Dying on the Way to Life: An excerpt

Fiction By Sarah Liz // 3/31/2017

Lester grabbed the coil of rope and grinned at his fellow sailor. “Makin’ good time tonight, eh Will?

“Ha. Think so? I’ll finish before you today, no question.”

“Really now? That sounds like a dare!” Lester swung the rope to his shoulder and turned quickly. The tall and gangly Will was certain to walk faster. His five-foot four frame wasn’t built to race that kind of a seven-foot giant of a man.

Except he forgot that cast-iron pipe. The one that the boys downstairs should have taken care of ages ago. His wide eyes only saw it a millisecond before it caught the edge of the rope, lost its precarious balance, and fell, crushing his boot.

Buckling under the pain of a forty-pound pipe, Lester cursed vehemently. “Will—you—the boys downstairs—I can’t believe—“ then another stream of profanity.

Will just looked on, amused. You see, Navy boys in 1962 weren’t exactly sympathetic to pain. “Didn’t your daddy teach you not to cuss?”

Lester’s eyes narrowed. “My daddy is a good man. But he don't have no need for God. And neither do I.” He hurled the pipe into the scrap steel pile and straightened, ignoring the throbbing in his foot. “Therefore, never seen the reason I shouldn’t cuss all I want. Take the rest of that rope and win your dumb race. I couldn’t care less.”

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