bugs on arms – a story circle

She’s got no sleeves, but gloves, to protect the worn callouses on her hands. A man in a red cap strolls by but he doesn’t see her; she’s behind a bunch of concrete blocks, just another bobbing yellow hard hat in a site full of them. The foundation is rocky still and she needs a trowel to smooth it out, but when she gets to the musty shed and does her best not to inhale the swirling particulate within, she cannot find one. The foreman shouts from somewhere, her name loud and clear, so she redoubles her search. There are insects everywhere, the place is filled with roving legs. A trowel, at last, in the dust, covered with bugs. It’s rusty and worn – which is odd since the site is so new – and she brushes the insects away. Some of the spindly things touch her flesh and she recoils, shudders, gags a bit in the back of her throat. Trowel in gloved hand, she sprints from the shed to the site but still feels the tiny legs on her bare arms. She checks and checks but they’re gone – it’s a phantom sensation, nothing more. She smooths out her foundation with steady strokes, keeps her mind locked on her task. She does a beautiful job in the end – the grade is perfectly even – and puts on a sweater as soon as her shift is complete.

Logan Bright