Joined: 20 Dec 2007
|Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:48 pm Post subject: The Change
When the Lights Go Out
The factory ran, just as it did any other day of the week, as the continuous production of doors, windows and even wooden pallets lingered a mix of smells through the air. Most of it was the oil and musty smell of the various tools used in the factory. It was the kind of smell that would hit someone like a hammer when first experiencing it, but one that could be gotten used to in less than a week. The noises that all the equipment, tools and workers themselves made would be chaotic to anyone, save for the worker being able to focus on their particular given task. It was sort of like a meditation in a way, being able to filter out all the other sounds save for the those that surrounded your work area. The lighting was more than necessary, to the point where workers couldn't look up without shielding their eyes, and complained that it caused the facility to be a little to hot. Of course, they complained less about it in the winter, but it was midsummer and many of the workers took a moment here and there to wipe a layer of sweat from their brows.
One worker, however, was taking a small break to make a quick phone call. He was of average height, barely standing six feet tall with thick, steel toed boots. He had a medium build, though not well defined, suggesting that most of his build was a result of working at the factory itself and not actively spending many days a week in the gym. A grimace crossed the features of his light toned, Caucasian face as a rough hand slid through dirty brown hair. He released a sigh through a narrow, but rounded nose as light blue eyes gazed down at his watch, noting the time. It was 3:48 PM. "She must be upstairs helping Lisa with her homework," he muttered under his breath.
"Hello?" a female voice finally answered, cutting through the noise of the factory and ending the annoying digital tone of a phone ring on the callers end.
"Michelle, I was just calling ahead to see if you needed me to pick up anything on my way home after work?" he then replied over the phone.
"We're getting low on eggs and milk, but nothing else really," Michelle replied. "You're not going to go out to the bars again, are you David?"
"Do we have to go over this again, Michelle?" David grumbled out as his body turned to take a lean against the wall, his head thumping lightly along the cool metal surface.
"I just don't want to have Lisa see you like that again is all," Michelle said plainly.
"Kell!" David's last name was yelled from his right. David's head turned to see the floor manager looking back at him.
"What, Tony?" David yelled back.
"You on an official break?" Tony said. "If I recall, I told you to fix that drill bench."
"It's done already, now if you don't mind, I'm in the middle of an important call," David replied, as he slowly raised his hand to plug his ear.
"Why did I ever kick you up from an assembler?" Tony then yelled, shaking his head.
"Because I do the same work as a maintenance worker and electrician for four dollars less an hour," David replied as he turned once again.
Tony chuckled slightly. "Yeah, you were sort of a push over when the negotiations came, so I'll see you at Mickey's later then?" Tony then said.
David just waved his hand, his eyes shutting slightly, hoping his wife didn't hear. "You're not going out to the bars again," Michelle then said.
"You're hearing's too good at times, you know that?" David said.
"David, I'm serious," Michelle said.
"Damn Michelle. I'm twenty-three years old. You'd think I'd get to relax a little after a hard day at work," David almost yelled.
"Promise me," Michelle said as silence then took over the conversation. David turned once again, thumping his head lightly against the wall a few times, remaining silent as his jaw clenched. "David, promise me you won't go out drinking again,"
"Alright, alright! You can be a real pain in my ass sometimes," David grumbled.
"Thank you David," Michelle then said, "I love you."
David's eyes rolled. Like all wives, his wife always had a way of convincing him to do or not to do things. Fellow workers at the factory said he was just whipped, but more to the point, David just felt a certain sense of responsibility to his wife and daughter. He didn't like it, but he stuck to it. When she said I love you just like she did, it was more or less her way of apologizing without saying 'I'm sorry' directly, which he found annoying, mainly because she would wait for his response of, 'I love you too,' which more or less signified him saying, 'it's alright' or 'you don't need to be sorry,' which he really didn't feel like he should have to say. So silence once again took over the conversation as David's teeth almost began to grind. "Okay," David thought to himself, "what the hell would Dr. Phil have me say?"
Eventually David said, "I love you too," as his hand dragged down along his face. "So, what are we having for dinner then? Please don't say it's another casserole."
"I'm thinking we could have....... oh....." Michelle then said as David heard her feet moving quickly along the hardwood floor of their kitchen.
"What?" David said, a slight frown crossing his features.
"I don't know," Michelle said, "I, I think I just saw a bear, or something."
"A bear?" David said as a look of annoyed confusion appeared on his face.
"It was big, wasn't any man or anything. I just caught it out of the corner of my eye through the kitchen window as I was looking through the cupboards," Michelle explained.
"Well, it's not a bear," David replied.
"How do you know?" Michelle snipped. "You're didn't even see it."
"Because we live in Minneapolis and away from wooded wildlife areas. The only bears close to us is at the zoo, and that's over fifty miles away. No way a bear would have escaped and made it that far," David explained.
"Oh, now you're just......." Michelle was beginning to say before the line went dead.
The frown once again appeared on David's face as he body stood strait up. "Hello? Michelle?" David said as he listened more intently to the phone only to hear nothing, not even static.
It wasn't a second later before everything else in the plant shut down entirely. Tools stopped running, lights stopped shining and everything was silent.