Daily Prompt: Service

19 Sep

I haven’t been inspired by a Daily Prompt for a while, but this one is getting some creative juices flowing!  Like yesterday, please comment!  Let me know if my dreams are hopeless or at least what I can do to be a better writer.  I’m going to be out of town for the weekend but when I get back I’ll have a Novel Girls post and a book review to post.  Something to look forward to.

This snippet is based on a character from my first WIP, June.

Daily Prompt: Service

June’s favorite part of the day was after the food was cooked and simmering in the industrial sized pots.  She was sweating and covered in grime, but she usually got a five minute break before the workers started coming to her kitchen.  She had timed it right that day and was sitting on a small stool, giving her feet a break from her weight, when the first children raced to get in line.

The children always came first, racing from the fields and competing to be the first in line.  June usually gave the winner a little something extra, like the biggest slice of bread, but she would also give it to the last child to arrive.  She wanted the children to know they were all worth a little something special.

They called her Miss June and she loved to hear their voices singing to her as they made the mad dash to get in line.  “Miss June!  Miss June!  Did you make soda bread, Miss June?  Is there meat in the soup today, Miss June?  I’m first, Miss June, give me some extra cornbread!”

After the children, the elderly workers showed up.  The supervisors in the field usually let them go first because they walked so slowly, but the children were fast enough to pass them on their way to the kitchen.  After two years, June knew her regular customers and what they would eat.  Mr. O’Conner had no teeth so he got extra soup and no bread.  Mrs. Williamson couldn’t eat anything hot, so June set her soup aside early to cool.  They each smiled and thanked her warmly, nowhere near as pleading as the children.

The women were next, out of courtesy.  June saw the defeat of their position written in the faces.  Many of them were like her; having grown up middle class, their lives were reduced to nothing after the stock market crashed.  She didn’t degrade them with a smile and a pep-talk; they knew as well as she did that these were the worst of times and were only getting worse.  Many of them saved their bread to feed to their children before bed when their stomachs started to grumble again.  June wished she could make more and send them back to work full but it was out of her control.

The men came last, quiet and somber.  They took their hats off to her and she could see the line the sun drew across their foreheads.  Of course, there were a few that were friendly and talkative.

“Afternoon, Miss June,” Jim Boyle always said.  She answered with a polite “Afternoon,” and a smile every day.

“Thank you, ma’am,” Mr. Gambo always said.  June gave him a larger piece of bread because his wife was at home, sick with child and didn’t get fed while she didn’t work.

Marco Amato never said anything; he stared with deep blue eyes that reminded her of Tony.  It made her look away to see those eyes, ones she thought she knew so well, staring at her every day.  Hearing his voice for the first time startled her.  He had a thick Italian accent and she almost didn’t understand him.

“Why you look sad at me, Miss June?”

She cast her eyes down.  “You remind me of someone.”

“A lover?”  Thinking of Tony as her lover made June blush.  “I think that I spoke bad,” he recovered.  “A man that you loved?”

“Yes,” she said with a sad smile.  “Please don’t be offended.  You have the same eyes.”

He grinned.  “You loved an Italian man?”

“Yes, very much.”  She didn’t bother to tell him she still loved an Italian man.  That night, June wrote Tony a letter, explaining why she was sad whenever she saw Marco, but it was a letter she could never send.

Marco continued to talk to her every day, his English becoming clearer and his sentences better formed.  Over time she forgot to be sad when she saw him coming.  But if she looked him in the eye, she could only see Tony staring back at her.

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One Response to “Daily Prompt: Service”

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  1. Mina’s Coffee | The Silver Leaf Journal - September 19, 2013

    […] Daily Prompt: Service | Taking on a World of Words […]

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