayed away from the ditch that he'd dug that brought to girl's body to the surface. He didn't want to see.

Charlie passed on going to a bar with Max and some of the guys. "Come on, man. It's like a snow day."

"I grew up in California," Charlie responded. All that they were going to talk about was the dead girl.

His mother called him that evening. His step-mom actually, but it didn't matter. She was the parent that was there everyday for him since she married his father.

"I heard something about a murdered girl at a construction site and I thought of you." She'd been divorced from his father for nearly four years now, since Charlie had moved out, and she still sounded tired.

"Gee, thanks, Mom."

"You know what I mean." He did. There was a long pause. "It didn't happen at your site, did it?"

"It did."

"Are you okay, Charlie?"

"Sure, Mom. Why wouldn't I be?"

"Because, well, you know." Again, long silence. A whole continent of silence. Charlie was about to try to gracefully end the conversation and get on to the Hot Pocket that was going to be his early dinner. "Charlie," she sounded so far away, "the best thing about your father is that he always wanted to help. It wasn't just the puzzles. I always blamed them, but it wasn't."

Charlie wasn't sure if he believed that, but he thanked his mother anyway. He ate his Hot Pocket and then another one while he watched the 5pm news. It was a slow day and the top story was of course about the dead girl. They'd been able to identify her quickly and her parents were already on on TV. Her mother's face looked crushed. Halfway through the interview, she'd given up worrying about her mascara.

Charlie didn't want to see.

When he laid in bed that night, he didn't want to see the dead girl's mother's face or the ditch that he'd dug that led to the discovery. But he couldn't not see.

And as he walked back to the site, he didn't want to see the police tape or the place where the body had lain.

He didn't want to see everything. But he did.

Word count: 754


Day 4: Write lines using color as inspiration

Added yellow details.


© 2017 Katherine Nabity