Across the Tracks

*briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing * briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing*

Otis rolled over on his bed and checked the urge to smash his alarm clock into little bitty pieces. BARELY. But he did manage to check the urge. He looked out his window, the whole reason he had chose this apartment, because it faced the east and the rising sun. Considering he had to be at the shop before the sun rose, it was kind of a stupid reason now. He stumbled to the shower and turned the water on. He checked his face in the mirror and decided to shave after his shower. Then as he stepped into the shower he realized the hot water was out. Again. He quickly showered and dried off and shaved. He checked himself in the mirror not noticing his blue eyes or height that girls noticed,but paying attention to his larger stomach, nose that had been broken a few times, and his thinning hair at 19. Thank God for genes huh? He quickly got dressed and headed out the door to the auto shop he worked at.

* * * * * *

Ariel went to slam her car into gear, since slamming was the only thing the gearshift seemed to understand, and groaned in frustration as she heard it groan and the gears grind.

I thought automatics were supposed to be easier? She thought to herself.

She watched the gauges in the dash fluctuate wildly like they were part of Poltergeist. Then she spotted the smoke coming from under the hood.

“FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She screamed as loud as she could as the car ground to a halt 50 feet away from the mechanic shop.

* * * * * * *

Otis looked up in surprise as he heard an obviously female voice scream in frustration. He walked out the garage doors to the driveway entrance and looked down the street to see a little ’92 Dodge Neon sitting in the road smoking under the hood. He took a deep breathe and yelled,

“Hey you need some help?”

Ariel’s head whipped up as she heard the shout. She had been digging around in her purse looking for a cell phone, because the River District was not the best place to be stranded in. She saw a grease monkey looking guy, maybe about her age, standing at the driveway to the auto shop. She cautiously opened her door and replied.

“Yea I could definitely use some help. Can you help me get it into the mechanic’s parking lot?”

Since Otis wasn’t much of a talker anyways, he strode forward to the car. Ariel gulped and resisted the urge to lock her doors as he walk towards her and got bigger and bigger. Not only was he built like a human castle, he looked scary. His arms and neck and all the other skin she could see was covered in tattoos, and he had those big holes in his earlobes that usually grossed her out. His arms stretched the fabric of his sleeves, and he had a bigger stomach, but it made him look stout instead of fat.

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Otis could feel her nervousness and knew he looked scary. He didn’t like people judging him so quickly, but truth was he had a reputation and he was scary when he wanted. So he wouldn’t frighten her he made motions for her to steer while he pushed. Ariel was amazed at how easily he pushed her car alone, and they covered the distance to the shop in no time. He spoke to her as he walked to the office,

“Let me get my boss and he can help you out ma’am.”

Ariel leaned back in here seat and watched the man move towards the office door. He moved gracefully for his size, and allowed a lot of room for his movements as if he thought he would knock something over on accident. He had a surprisingly mellow voice, deep and smooth with a lingering rasp at the back of it. She tried to understand why she was taking so much interest in the River area grease monkey. Otis walked through the office door to find his boss’s door locked and the secretary was nowhere to be found. He smirked a bit, wondering if the secretary would tell the boss she had gonorrhea or if his boss would explain about his Herpes.

Ahhh, he thought, the joys of unprotected sex. Well, I guess I’ll go check out her car.

Ariel watched as he walked back out to her car and explained the boss was busy and he’d be happy to look at her car. After instructing her where to steer, he pushed her car into the garage over the lift. He politely asked her to wait in the waiting room or told her she could hang out over by the workbench. She chose the work bench. For the first time since his father died when he was 13, Otis got nervous working on a car. When it was his Dad, it was because he wanted to do good. With her, he was just nervous being scrutinized by a pretty girl. Otis usually didn’t rattle easy, but this girl in his area was doing it pretty well. She watched him pop her hood and look around with a penlight in perfect silence for a few moments before she decided to break the silence. She was a very chatty person, and needed constant sound it seemed, and the silence was killing her.

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“So why do you have those big holes in your ears?”

Otis continued working before he realized she was talking to him.

“Ummmm….Sorry I didn’t catch that. What did you say?”

Ariel repeated her question, resisting the urge to giggle. The look on his face when he realized she was talking to him was hilarious.

He carefully thought about his answer as she waited getting slightly impatient. Just as she was about to tell him to fuck off, he answered her.

“Lets see. I was about 13, and had just went through some rough things in life and everyone wanted to be nice to me. So I started stretching my earlobes and getting tattoos in visible places and listening to weird music. People were so scared of me they left me alone.”

With that he lapsed into what was for him, comfortable silence. Not so for Ariel.

“So what did you go through that made you want to do that?”

Otis had long ago stopped caring whether people knew about his dad,though he missed the old man dearly. After all,his dad was considered a hero.

“My dad was a volunteer firefighter. When I was 13, he had a fire run, just supposed to be a visible smoke thing no fire. They got to the fire, and my dad was first truck on the scene. He went into the house about the same time they had a flash-over and everything in the house burst into flame. The last anyone ever saw of my father was him lowering a 13 year old girl that lived there out of the window before the building collapsed.”

He didn’t notice the tears rolling down his cheeks or hers,but he did notice her collapse to the ground.

End Of Chapter One.

Updated: April 16, 2018 — 3:47 AM

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