JM Prescott, a writer's blog somewhere out there in the electronic hinterlands. Ms Prescott is on vacation, taking a sabbatical, or just catching her breath. Aussie Paul is baby sitting her blog this week. He came up with the challenge - "Passages". Write something in under 750 words about some kind of passage. What follows is what I came up with.
The truck slammed into the loading dock at Thrasher's Fries with a bang. "Here ya go fellas, Ocean City."
Porko and Phil grinned. They had really lucked out. One ride from the Beltway all the way to OC was as good as it got. All they had to do now was help the driver unload 40,000 pounds of potatoes.
Three hours later Phil finally located the fifty pound bag of Idaho's finest they had been looking for. Of course it was the last one in the truck. Staggering some Phil muscled that last bag out to the pallet sitting on the dock. Porko was busy trying to figure how many fifty pound bags it took to total 40,000 pounds.
"Let's see.........10 bags is ...uh .... 500 pounds..... 20 bags would....................."
"Jesus Porko, you are such a dumass. 800 bags you bonehead. And since you are lazy to boot, that would mean you carried maybe 200. I carried the rest."
Porko sat on the last skid of potatoes and lit a cigarette. He tipped his head back and blew a large plume into the air. "Yeah, I'm a lazy bastard. Good thing I brought you along." He grinned at Phil.
The driver came through the dock doors with his pallet jack. "Last one guys." He jacked up the pallet and swung it around. "Give me a few minutes and I'll be back with fries and some pop. Thrasher's are the best there is you know. You guys did a great job. I'll make it back to B-more by dark." He yanked hard on the pallet jack and disappeared through the doors.
"You know the kid working the skinning machine at Thrashers told me he and his buddy usually get $40 each to help unload. We got $15. What a rip off."
Sitting on the boardwalk at Ninth Street with his bare feet in the sand, Phil looked at Porko and shook his head.
"The man gave us a ride. He paid us, fed us, and you complain? You aren’t just lazy, you're a whiner to boot."
"But $15 each? Slave wages. The sooner I find a rich woman ........."
"Can it Porko. You are so full of shit."
"Yeah well........at least I'm not still a cherry like you."
"Screwin your sister don't count."
Porko shoved Phil off the boardwalk onto the soft sand.
"You take that back. It was her buddy I nailed. You know that."
Phil was not smiling. His virginity hung heavy on his mind. Jeez, he was 17 and still seducing his hand. Phil stopped thinking about it. He was resigned to the notion of dying at age 80 unlaid and grumpy.
"You fellows want some weed?"
Porko jumped. "What the Hell man? Don't sneak up on us like that."
Still on the sand, Phil strained to see over the edge of the boardwalk. A scruffy hippy wearing blue tinted granny glasses was standing behind Porko. Phil hopped up on the boardwalk
"Uh, sure man, we’re always looking for weed. How much and what kind?" .
"Hold it Phil. We don't know this guy. He could be a narc."
"Porko, shut up. So what if he's a narc. It's just weed."
The hippy grimaced. “Man, if I was a narc would I be selling weed?
Porko considered this. “Uh, I guess not man. Whatja got?”
“ Nickel bags of Mersh or Sinse. Mersh is $10, $15 for the Sinse.”
Phil and Porko huddled. Pockets were checked. Mumbled words exchanged.
“Look fellas, I ain’t got all day. You want some weed or not?”
Phil turned. “ Two nickels of Sinse.” He reached in his pocket.
“Jesus guy, not here. Let’s take it over there.” The hippy nodded towards a narrow alley separating a couple of souvenir shops.
“Where the Hell did you get $50?” Porko studied Phil’s face.
“The truck driver gave it to me.”
“He gave you $50? What the Hell man? He gave me….”
Phil smiled. “Yeah, he gave you $15. Told me you weren’t worth even that much. But who cares anyway? We have weed, we’re baked and we can still eat tonight. This trip to OC without the parents is working out just great.”
Phil passed the joint to Porko and laid back on the sand. A wave broke over his legs. Who cared if school started in a couple of weeks? Who cared what happened tomorrow? Tonight he was free and stoned. Life did not get any better than this.