I couldn’t post yesterday’s “Word Play” in time so I’m going to be a day behind until the weekend. I blame my work schedule (I’m a second shifter) and the fact that a snowstorm knocked out my Internet. Not a huge storm, just one with a large blanket of clouds that made satellite signals apparently impossible to penetrate. That’s a tongue twister!
Alright, so onto the Word Play! According to Miss Cookie, the word challenge for today is: Tempestuous. For more information on the word or the challenges themselves, see Miss Cookie’s Word Play page. Let’s see what story we can come up with now.
Antonio was working late, again. It wasn’t that he minded, really. It was just that he didn’t seem to have much else going on in his life right. In fact, there wasn’t anything else going on right now. He looked around the quasi-abandoned kitchen and sighed. The pizza parlor was home, even more so than the apartment upstairs.
He looked down at his hands, knuckle deep in dough and flour. He kept kneading the pizza dough and thinking. He always got to thinking when he was working with the pizzas. People always commented on how well he worked, on what a good job he did.. But it wasn’t the job he was loving, it was where his mind was taking him while his hands were working.
He began to daydream and his mind slowly left the stainless steel and wood kitchen behind. He was suddenly a sailor on a pirate ship. What would it be like to sail the Seven Seas, fighting for territory and glory? He imagined himself with a hearty beard, a shocking black beard. A gold sash adorned his chest and he would wave his sword at his foes with elegance and tenacity. He pretended to be fighting a band of soldier sailors. His hands were tossing the pizza dough in the air, making a round form. In his mind, he was thrusting a sword with each toss of the dough, attacking a would be assailant. He was a King among Pirates, known as well for his story telling as his sword fighting. He would go down in valiant way – in a storm trying to protect his ship from the hands of the treacherous Crown. His ship would be forced into a rocky harbor and smash to pieces in the tempestuous waters. People would visit the site for centuries, telling stories to tourists about the King among Pirates that died to save what was rightfully his.
Antonio was putting the finishing touches on the pizza now and put it in the freezer. He only had to make a dozen or so more and then he could lumber up the stairs, crawl into bed, and sleep for a few hours before the shop opened. Pizza was his life now that he inherited the pizza shop. He had employees, but there was no way they could keep up with demand if Antonio didn’t work long and hard hours. He was used it, he’d worked like this his whole life. It was all he know. There wasn’t much else to life it seemed.
He put the pizza on a rack in the freezer, next to a few others and suddenly felt as thought he were in the Arctic. He would be an explorer, known for his brazen sense of adventure. They would call him the “Ice Man” because he could withstand temperatures that would make normal men freeze. When the compasses misbehaved so closely to the Pole, his uncanny sense of direction would always steer the exploring party in the right direction. One cold, tempestuous night, the exploring party would get trapped by a monster storm. It would be a storm unlike any ever seen. It would kill off half the party before the survivors could find shelter amongst the ice caves. Even inside, the temperatures and cracking ices would continue to dwindle the party down until none was left but the Ice Man. He would continue, deeper into the cave. He’d run out of food long before he ever froze, even taking off the furs that would keep a normal man warm so he could travel faster. They would find his body centuries later, frozen in a statuesque stance.. It would be preserved in special freezers and shipped to Museums across the World.
Antonio closed the freezer doors and returned to his work. His mind took him to Ancient China, Mars, the Age of the Dinosaurs, and even places never before seen until he had created them. When he finally finished his last pizza, his arms ached. He turned all the ovens off, wiped down the counters, and turned off the lights. It was time to sleep. Antonio didn’t look forward to sleep. He didn’t remember anything that happened while he slept. He just laid down, fell asleep, and then sat up again. It was as if he had been caught in some strange time warp. As soon as he laid down and closed his eyes, hours passed in the blink of an eye. Antonio turned the apartment key and drudged towards the bathroom. A quick shower and a quicker bite to eat. He headed straight for his bed. It wasn’t that he was looking forward to sleep, it was just that his body ached and he needed a reprieve.
He turned the lights out and pulled back the covers. As soon as his head hit the pillow he could feel it start. That heavy feeling that tried to pulled him out. He always fought it. He didn’t want to sleep, necessarily, he just wanted to rest. Inevitably, he would wake up to his alarm clock ringing some time long before the sun itself awoke.
He never dreamt, never remembered any of it. It all happened in the blink of an eye. Four hours, just like that. Lay down, close your eyes, and it’s all over.
Antonio sighed. It was time to start another day. He grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed downstairs to the pizza shop. The frozen pizzas needed to be cooked. More than that.. Antonio needed to dream. To live.
© Chelsea Roush. Unauthorized redistribution and/or reproduction is prohibited.