OLWG #232- First & Only Job

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

Tony’s heart broke when it happened. He wanted to cry but felt compelled to hide his tears when he saw Agosto and Jack riding their bikes down Central. They were riding away from him, but he didn’t want them to see him crying if they turned around. It was a hot day, mid-July. School was out for the summer.

I should probably start this story at the beginning. Tony had been doing chores around the house that summer. His Momma had been paying him a bit for the work he was doing. He was spending his money at the Nogal Market on sweets. Star-shaped biscochitos that the widow, Mrs Henderson, baked herself. She also offered crescents, hearts, and circles of homemade peanut marzipan. He bought Paletas, Vero candies (spicy and sweet), and the like.

On this day, he bought a Maracuya Paleta filled with condensed milk. It hadn’t been out of the wrapper for long at all, and he hadn’t gotten to fully enjoy more than a taste or two when it dropped. It didn’t just fall on the pavement either. It fell in the dirt. He leaned down to pick it up, now covered with that fine rose-coloured sand that was everywhere around here. He dusted off some of the sand and tried a taste, too gritty. It was done.

Tony checked his pockets but didn’t have enough money to get another. He looked over his shoulder, through the window of the small store and saw Mrs Henderson watching him from behind the counter. She beckoned him back inside.

“That was unlucky,” she said, and Tony nodded his head, “would you like another?” She asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied, “but I don’t have enough money to buy another.”

“I could give you a job. You could earn some money and buy another. How’s that sound?” Tony nodded his head, said nothing. “You gotta talk to me, Tony. You can’t be shy and work in a grocery store.”

“Yes, ma’am, that sounds good.”

“Can you start right away?” Mrs Henderson asked.

Tony nodded his head. Hrs Henderson’s mouth turned down at the corners. “Yes, ma’am,” he added quickly.

She reached beneath the counter, pulled out a white apron, and tossed it to him, “Put this on. In the back, you’ll find a broom and a dustpan. You can start by sweeping up the store and the back. Do a good job, but don’t take all day. There’s a mop and bucket back there if you need it. Do you want me to call your Momma and tell her where you are?”

Tony nodded again, then quickly added, “Yes, please.”

“When you get done in here, could you go sweep up in front of the store as well? We don’t want anybody else losing their treats to the dust on the walkway.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Tony worked for Mrs Henderson, cleaning up, for the rest of that summer. He worked at the market on weekends and afternoons until he graduated from High School. When he went to ENMU he worked that first summer too. After his second year at University, Mrs Henderson told him that she was ready to retire. Tony went to the Credit Union and got a loan. He quit school, bought the store, and went to work full time at the Nogal Market. Mrs Henderson taught him how to keep the books; she introduced him to all the suppliers and made him promise, above all, to take good care of his customers. Soon she was working for Tony, making the biscochitos, and marzipan in the back. She taught him to do the same things that she had done for years.

Tony worked hard at the store, and one day…

Several years later…

A young boy, Amador Ventura, came into the shop…

He bought a Maracuya Paleta, counting his pennies on the counter and handing them over to Tony in exchange for the cold and creamy treat…

Tony watched as Amador opened his Paleta and carefully placed the wrapper in the receptacle on the curb outside the market…

Tony watched as Amador took only a couple of tastes of his treat before it dropped to the pavement…

Amador blinked back his tears and checked his pockets, but, at least to Tony, it seemed apparent that the boy didn’t have enough money to get another Paleta…

When the young Mr Ventura looked up at him, Tony beckoned him back inside…

That was unlucky,” he said…

This week’s prompts are:

  1. no tears, no more
  2. it might kill you
  3. outside of Natchez

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

6 thoughts on “OLWG #232- First & Only Job

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