The first Mini Sledgehammer was in September, so I guess that makes this month our anniversary! Congratulations to Joseph Aldred for winning the anniversary Mini Sledgehammer.
Character: A guard
Action: Blowing one’s nose
Setting: A factory
Prop: A cabbage
by Joseph Aldred
“I hate these late nights,” Jacob said, flicking the flash light on and of a few times before setting it back on the desk.
“Yeah, well you coulda guessed there would be a few of those with this job Earl,” Izzy said not looking up from the Batman comic she had read more than her fair share of times. “Personally, I prefer not having to be around people.”
“I didn’t expect I would be swinging the grave shift every week though.” He had been looking at one of the monitors, wondering briefly what all those machines meant. He sniffed and wiped his nose with the sleeve of the marine blue jacket. “I’ll be happy when the get done with my jacket, maybe you’ll stop calling me that. What do they do here anyway?”
“Make something–I don’t care; I just make sure nobody makes off with anything.”
“Anybody ever break in or cause problems?”
“Naw–well one time, some kids were fooling around in the parking lot, drinking, smoking–just fucking around ya know.”
“What’d you do?”
She looked up over the top of the page where Batman had just socked Joker one and was in the process of tying him up. She laughed a harsh laugh, “I joined em, what do you think?”
“Christ, how old were they?”
“I don’t know, high school or something. I didn’t buy them the booze and they were willing to share if I let them stay. Why don’t you take a walk around and check things out? I’ll stay here and hold down the fort.”
“Mom sent sandwiches and other snacks if you want.”
“What’s on em?”
“Turkey, cheese, that spicy mustard she likes. You know, the usual–I think she even threw in some Oreos for you.” Izzy had been an eternally ongoing love affair with them and all their artery clogging goodness since middle school, like many kids.
“Ha mom, of course she would add those. You’d think I was the one with a new job, not you. Why do you let her do that stuff anyway?”
“You know, she likes to feel needed,” Jacob said sniffling his almost perpetually runny nose. He turned to leave the security office, one hand pressing the door half way open before he turned back, “two of the sandwiches had cabbage, she didn’t have any lettuce and I don’t think she marked any of them.”
“I think I’ll be okay, you said Oreo and all thoughts of food stopped there.”
“She said not to let you eat just those.” He sniffled again and pushed open the door to leave.
“And I’m sure you’ll run right home and tell her. How’s she doing anyway?”
“She’s been holding up okay, talks about you coming over sometime for dinner ya know.” He sniffed again and rubbed slowly at his nose.
“You know that’s gross, just go blow your nose already.”
“I hate the way my ear’s pop.”
“Just do it and be done with already.”
“I’ll do it after you eat one of those sandwiches and take it easy on those cookies–they’ll give you a heart attack.”
“We’ll see, go have a look around, blow your nose in peace, and I’ll sit here keeping an eye on how Mr. J is doing.”
Jacob pushed through the door, pulling a handkerchief from his back pocket as he walked, hitched up his pants and put the cotton to his nose.
© 2016 Joseph Aldred
Joseph Aldred lives in Vancouver, Washington. By night he is a writer, by day he is a writer only when his boss isn’t around. He loves to eat sushi with his kids and to drink the occasional bottle of cider. He works freelance creating content for the web.