The Company Line

I kissed her cheek and secured my overcoat.

“Don’t do anything that may kill you,” Ann pleaded. Her concern was justified; four had fallen to their death only yesterday.

I walked out the door without comment. She hadn’t seen the bruises on my shoulder or mentioned the cuts on my knuckles. She did not need to know that I had fallen too.

It was nearly sunrise and the half-constructed monstrosity loomed in the distance. Our duplex, like all Company funded homes, lined the street leading up to the project. With our shelves empty, it did not matter if I came home bruised and broken. I only needed to come home less destitute than when I left.

The overcoat pressed against my bruises as I wrapped it close, blocking dust from unpaved streets. Pavement was a luxury and there were no luxuries here. I thought of the dustcastles Marlon and Marie made and of their smiling faces.

It may hurt, it may diminish my lingering pride, but I needed to provide for them.

I walked up to the site and under the morning light I could see the sign on the fence:

Occupancy Full – No Workers Needed.

I stumbled to the ground. We would go hungry tonight.


Written for Flash!Friday where the twofold prompt was:

1) Theme: Defeat

2) Incorporate this photo:

Construction of the Statue of Liberty's Pedestal

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