My attempt at Flash Fiction

Would really appreciate any feedback 

 

In the cold

or ... 

Pissed up and limping (my favorite)

or ... 

Punching out


The old heater hung from steel roof trusses by black pipes, and as we breathed in the hot stink of burning dirt that had settled overnight on its coils, we stomped our feet on the oily concrete trying to keep the damp cold from climbing through the soles of our leather work boots, concentrating only of getting warm, and wholly ignorant of the days foreboding. When he left work the previous afternoon our old man was already pissed up and limping on an sprained ankle that he'd ignored for weeks; my brother and I had no expectation that he would be in today anytime before noon. The business was failing and we struggled to keep busy, and that day it was all the worse, us being bored and miserable cold in combination. I had some lathe work, which was a bitch to do in the cold because the machine generated no heat and most of my time was standing and watching the tool cut across the steel slug and clearing coils of chips from the cutter with a hooked steel rod fitted to a wood file handle. My brother had some welding work to do and I'd have traded him in an instant for the heat, but as our dad had so eloquently informed last time I burned rod, “looks like someone stood about three feet away and shit it on.” By noon the shop had warmed a little and we were both pretty much done with our work. We sat in the old paneled office on worn vinyl chairs and ate our sack lunches. Most days one of us ran out to get pistachios which we pulled apart till our fingernails hurt and our fingertips stained red. But it was too damn cold to go out so we made do. After lunch we puttered around the shop just to keep moving, built some steel racks from scrap, and swept and cleaned up. We went out in the yard to try to start the big American crawler crane that we used to move junk around, but it was too cold and we couldn't get the old diesel to catch even after warming up the battery and blowing starter fluid down her throat. We started our cars to warm them before we punched out. After work I was going to drive by the house and tell my mom that I was done, if he didn't care enough about the business to stay sober and run it, then I'd had enough. I was surprised to find them both sitting quiet at the kitchen table when I banged through the back door, ash trays overflowing and a open bottle of Old Milwaukee next to an empty at his elbow, ankle in a clean white cast and wooden crutches leaning against the wall. His eyes wouldn't meet mine when he asked how the day went. He took another pull from the bottle. Before I had a chance to tell him what I was intending Mom sat up straight and sucked in air and told me that she finally got him to go to the doctor for his ankle that day, and while the Doctor was doing a cursory checkup he heard something in the old mans lungs and sent them to the hospital for x-rays. She said they'd have to do more tests, but that it didn't look too good.