Headway

Emancipating James Green from the stewing mill house on the forth floor with the grating machines that rack the room with wreckage. Enough said of him and forward towards the future anon.

Sideways, over-under enough times to beat it into place without losing the edge became mere child's play for deftly turning fingers and nimble hands, but it wasn't fast enough for the foreman. James Green, stung swatched back rippled with muscle and torn with scar, stooped afoot the hammertoe machine grating and grinding away with a hickory stroke of encouragement. Far too many times wasn't quite enough for the foreman. So James Green ground and grated and pulled on another steel sheet effortlessly watching it twist and bend at will. Twenty in an hour. Yesterday had been eighteen and that had left its mark twice over. 

Uncouth expectations weren't the only thing sorted and filed on the mind of James Green. Another set of teeth watched him from across the way. Yellow and broken, enough gum to chew. James Green would ignore them but every time he looked up there they were again, watching eagerly, pointed and chipped. Perhaps they would forget about him tomorrow, but he knew better.

Five O'clock. The men in the office slithered out from the top floor and scittered down the iron stairwells at the end of the building. James Green watched their padded vests and stitched checkered suits and furrowed hats walk down the stairs, leather briefcases trotting behind each one in turn, returning to their homes, lives and families. Five O'clock just wasn't enough for the foreman and so James Green continued to lift and pound and mash the metal of his machine. 

Later, while James Green was walking through the sullen streets, dark moon over his head, he mouthed the words the preacherman on the corner would say every morning as he passed him going to the mill. No man can serve two masters, straight is the way and narrow is the path, not every man that says Lord, Lord will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. By their fruits will you know them.

Home wasn't any better. Home wasn't even home. A cot and stained musky sheets, one small table beside it with a single drawer containing everything James Green owned besides the clothes he wore. A old button, three small iron nails, a wrinkled sheet of paper he couldn't read, and a Stanley wood planer. Shuffling, emptying his pockets James Green dropped a handful of change on top of the table. Three dollars and eighteen cents. It was better to carry his money than to leave it at home he knew, otherwise it would be stolen. James Green decided it was good. Last week he had only had two dollars and fifty cents by Friday. 

Things were looking up.

The End

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