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Some kind of short story shit
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Stadium Offline

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Post: #1
Some kind of short story shit

By noon the sky was overcast. We pulled the wagon away from the dumping area and sat on the ground to eat what we had brought from home. By then the stench no longer bothered us. My father handed us bean and potato tacos that were still warm. Hunger made them exquisite, and I sat there chewing slowly, deliberately, making them last, too happy to say anything. We shared the jug of water, bits of damp earth clinging to our hands after we set it down.
Before us was the coming and going of trucks, the movement of men, rats scurrying everywhere, some dogs, and just beyond us, under a tentlike tarp, a big gas-powered pump that was used to drain water from that whole area, which flooded easily in a heavy rain. Behind us was a tiny shack, crudely assembled with cardboard, wood, and sheet metal, home of the dump’s only dweller, Uñas. He was nowhere in sight, but my mind saw him; a monstrous dung beetle rolling balls endlessly, determination on his pockmarked face, jaws in constant motion and his hands thrashing nervously, searching the grounds with a frenzy unleashed by the appearance of intruders.
By 12:30 the sky’s blue was completely eclipsed. Above us an ugly gray was pressing down the sky, flattening it by degrees. My father stood up and looked hard at the sky as he spun on his heel. The temperature dropped abruptly and a strong wind rose, blowing paper, cans, boxes, and other objects across the grounds in all directions. He issued orders rapidly: “¡Pronto! Block the wheels and cover the wagon with the lona! Tie it down!” Then he took a sack and hurried off to a heap he had been eyeing while we ate.
We leapt forward, the two youngest scurrying in search of something to anchor the wheels with, while the two eldest raised the wagon’s sides and unfolded the tarp my father had designed for such an emergency. The wheels blocked, we turned to help our brothers. We had seen our father tie down the tarp many times. We pulled it taut over the wagon and carefully drew the ends down and under, tying securely the lengths of rope that hung from its edges.
Huddled around the wagon, we watched the day grow darker. Big black clouds, their outlines clearly visible, scudded across the sky. It was cold and we shivered in our shirtsleeves. Now the wind blew with such force that it lifted things and flung them into spasmodic flight. We moved in together and bent down to shield and anchor ourselves. Frightened, we held our silence and pressed in closer until one of us, pointing, gasped, “Look! No one’s out there! No one! Jus’ look! We’re all alone!”
A bolt of lightning ripped the sky and a horrendous explosion followed. Terror gripped us and we began to wail. The clouds dumped their load of huge, cold drops. And suddenly my father appeared in the distance. He looked tiny as he ran, flailing his arms, unable to shout over the sound of wind and water. He was waving us into the shack and we obeyed at once. Inside, cowed by the roar outside and pressing together, we trembled as we waited for him. He had almost reached us when the wind sheared off the roof. Part of one side was blown away as the first small pebbles of ice began to fall. He was shouting as he ran, “Salgan, come out, come out!”
We tumbled out, arms extended as we groped toward him, clutched his legs when he reached us and pulled us away seconds before the wind leveled what remained of the shack. A knot of arms and legs, we stumbled to the wagon. There was no shelter for hundreds of yards around and we could not see more than several yards in front of us. The rain slashed down, diminished, and hail fell with increasing density as the size of the spheres grew. Now we cried out with pain as white marbles struck us. My father’s head pitched furiously and he bellowed with authority, “¡Cállense! Be still! Don’t move from here! I’ll be right back, ahorita vuelvo!”
In seconds he was back, dragging behind him the huge tarp he had torn from the pump, moving unflinchingly under the cold jawbreakers that were pummeling us. With a powerful jerk he pulled it up his back and over his head, held out his arms like wings, and we instinctively darted under. The growing force of the hailstorm crashed down on him. Thrashing desperately under the tarp, we found his legs and clung to them. I crawled between them. We could not stop bawling.
