Chapter 2 - The Love Factory

Chapter 2 - The Love Factory

A Chapter by Tertia

It was bitterly cold when I got in at six. I prepared my ingredients ready for the first run and firing up the massive ovens, mixed them together and put them in at six forty-five sharp. By seven o clock the smell of fresh biscuit wafted in the air everywhere.

Steve wandered in with his head down, hung up his gear and put on his apron, hat and gloves. ‘Morning boss,’ he called, waving at me, catching me leaning over the first floor railings that looked down on the main factory floor.

‘All ready for the second run, Steve,’ I shouted.

‘Thanks,’ he said checking over what I’d weighed out for him, while simultaneously getting more trays and tins for the third run. He was my weigher and I was the mixer and baker for our line, Coconut Crunch Biscuits.
‘Good weekend?’ he mumbled under the din of the machines that had started to hum loudly. He leaned over the railings with me, he didn’t look like a man, he looked like a boy made to go to school. His moustache and a few lines on his face were the only things that made him look adult. He was short, a small guy and even his white netted health and safety cap looked big on him.

‘Not too bad,’

‘Going to Mannie’s party?’ he said to his black booted feet.

‘No, what party?’

‘It’s in a couple of weeks. Fancy dress,’

‘Oh,’

‘You’re invited,’ he said with certainty. A few minutes went by and then without speaking or looking at each other mechanically, like robots we started the second run. ‘This days going quick,’ he mumbled to himself. The hands of the big clock on the wall pointed to just gone quarter to eight. At eight all the packing staff came in, we watched as long lines of them filtered to their positions and started work. Mannie came over and stood with us and we leaned over the railings like three old men.

‘She’s alright,’ Mannie shouted, our eyes followed his direction. ‘And her,’ he pointed. Steve waved at a couple of girls and they returned him with weak smiles and looks of indignation.

‘Here, why haven’t I been invited to your party?’ I said to Mannie straight.

‘Sorry, I forgot,’ he said his eyes scanning the packers below. ‘Make sure Shayla comes,’

‘Yeah, I will,’ I said as my eyes caught Nadine, she looked up at me and then away, aware I was looking at her. I did her a little wave, knowing she wouldn’t see. Since I’d started at Raines a year ago I had gradually got myself known to her by smiling at her and the occasional wave. Once, about six months ago we had both been at the wages counter and she had whispered Hi, but that was it.

‘Was she looking at you?’ Steve said, astonished.

‘I don’t know, maybe,’ My eyes clocked her every so often. We did the same at nine o clock and ten o clock, we loaded a run and then watched below for ten or so minutes. We repeated the same routine at eleven, twelve and one. The Factory was mind-numbingly boring, all there were in terms of entertainment were little breaks and watching the people and the machines. By two o clock Steve was behind and so I stood leaning over the railing on my own, Mannie having gone to the Factory nurse with a cut finger; blood everywhere. I watched Nadine and her friend packing biscuits into their distinctive red crinkly wrappers and suddenly her eyes flashed up at me. After another minute they flashed again, longer this time with a smile, I smiled back and her smile broadened. She looked beautiful, she smouldered sexiness, I couldn’t resist looking at her. She knew I was with Shay. Was she getting off on the fact that she was luring me away?

I phoned Shay that Monday night. ‘Thought we’d go up to the lakes this weekend. Do you fancy it?’

‘Yeah, I s’pose,’ she said drearily. ‘What’s wrong with town?’ She meant Belheath.

‘Nothing, just that we go there all the time,’

‘OK,’ I heard her yawning. ‘It’s the type of place your parents go, though, isn’t it,’

‘Yes, well. Anyway, what you doin’?’

‘Nothin,’

‘Jobs?’

‘Did four applications today, yeah,’

‘Something’ll come up,’

‘It’d better do,’

‘Oh, I forgot to mention. We’re invited to Mannie’s party, weekend after next on Saturday. It’s fancy dress,’

‘OK, I’ll have to find something to wear,’ she said. I imagined her in various different outfits, as a nurse, somebody famous or an animal, but as a nurse was my favourite. A sexy nurse.

It was a fair drive to the lakes, but worth it once you were there. The lakes were surrounded by high ice-capped mountains that caught clouds in their peaks and held shadows of clouds on their huge sloping faces. It was fresh up there you couldn’t smell pollution, the sky seemed closer and clearer. We wore are walking shoes and made our way along a well-known path in the foothills. From one side of the path you could look down at the lakes and on the other you could look up at the mountains as they loomed up.

‘Where are we going?’ Shay asked her tone serious.

