Part 1 of the story is my Portrait of Words. You may want to read it first.
Each week (Thursdays), Quilly gives us three words to write into a story. Oh, they're not just any words, not words you'd hear/see ever day. Nope, these are obscure words, endangered words. Before we can write to these words, we have to find them on the internet so as to find out their meaning so they can be used properly. This week's (Week 15) words are:
adj. - Producing redness, as of the skin.
n. - A substance that irritates the skin, causing redness.
senticous - adjective
- prickly, thorny.
divagations - noun
|1.||to wander; stray.|
|2.||to digress in speech.|
Raven, at Views From Raven's Nest, has created this word puzzle, Wordzzle, for us to have a challenge and write to. The words/phrases to work with this week are:
Main Challenge (10): parasite, meals on wheels, crows, it's my fault, everything but the kitchen sink, on sale, patriotism, the love of my life, library card, common sense
Mini Challenge (5): blackmail, California, stethoscope, postage, crank
Thanks to all who left the wonderful comments to my Portrait of Words post. You have convinced me to continue it on, so here is part 2 (or part 2, 3 & 4 if I'm lucky and the words come)...
"What kind of work have you done before?"
"Where did you last work?"
"What kind of experience do you have?"
"Have you ever picked grapes before?"
These are some of the questions Nivek was asked at the vineyards where he went to ask for work. Of course, with his background, he couldn't exactly tell them the truth. Who would hire him if he told them he'd been a member of an outlaw biker gang since he was a kid, had never held a job in his life, and lived off the proceeds of illegal endeavors? Nobody, that's who. Well, nobody legit anyway, and he didn't want to live off criminal activities anymore or he would have stayed with the gang back east. No, Nivek wanted to start an new life and he wanted it all to be legal and above board. So, when asked these questions the first time, he didn't do too well, tripping over his words and not sounding at all convincing. Before going to the second place, he drove to a store where he bought himself an ice cold bottle of cola, and sat in the shade drinking it as he 're-wrote' his 'story'. He even decided it was plane common sense not to tell anyone he had just moved here to California.
"What kind of experience do you have?" asked the man he spoke to at the second vineyard.
"Well sir, I don't really know for sure. You see, I was in an acident. Apparently, I lost the love of my life, and I had a head injury so that's why I wear this bandana under my hat. Anyway, I got all my memories knocked out of me, haha, they call it amnesia. I don't know anything about my past life and the hospital even had to help me give myself a new name. I really want to make a good new life for myself, sir, and I'd like to start by learning the grape growing business."
"Have you picked grapes before?" the man asked.
"Not to the best of my knowledge, but I have the feeling I'm a hard worker, sir. At least I worked real hard in the hospital to live and then to walk and talk again." He hoped he wasn't overdoing it here, "so I believe it's in my nature to work hard and to learn well. I sure would appreciate a chance to show you."
"I don't know. I just don't know," said the man. "I really wanted someone with lots of experience in the grape business. I'm sorry, but I'll just have to pass. Good luck finding something."
The next 2 or 3 places Nivek went, things went pretty much the same. He stopped at a gas station to fuel up 'the bug', and while there saw an American Flag which gave him an idea. Maybe if displayed patriotism, someone would buy into his new story. The next place he went, he finally met someone willing to give him a chance. "I guess you don't need experience to clean up some land where I want to plant more grapes," a guy said, "and if you do good with that, I'll let you stay on and help with the planting and who knows after that." At first Nivek was overjoyed to finally get a break, and he knew the little flag on his antena was to thank for that. The next day he showed up bright and early, ready to put in a days work. By noon he was tired and sore like he'd never been before, and on top of that, he was in a big patch of senticous and rubefacient plants, so was most uncomfortable and miserable. He decided the boss was some kind of parasite who should be fed to the crows, hiring people who were down and out to clean this mess by hand, and for minimum wage. Well, he wasn't going to go through this kind of hell for any one, or for any amount of money, never mind this chump change. With that, he limped and hobbled over to his car, carefully eased himself inside, and drove away.
"It's my fault," he told himself as he drove home to the motel room, "I should have gotten an education and some work experience!" As he told himself this, he knew it wasn't the truth. A young boy whos parents were too caught up in their addictions to notice if he was even alive, or to care either way, had no way of getting an education. Once the bikers had taken him in and given him a home where he was cared for, there had been no looking back... and no legit jobs or education to be had. "At least if I knew my way around the city I could do the 'meals on wheels' thing." And having only arrived out west less than a week ago, he had no way of knowing how to get around in his new city so being a delivery driver, running here and there delivering beer and fast food, was for now at least out of the question. He'd just have to keep thinking and he'd come up with something short of blackmail.
