Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friday Fiction for August 13, 2010

The imaginative young Sara is our hostess for Friday Fiction this week, on her blog, Fiction Fusion. This is the weekend of the annual Faithwriters Conference in Michigan, so this has to be a good week to visit the blogs you’ll find in the Linky tool.

Short chapter from "Precocious by Consent" this week, but another important tidbit stashed within.

Chapter 21

Wednesday noon

He stepped out of the van, and adjusted the tuck-in of his shirt. Walking to the back of the van, he removed the baseball cap from his head, and mopped his forehead with a bandana before opening the back doors. A tool belt then went around his waist, an orange cone onto the street behind the van, and then the doors were closed again.

Atop the van, in a special rack, a long extension ladder waited. He lifted the ladder from the rack, and carried it to a nearby utility pole. With the attached rope, he extended the ladder and rested the hooks over a heavy cable some twenty feet above him.

A young boy came over. “What’cha doin’, mister?”

He smiled at the boy. “I’m with Coastal Cable, and I just need to do a little routine maintenance on the cable here. Shouldn’t you be in school?”

“I had a dentist appointment this morning, so Mom kept me home. What’s ‘maintenance’ mean?”

“Well, it’s kind of like fixing it before it breaks, so that you don’t lose your television or internet when something goes wrong.”

“Can I watch?”

“Sure, but what I need you to do is to stand back over there a bit, so in case I accidentally drop something, you don’t get hit by it, okay?”

“Okay,” the boy said, and went over to lean against a fence.

He gave the boy an approving nod, and started climbing the ladder. Is this neighborhood so safe, that your mother isn’t concerned with you being out of her sight, malchik? At the top, he opened the cable amplifier box, and made a pretense of cleaning the o-ring.

The pole overlooked an immaculate backyard, and without being obvious about it, he studied the house attached to the yard. A second floor window faced the yard, and pale lavender walls showed through the open curtains. That should be your room, Ekaterina. My information is that you have been ‘adopted’ by this family. Why? What game are they playing with you now?

From a small case in his tool belt, he removed a tiny electronic device, which he attached to the utility pole. He fed two fine wires into the amplifier box, and connected them into the cable circuit. Satisfied by a quick check on his smart phone, he closed up the box and descended the ladder.

“That’s it?” the boy said, when he reached the ground.

He gave a quick laugh. “That’s it,” he replied, unhooking the ladder and collapsing it.

“It sure didn’t look like you did much up there.”

“Ah, but if I did my job right, I won’t have to do much later, either. A little work today, prevents a lot of work tomorrow.”

“Now you sound like my Mom.”

“Your Mom sounds like a smart woman – you should listen to her.”

“Yeah,” the boy said, looking away. “You know, I think I’ll just go watch some T.V.”

On a beautiful day like this, malchik? I’ll bet your mother told you to get outside and play, rather than sitting in front of the television or computer. “Well, I have other calls to go on, so you have a nice day, okay?”

“Yeah, you too,” the boy said, and wandered off.

He secured the ladder atop the van, put the tool belt in the back, and climbed back into the driver’s seat. Before starting the van, he checked his laptop for a more thorough test of the newly installed device. Confident that it would work according to design, he left the neighborhood before his presence could cause any concern for the residents. It would be awkward to explain his cable company uniform, if the same officer that had seen him as the Pacific Wireless employee a few days ago stopped him.

No comments: