July Writing Challenge Day 25

Not much to say about today’s writing. I’m getting a little discouraged. I can’t tell if it’s because writing is getting harder, or if writing is getting harder because I’m getting discouraged. Maybe I’m just feeling a little more depressed than usual. I don’t know. Feelings are tricky.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got for today. Lemme know what you think. Thanks.

Knackered: Day 4
By E W Morrow
Word Count: 706

She sounded so sad.

“I know how you feel, little one,” Gavin said as he hung his pole on the wall. “I don’t like it here either.”

It was becoming too much to bear: the heat, the smell, the sobbing. He decided he could risk taking a break and made his way toward the shed door. He was three feet away when it slid open. Elbar Gush stood in the opening. His scowl was deep and dark in the light of the lone safety lamp on the wall. Behind him Gavin could make out the outline of three other men.

“What’re you up to, boy?” Elbar growled. “Sneaking off in the middle of the night, are you?” Behind him, Gavin saw the other men shuffle nervously. It looked like the two in the back were carrying something large between them. Elbar slid to fill the entire doorway.

“No sir,” Gavin lied. “I just thought I heard someone coming was all.”

“Like hell.” Elbar eyed him with suspicion. Gavin closed his eyes and prepared for the first blow to land. It didn’t. “Make yourself scarce for a minute. Got some late business to discuss.” He stepped aside to give Gavin room to leave.

“What bu—,” Gavin began. This time the blow did land.

“Now!” Elbar barked the command and raised his hand again.

“Yes sir,” Gavin said. He hurried out into the darkness. As he left the other men entered. Gavin caught another glimpse of the object they were carrying between them. It was long, perhaps five and a half feet, and no more than one or two wide, and it was wrapped in sack cloth from top to bottom.

And there was a large, wet, dark red patch spreading down it’s back.

Elbar slid the door closed with a clatter and Gavin was alone in the freezing dark. The wind whistled through the yard and rattled the shacks and sheds. Gavin pulled his patchwork coat tighter around himself and hurried off to find a warm place to wait. Preferably someplace out of the wind.

Gavin had spent five years of nights working the vats, and he liked to think he knew all the places to hide while he shirked his duties. On a night like this, with the wind biting and frost already spiderwebbing it’s way through the yard, there was only one place he liked to go. He rounded the outside of the vat shed until he reached the point where it butted up against the yard’s wooden fence. The gap between them would have been too small for anyone else, but he wriggled through and after a few inches he came to a point where the tin wall of the shed was dented inwards. It was just big enough for him to draw his knees close to his chest and sit in comfortably. It was secluded, both from the wind and wandering eyes, and best of all on a night like this, it was warm. The shed walls radiated a little of the heat from within, but there was also a gap in the tin sheets that let hot air out uninsulated. Gavin closed his eyes and let it wash over him. The fact that it also let a bit of the smell out was a small price to pay.

“Can’t thank you enough for accommodating us on such short notice.” Gavin’s eyes popped open. “You know how tricky these things can be.” Gavin didn’t recognize the voice, but it seemed to be coming from the hole in the shed wall beside him.

“Aye.” Gavin recognized the second voice as belonging to his adoptive father. “And I expect your boss will be compensating me for the extra services rendered?” Gavin heard the faint sound of coins clinking. He leaned in to the crack. His field of view was a bit limited, but he saw a few shapes at the far side of the shed. One that looked like Elbar reached up and caught something that clinked when it hit his hand. “Much appreciated.”

The shapes shuffled. Gavin heard the sound of a chain being moved. A few moments later there was a long, heavy flapping sound of cloth being unrolled and a goopy splash.