Just a day in the dump
"Can you hold that open for me, please?" Sarah called to the man standing at the gate
"You need a card to get in here," said the man dressed in green coveralls. His UCLA stocking cap was pulled low, just above his eyes. He was short and pudgy, with a long beard that seemed to carry remnants of his previous meal.
"I have a card. I just can't reach the gate sensor," Sarah called to the man while waving the card for him to see.
"I ain't letting anybody in here. You have to have a card. It has to pass through the sensor. Those are the rules," the man ranted in an overly loud voice. He continued muttering cuss words under his breath, as he climbed into his vehicle to drive through the gate. Sarah sat in her vehicle, wondering why the man had such a corn cob up his ass about the gate. She waited patiently, as the gate snapped to the closed position. She put her car in park and walked to the sensor. Sarah couldn't help that she was born with T-Rex arms, even at the bank, she couldn't reach the carriage shoots. It was just a fact of life, for the short-armed woman.
Sarah was already perturbed that the city had gone to this system. An entry card was now required to enter the city dump, at the premium price of forty dollars a year. For God sakes, it was grass clippings that she was depositing, not nuclear waste. She waved the card at the sensor until a green light flashed causing the gate to grumble into motion. Sarah jumped into the car quickly; worried she would miss her opportunity to pass through the gate. Sarah drove onto the gravel road entrance with the gate growling closed loudly behind her.
Sarah and her husband were new to the small, rural community, with this being her first visit to the dump. The petite woman had spent the morning working in the yard of their new home. On a strict budget, with the purchase of the house, she had done what she could in the way of landscaping the yard. Just this morning, she had worn the hats of a bricklayer, timber cutter, hedge trimmer, weed specialist, and lawn maintenance woman. The thirty-year-old woman was proud to take her place among the adult group of homeowners. Sarah felt accomplished.
The gravel road was bumpy and filled with potholes, making the speed limit of twenty-five miles per hour unreasonable. Sarah drove much slower, looking for the area designated as the current site for dumping. The road seemed endless, with mounds of debris cloistering the vehicle on either side. Trash was piled according to categories of decomposition. She felt trapped in the confines of garbage. Sarah made a mental note to bring her husband on the next visit to the site. It was giving her the creeps. She also noticed the man who had preceded her entry, was nowhere in sight.
Sarah pulled up to a mound, with a sign that read "grass clippings". Glancing around for other visitors to the dump, she found no one. Exiting the old two-toned truck, she donned her newly purchased work gloves. Reaching over the side of the truck to grab the items within her reach, she began tossing the contents of her truck bed over the side, aiming for the heap. Never being a basketball star, Sarah missed the mark many times. She lowered the tail-gait, climbing into the truck to finish the unloading of its contents. Her short arms again played a role in her need, to bury herself in the garbage of the truck bed. She worked to make the job quick and painless, wanting only to get away from the dump. With a calm but almost frantic motion, Sarah shoveled the grass and lawn clippings out of the truck.
"You know, they have rules here!" the voice yelled from behind her.
Startled, Sarah stood at attention in the truck bed, wondering where the man had come from. Looking around, she spied the man she had met at the gate, standing at the back of her truck. His green coveralls were now covered in a slime of unidentifiable substances. His beard contained increased amounts of food products, with some waste clinging to the limited number of teeth in his head
Realizing the vulnerable position she now found herself in, Sarah held tight to the shovel in her hand. "I'm sorry. Am I doing something wrong?" she risked a conversation with the man.
"Yep, every pile is for certain things. You're just tossing shit out and not even hitting the piles. We work hard around here to keep it neat," The man grumbled invoking the cuss words under breath yet again.
"I'm sorry but this is my first time here. If you just tell me where I 'm supposed to put this, I'll be glad to do it. I was going to clean it all up after I finished unloading," the now frightened woman ventured.
"That hill over there, drive over there. Tyrone and I'll clean this up like we always do," said the man pointing his stubby finger towards yet another mound of unidentifiable garbage.
Sarah could only bring herself to mumble, "Okay, I will meet you over there." Every instinct in the woman's body told her to wait until the man was gone before climbing down from the truck. She held tight once again to the shovel, as he ambled away toward the hill.
Sarah jumped from the truck with plans of leaving the dump and driving home instead of resuming her dumping. She climbed into the cab and started the engine. She put the truck in reverse, only to find another man standing behind her truck pointing toward the hill. She could only guess his identity to be Tyrone, the partner that grumble toes had spoken about. He was a larger and even scarier version of the man from the gate. Sarah locked her door and floored the gas pedal causing the man to leap out of the way.
Ignoring the speed limit, Sarah returned to the gate of her entry. In the rearview mirror, she could see Tyrone waving frantically. The man was obviously yelling, but Sarah refused to take notice. She wanted to escape the confines of the dump. Pulling up to the gate, the motion sensor flashed red. She rolled down the passenger's side window to wave her card, with no results. She cursed the short arms that she was given at birth. She looked around to ensure Tyrone was still at the mound, unlocking her door. She ran to the sensor, waving the card at the center of the detector. The green light refused to flash and the gate refused to grumble and groan in movement.
Sarah in her panic turned toward her vehicle, with thoughts of driving through the gait. .
Grumble-toes stood at the door of her vehicle, with bits of bone and gristle covering his beard. It was obvious the man had just feasted on a meal of the human variety.
"I told you, everything goes in a certain pile! We keep the body parts back there," he screamed, as he lunged at the woman ripping her short arm from its socket.
Sarah's curdling screams could be heard in the city's rural dump.
Grumble-Toes devoured his meal. He said to no one but himself," Damn should have saved some for Tyrone. He's gonna be pissed."
He turned to see another vehicle driving up to gate's entryway. "Only people with cards get in here," the man yelled.
Word Count 1280