Once more he roared over the din. “There’s nothing to fear! ¡Nada! You’re safe with me, you know that, ya lo saben!” And then little by little he lowered his voice until he seemed to be whispering, “I would never let anything harm you, nunca, nunca. Ya, cállense, cállense ya. Cálmense, be still, you’re safe, seguros, you’re with me, with Papá. It’s going to end now, very soon, very soon, it’ll end, you’ll see, ya verán, ya verán. Be still, be still, you’re with me, with me. Ya, ya, cállense. . . . “
Bent forward, he held fast, undaunted, fixed to the ground, and we tried to cast off our terror. Huddled under the wings of that spreading giant, we saw the storm release its savagery, hurl spheres of ice like missiles shot from slings. They came straight down, so dense that we could see only a few feet beyond us. Gradually the storm abated, and we watched the spheres bounce with great elasticity from hard surfaces, carom when they collided, spring from the wagon’s tarp like golf balls dropped on blacktopped streets. When it stopped hailing, the ground lay hidden under a vast white beaded quilt. At a distance from us and down, the highway was a string of stationary vehicles with their lights on. Repeatedly, bright bolts of lightning tore the sky from zenith to horizon and set off detonations that seemed to come from deep in the earth. At last the rain let up. My father straightened himself, rose to his full height, and we emerged from the tarp as it slid from his shoulders. He ordered us with a movement of his head and eyes, and as he calmly flexed his arms, the four of us struggled to cover the damaged pump with his great canvas mantle.
His unexpected “¡Vámonos!” filled us with joy and we prepared to leave. Hail and water were cleared from the wagon’s cover. My brothers and I dug through the ice to free the wheels, and when my father took up the handle and pulled, we pushed from behind with all our might, slipping, falling, rising, moving the wagon forward by inches, slowly gaining a little speed, and finally holding at a steady walk to keep from losing control. Where the road met the highway, we waded through more than a foot of water and threw our shoulders into the wagon to shove it over the last bump. Long columns of stalled cars lined the highway as drivers examined dents and shattered or broken windows and windshields. We went home in a dense silence, my father steering and pulling in front, we propelling from behind.
Entering the yard from the alley, we unloaded the wagon without delay. While my father worked his wagon into the coal shed and locked the door, my brothers and I carried the sacks up to our second-floor flat. It was almost four when we finished emptying the sacks on newspapers spread on the kitchen floor. There we began to pare while my mother, scrubbing carefully, washed in the sink. We chattered furiously, my brothers and I, safe now from the danger outside.
Lázaro brought the knife down on the orange, the orange slipped from his hand, and the blade cut the tip of his thumb. He held his thumb in his fist and I got up to bring him gauze and tape from the bathroom. I knew my father would let me in even if he had already started to bathe.
Some object fallen between the bathroom door and its frame had kept it ajar, but he did not hear me approach. I froze. He was standing naked beside a heap of clothes, running his hands over his arms and shoulders, his fingertips pausing to examine more closely. His back and arms were a mass of ugly welts, livid flesh that had been flailed again and again until the veins beneath the skin had broken. His arms dropped to his sides and I thought I saw him shudder. Suddenly he seemed to grow, to swell, to fill the bathroom with his great mass. Then he threw his head back, shaking his black mane, smiled, stepped into the bathtub, and immersed himself in the water. Without knowing why, I waited a moment before timidly entering; even as I have paused all these years, and pause still, in full knowledge now, before entering that distant Saturday.

How has the narrator changed at the end of this story? How did the story’s main conflict impact that change?

Can't figure this shit out I reread the story a few times and I don't see how he changed at all.

No, this is Patrick.
02-08-2012 02:26 PM
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Messages In This Thread
Some kind of short story shit - Stadium - 02-08-2012 02:26 PM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Absnt - 02-08-2012, 03:28 PM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Efs - 02-08-2012, 03:34 PM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Absnt - 02-09-2012, 06:06 AM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Absnt - 02-09-2012, 02:04 PM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Absnt - 02-09-2012, 01:53 PM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Absnt - 02-09-2012, 07:05 PM
RE: Some kind of short story shit - Efs - 02-10-2012, 03:36 PM

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