Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Vic and Lindsey have hosted a fun little contest and blogfest where we take something that happened in real life and turn it into a story!  How fun!  Your very own Emily's Playhouse blogger won second place!  *passes round celebratory drinks*

Today is the blogfest part where all the participants share their stories with all you lovely readers.  The story I wrote is based on something that happened to my grandfather LONG before I was born.  

I hope you enjoy!

                “Heave ho, lads!  Heave ho!”  Salvadore Bumble wiped his brow with a big sweep of his hand for the umpteenth time.  Hard work it was getting men to do their fair share.  Especially in a god-awful heat wave that made the steel girders bake your feet right through your shoes. 
                “Perhaps a break might be nice,” Bumble’s number two man said just a quarter inch behind him and an octave too high.  Not much was ever said of young Capp.  If something was said, it was none-too-kind and never spoken to his face.  “Soft” and “dainty” is what a person might hear coming from the workers’ mouths if he were to pass by.
                Not that Bumble cared.  The boy had a head on him and that’s all that mattered.  Let the Builders do the heavy stuff while the Suits used their brains.
                “A break sounds lovely, my lad.”  With a big whoosh of breath and the readjustment of his ample waist, Bumble plopped himself down on the open ledge, just ten stories up from the ground.
                Capp cleared his throat and tapped his foot.  “No, Mr. Bumble.  I meant for the workers.”  His voice quieted.  “It is awfully hot today.”
                And how.  Bumble took another swipe at his brow, flinging the sweat off to splatter and steam against the girder upon which he sat.  “No time for breaks, Capp.  You know that.  Mayor Parson wants his new capital building done by the end of summer.”
                “Even so, I’m sure the Mayor would not be pleased if some of the workers started falling to their deaths from heat exhaustion.”
                Bumble cocked his head up at the boy and narrowed his eyes.  Cocky little punk, wasn’t he?  Must have grown a set overnight.  Bumble certainly couldn’t remember him talking back like that before. 
                “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.  They got a lunch break comin’ in just a few hours.”
                Capp shook his head and side-stepped his way off Bumble’s section without another word.
                “Touchy,” Bumble mumbled.  With his eyes still on him, he watched the boy make his way across the narrow girders to a group of three or four workers hauling up a box of tools and supplies.  Not once did Capp’s stiff neck relent, or his eyes roam to the ground as he skirted the building’s exposed skeleton.
                “Some lads just ain’t made for this kinda work,” Bumble said to himself with a shake of his head.  An iron will as strong as the metal they laid was what was required, if anyone bothered to ask Bumble’s opinion.  Give the workers a break.  Bah!  Might as well give ‘em a raise while you were at it.  And those things just weren’t done.
                Bumble wiped off the bead of sweat that tickled the end of his nose and pulled out half a sandwich he kept hidden in his breast pocket.  If anyone deserved a break it was him!  He peered at Capp out of the corner of his eye again.  Why, the foolish lad was actually hauling that box of supplies!  The poor dimwit could barely see over the top.  Well, if he wanted to break his neck from a fall, that was—
                “Not that way, you idiot!”  Bumble called out as he pulled himself up.   It was too late.  Capp’s foot came down six inches away from the end of the steel girder, right over open air.
                Bumble looked away.  The men may have said some harsh things about him over the years, but he just couldn’t stand to watch a man die.
                The sickening thud Bumble fully expected to hear never came.   With eyes as timid as a school girl’s, he looked over to see the damage.  No crumpled body lay on the ground.  He raised his eyes up to the last place he saw the poor chap and nearly toppled off the girder himself at the sight before him.  Capp, completely oblivious, was walking ten stories above the ground with nothing under his feet but air.
                Bumble wiped his hand across his eyes and looked back at the floating boy, certain he’d completely lost his mind.  But no.  Capp still walked high above the ground to the left wing of the building’s skeleton, seemingly unaware.  When he got to the other end, his feet finally resting on solid steel, he put his box down and turned around.  The look of pure horror on Capp’s face as he stared at the drop to the ground not four inches in front of him surely matched Bumble’s.  Their eyes met and everything that had just happened was communicated between that one shared look.
                A miracle had occurred, and Bumble needed to change his pants.

I know!  Hard to believe, but my grandfather was "young Capp."  I don't know if anyone actually saw it happen, but all he knows is he was carrying something high up on a work site just like this one and after setting down the package, turned around, and realized he'd just walked over the width of about a hundred feet of open air.

To read all the other wonderful stories, check out the linky-do on Vic's blog!


  1. Love the story, and love the whole competition, Vics is one of my beloved blogging ladies :)

  2. ooh i'm so glad you explained about the truth aspect because i wondered about it when i read it yesterday. That is CRAZY!

  3. i really wanted to know where you found the truth this was based on!!! thank goodness for that miracle! otherwise, we probably wouldn't have our lovely emily around!!! :)

  4. Congrats on your win, rah! Nice writing, here. And what a FREAKY story. Amazing. Even more so since it's true!!


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