In the dark agony of the sky, lightning reigned and thunder became. Ensconced in the cab of the Ford pickup, Tom Jamieson, the driller for Hudson Drilling, sat behind the wheel gazing at the rig, staring at the strands of rain running down the windshield. Beside him, Ramone Estavez, his roughneck on the rig, tapped him on the shoulder, passing him the thermos bottle nearly full of milk-warm coffee. Chauncey poured himself a cup of coffee, while Ramone lit up a cigarette, cautiously dispelling the smoke exhalation away from Tom, as well as Ron Alvarez, the other roughneck, sitting to his right.
Just a half-hour prior, they had been working the rig, carving up spicules of shale, probing the underbelly of the Wingate formation for old stream bed deposits of uranium. Beginning as a light drizzle, the rain blossomed into a full thundershower. At the first sign of lightning, Chauncey hoisted the kelly rod and motioned to the others to get in the pickup. Though they had not suffered the full fury of the front, all were soaked, Ron and Chauncey in their jeans and white, cotton T-shirts, Ramone in his coveralls. For another half-hour, they waited for the rain to culminate. Ramone smoked another fag while they spoke little. Too dangerous to work on the drilling rig with its steel derrick in a thunderstorm, grappling awkwardly with the doused drilling rods in the mud was a dicey operation. Continue reading “Thunder above, fire below”
Thank you to all the writers and readers who have made the 2018 rejected manuscripts competition such a huge success. The deadline for voting has passed, the winners have been decided, and any further votes will not affect the standings.
We will be notifying the winners shortly. Congratulations to all who participated.
We will be taking a break from publishing new stories while we proceed with the work of compiling our anthology of winners. We will announce when we are beginning to accept submissions for the 2019 competition.
In the mean time, I wish you all a productive and satisfying begin to the new year!