A Short Story

5859 Words24 Pages
answered the phone with the same uninterested drone, himself a day laborer. He stuffed his cigar in his mouth to free his hand and showed three fingers. His hand signal started a chain of activity on the benches with each man sliding down to fill the vacant seats. He wrote the address on a worksheet and gave it to the three next in line. He returned behind his newspaper as they walked out the door. Billowing cigar smoke rising above the desk was a sign of him. Emmanuel made it back to the benches; he was one of the early ones and became next in line. His day was about to change. He took out a stick of beef jerky and ripped off a piece with his teeth as a man across from him blew his nose on the floor, causing Emmanuel to examine the rest…show more content…
"This way." He commanded them to follow with a voice mixed with gravel. They disappeared into the rolling hills of multicolored garbage. What was new trash was giving birth to fresh rot to replace old rot. The refuse mounds were the breeding center for every known species of insect and rodent, a world where few people ventured to sojourn. In a short while, they trudged through knee-high garbage while following the burly man who didn't notice the refuse. He stopped at a freshly planted mound of trash and assorted debris. It was still vibrant in color and odor. "Here." He pointed to the mound. "Take out all the metal scraps; put all the copper in one pile, the iron in another, and the aluminum in another. I'll be back later. If I see you guys standing still, you're fired." He turned and walked off, furrowing to his shack. They blended into the mound and filtered waste matter in all phases of decomposition. Scraps of copper, iron, and aluminum assembled in their respective piles. No one ever amassed a fortune in the recycling business, but there was still a dollar to be had, and what is garbage to one man is bounty to another. "This your first time here?" the Negro man said. "Yeah, and because of what I've found here, it might be my last," Emmanuel said, scrounging the piles. "It's about all you can get from the day-labor pool. This is good if you

More about A Short Story

Open Document