Once at the motel, he went to his room where he took a nice long soak in a hot bath, then, feeling quite a bit better, he went out to find a drug store. He managed to find some cream on sale that would help take the redness and itch from his torchered skin. As he walked around inside the store, he saw pretty much everything but the kitchen sink, they had a counter where you could buy postage and mail letters, if you needed a stethoscope you could buy one in this store, or a pencil sharpener with a handle to crank. As he left the store, he decided take some time out for divagations... to walk just walk around awhile and get a better look at the area he now lived in. As he walked along he saw a library two blocks down from the drugstore which was one block over from the motel he lived in. This gave him an idea. He'd go in and get himself a library card, take out some books and teach himself some new stuff. Hey, after all, one thing he could do was read.
library card, please."
"Sure thing, sir. I'll need a piece of picture ID, and something with your current address on it," she replied in a fairly monotone voice.
"No problem," he said though he wasn't sure that was true. He pulled out his wallet and extracted his driver's licence, still with his old address on it, and a receipt for room rent at the motel. He handed these to Gloria, and hoped for the best.
"I'm sorry," she said after glancing at his ID, "but this is an out of state licence, and a motel receipt is hardly an address. You'll need to show me proof of permanent lodging here in this city."
"I've just moved here," Nivek informed her, "and until I get a job and enough money for an appartent, I'm living at the motel. It will be my home for some time. I need some books to be able to teach myself some things so I can get the job I need to survive."
"We don't give library cards to homeless people!" she stated as she shifted her gaze and said out loud, "Next!"
"I'm not homeless," he protested with no luck, "can I at least read the books here inside the library then?"
"So long as you don't bother people. Library hours are 10am to 4:30pm Monday to Saturday. Next!"
Nivek wandered around looking at row upon row of shelves containing too many books to count. He read titles like: "Common Sense Ways to Rid Your Home of Parasite Infestations", "Meals On Wheels & Patriotism", "Crows; the Love of My Life", "Divagations: It's My Fault" and even one called "How To Buy Everything But The Kitchen Sink... On Sale". It took him a long time to find the right section with the right books, and finally he did. Here he saw books on how to build things like tire flower pots to wooden bird houses and furniture, how to tell junk from antiques, how to fix things including motorcycles. He wasn't sure if that made him want to laugh or cry. That was the one thing he really did know how to do well, he could rip down a Hog and have it back together in under a week, all rebuilt and purring like a kitten... and in his new life he couldn't even acknowledge that he knew what a Hog was.
It was a month since Nivek House had moved to California, and things were getting tight. The wad of money he'd left the east with was now pretty much gone. He walked to the library every day, leaving his little VW Bug in it's parking spot at the motel, even though it was really easy on gas he didn't have the money to refill the tank, so wanted to save the fuel that was in it, and besides, it was only a short walk and it felt good to get out for the bit of exercise it aforded him. Between the weekly rent at the motel and his food, he knew he didn't have enough to pay the postage on blackmail. Joking like this helped to keep him in a fairly good mood and not become too much of an old crank.
"Hey you!" Nivek heard as he walked through the door and into the library. He glanced around and heard, "yes. You." Then he realized it was the woman behind the counter that was talking.
"Me?" he queried, looking around again.
"Yes. You!" she repeated. "Come over here a moment please."
As he approached the counter, not knowing what to expect, he read her name tag and saw once again that her name was Gloria. He'd forgotten the name though he would not any time soon forget the way she'd treated him the first day he'd come in here. "Do you want a job?" she asked him. "I've seen you come in here every day we've been open since that first day. You always take good care of the books and you put them back when you are finished, as well as you always leave 5 minutes before we close. You've never been a problem and are always clean. I think you deserve a break."
"I sure could use a break, Gloria," he assured her, "and a job. If I don't get some money to pay my rent at the motel, I'll be living in my car by the end of the week."
"The stethoscope manufacturer down on McAfee, about 6 blocks south of here, is looking for laborers. My husband works there. It's not hard work, but it's good work and they pay fair. If you're as dedicated to working as you are to reading, you'll do well there."
Nivek profusely thanked Gloria, then made a mental note to bring her some flowers as he left the library and headed south at a fast walk.
Quilly said for Three Word Thursday: The Week Sixteen words will be: niddering; amanuensis & tyro
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