Excerpt from The Digger

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA        All the time in the world —and no time at all. Nate washed muddy hands in the rushing current. Spring time always meant floods. He scanned the dig site and sighed, wiping sweat from his forehead and inadvertently replacing it with a large black smudge mark that extended to his chin. The rain had begun mid-morning and it threatened to dull his afternoon with a constant patter of interference. Maybe it would make more sense to quit for now.

            Trying to scrape some of the mud from his boots, Nate scratched at his feet with a stick. He looked into his truck, and noticing the slick black of the dirt covered surfaces decided not to bother. His transportation—like everything in his life—was covered in a thick layer of dirt.

            Nate shook his head as the raindrops continued and increased in number. Any work he did today was going to be lost. Conceding his failure, he drove back to the house, the huge tires of his modified pick-up splashing through the puddles. Maybe the rain would stop after lunch.

            A mid-day meal had been a luxury of late. Nate pulled out a box of cereal and hunted for milk. He had the good sense to sniff the carton before pouring and the odor sent waves of nausea through his body. Adding water to the sugared puffs, he stripped off his clothes and tossed them into the laundry before launching himself toward the television.

Local news flashed terminally boring. Floods were expected to cover most of the lower river plateau…great. Nate wanted to hurl his bowl at the weather man in frustration. He needed to dig. “If you want me to excavate so badly, why don’t you stop the rain!” He waited as if the walls might reply and then sighed into the silence.

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