Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2289038
A factory worker takes his lunch break at the playground.
The Lunch Break
I was eating my egg salad sandwich as I watched the kids play on the jungle gym. An oriole inched toward my bench. This fearless bird had yellow feathers and black patches on its wings. I figured Mr. Oriole had designs on my apple.
I love coming here on my lunch break. It takes me away from the humdrumedness (If that's a word) of my job at the assembly plant down the block. I’m a widget maker and good at my job. Well, that’s what my boss says.
Been doing it for over forty years--my first job when I got back from ‘Nam. I liked the routineness of it…after the chaos of the war. It’s a bit boring now, but I retire in April. So in three months, I’ll get my gold watch for time served.
I had five minutes left on my break; I dug my dentures into the delicious apple. Without warning, a chubby boy with curly red hair fell from the top of the jungle gym. I swear he bounced. He ran crying to Mommy, but luckily I saw no blood, and no bones sticking out.
These children nowadays are so bubble-wrapped; nothing can harm them. Not in my day. The playgrounds were concrete, not rubberized asphalt. There were consequences for missteps.
Heavens forbid we have another war! There'd be no one to fight it. I’m too old. You bet I'd volunteer--if I were younger! But these pampered kids? I can’t see it. Drives me nuts.
When my lunch break was over, I offered the rest of my apple to my feathered friend, closed my lunch bucket, and moseyed on down the block to my waiting widgets.