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.

A prompt response for “INSPIRATION MONDAY:” ~ WHERE WOLF

Inspiration Monday ~ inmonsterbadge1

Enter a caption

http://bekindrewrite.com

WHERE WOLF

by John Yeo

   He was a drifter who always moved with the whims of his ever-changing quest. A searcher for peace and serenity that drove him always ever-onward to new horizons.
 No one ever really knew him, it was very difficult to penetrate the hard shell that obscured and shielded his ever hungry-mind.
He had a four-legged companion, a tame wolf, who travelled with him and rarely left his side. Rumour had it, he had stumbled across an injured wolf cub in the forest and nursed it back to health. The wolf just followed him wherever he went after that, and a deep relationship developed between the man and beast.
  On the rare occasions his friend went missing, there would be several wolves howling in the night and his friend would be gone, sometimes for a few days.

 Perhaps it was the need for human contact that led him to make his home near our forest encampment. We were a small community of self-sufficient small-time farmer and growers. The community accepted and welcomed him with open arms and friendship, as he drifted around doing small jobs and hard laborious work for food and drink. He was very fond of the homemade rough strong cider, that was brewed by one of our fruit growers.

  One sad memorable week we discovered several dead sheep and a goat, killed by a predator and left half-eaten in the fields. Suspicion fell on the tame wolf and several of our menfolk approached the man and his wolf with guns.

 There was unease as he stood facing these angry farmers without fear, the wolf just stood beside him.

      “We’ve come for the killer wolf, step aside or die!” Shouted the leader.

  “Why? The wolf is not a killer and he stays with me.” Replied the drifter.

  Then the wolf growled and howled, and looked at his friend, there was a moment of shocked silence as the drifter whispered, “Where Wolf?”
Moving on the fringes of the forest in the distance, cautiously stalking a wild bird was a full grown wild cat. There was a volley of shots from the men as the big cat fled into the forest and disappeared into the trees.

  The next day the drifter and his friend were gone never to be seen in that part of the forest again.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reserved

 

Wolf Marg

Image © 2015, Barbara W. Beacham