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THE HIRED HAND

WEDNESDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

Today’s prompt: Write a piece of prose or poetry that uses the words hotel and porcelain skin.

THE HIRED HAND

by John Yeo

   Billy was a drifter, a wanderer, a man for hire. He was of average height and weight, however, he could always be identified by the six-inch long scar on his face running from one ear to the other ear. A hidden identifier was the shape of his head. His skull appeared to be uniquely shaped into a point and he had a long pointed chin. It was rarely, if ever, anyone saw Billy without his battered, mis-shaped, stetson hat on his head. He always had a grubby neckerchief pulled up over the scar and his elongated chin. 

 Jumping awkwardly off the goods train he had boarded when it slowed for some signals two miles outside the small town of Marlon, he took to the road, limping slightly.

 Marlon is a one street town with a general store and a rundown, little-used hotel, opposite the railway goods depot that doubled as the town passenger station.

 Billy entered the bar.

   ‘What’ll you have?’ asked the burly bartender, rubbing his huge wet hands on a grubby apron. He seemed to be deliberately aggressive as he eyed Billy suspiciously.

   Billy smiled and pulled his scarf down slightly. ‘Gimme a beer please! I’m looking for work. Do you know anyone who’s hiring?’

  At this precise moment a tall lady walked in, dressed from head to toe in funereal black. Her blonde hair was scarcely visible under the folds of a jet black hood. Billy couldn’t help admiring her facial skin which was perfectly made up with white makeup, giving the illusion of the pure porcelain skin of an oriental geisha girl.

    ‘Good day Mrs.Harper. Can I get you anything?’  asked the bartender respectfully.

  ‘No thanks Carter, I need to ask a favour. If you hear of anyone looking for work send them to the ranch. We are hiring for our harvest.’

‘Certainly Ma’am, I’ll do just that.’ replied the barman.

With that the lady left the bar.

Billy turned to him and frowned and screamed at the barman

‘Why didn’t you introduce me Carter?’

‘You wouldn’t thank me when you realised you would become a modern slave and sleep in the pigsty. Besides, you work for me now. How does fifty bucks an hour sound with a room thrown in.’

Billy soon became a regular member of the community  and was soon a partner in the business.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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