‘There’s a café up ahead,’ I said nonchalantly. I was ahead of her by three or so paces.

‘I meant me and you,’

‘I don’t know,’

‘Do you just want to plod along like we are?’

‘Hey?’

‘You’ve got no ambitions, there’s no plan,’ she said, her tone was sharper than usual, there was no give in it.

‘I’m happy with the way things are,’ I metered out.

‘I’m not,’ she snapped. I let it go silent and kept walking. ’You’re happy to work in a factory all your life?’

‘It’s okay, there’s a chance of promotion,’ I knew I was winding her up.

‘Yes, but with pathetic money,’ I felt a daisy head hit me.

‘It’s quite good, considering what you have to do,’

‘You’re bright you should re-train and get a decent job in Belheath, get a place there, like we talked about,’

‘Yes, I know,’

‘So what’s happened then?’ she asked her question full of frustration.

‘I...I, I haven’t got ‘round to it,’

‘It was months ago when we first met, last year. All you want to do is drive around in your car, go out drinking and pretend to be a grown-up, but you’re not,’

‘What’s brought this on?’ I asked.

‘I don’t know. I’m fed up,’

‘I knew I wouldn’t keep you for long. Who’ve you been talking to?’

‘Don't be daft, no one,’ I looked at her, but she looked away. She was only young and had no job, but she was right about me. Later we made love in the green grass. It was fierce and quick and I could feel her anger, but she was excited because there were people around, it was the thrill of being seen, of getting caught. Joy and bliss the world seemed a better place. I watched the eagle silently rise, casting no shadow. It stood high and mighty in the air, god like above the terrain it surveyed. It’s golden brown wings stretching out forever. The moon was up, it was large and spookily clear, it made the whole place look magical and other-worldly. The mountains stood watching, the lakes waited and reflected. The day passed differently at the lakes, it was as though there was no time.

On the way back I asked her what she was going to wear to the party. I dunno what do you want me to wear she said. I answered by putting my hand on her leg. You dirty b*stard, something kinky I expect. Don’t mind I laughed. I dropped her off and drove back home along my new route, via the ring road, but Jessica wasn’t there. Her bedroom light was on though, but I didn’t have the nerve or inclination to call in. The working week trudged by, it was gruelling and hard. I had to really graft, it seemed like I was carrying Steve. I ran from workstation to the mixer to the weighing scales and back again in confusing mini-triangles. I got some smiles from Nadine and a wave, things were improving with her. Her friend smiled at me too. Alan Pritchard, our foreman came around asking if anyone wanted to put in for a foreman's job as there was one going, me and Mannie said yes and he said he’d put our names forward and that we just had to wait.

At the weekend Shay and I fell into our routine. We cooked a meal at my flat, she stayed over, I took her back midday and then I was going to pick her up on Saturday night for Mannie’s party. It gave me the Saturday afternoon free, I was going to go fishing, but I took the long way back and there was Jessica Jacobs on the bus stop. ‘Hello again,’ she said smiling, nearly laughing.

‘Hi,’ I said. She got in and we drove off.

‘Are you always here?’ she looked worried.

‘No, you’re making me feel weird. Anyway, are you always there?’

‘She just smiled. Chivesea?’

‘Yes, that’s where I’m going,’ I dropped her on the high street. ‘When you’re ready call around, it’s at the top of this road,’ I said pointing to a side street. ‘Number twenty-nine,’

She nodded. ‘OK,’

When I got back to the flat the phone was ringing, it was Shay.

‘I’m not coming to the party tonight. I forgot to mention, I promised I’d meet Denise and Kim for a catch up,’ she said all in one go as if unloading, I knew something wasn’t right.

‘No worries, have a good...night,’ I said trying to take in what might be happening.

‘Thanks, see you. Speak tomorrow,’ then she hung up. I sat reeling with depression until the doorbell rang. It was Jess, we drunk coffee. She asked if I had any biscuits, I showed her various tins of them I’d got from the staff discount shop and for free while there was no one about.

‘You’re quite slim for someone who eats biscuits,’

‘Thank you, a compliment. I don’t eat them much. I end up chucking them away.’ I visualised the workforce at Raines, most of them were way overweight/obese. She wanted to go up to the tower room and look at the view of the sea above the rooftops. It was the only second floor room in the whole building, it was small and was a novelty feature rather than a practical living space at seven foot square. It had windows all the way around it and was accessed in the hall via a tight spiral staircase. A bed could be put in it, it was as a possible bedroom and people had slept in it when they stayed over. She looked at the passing dredgers and tankers as they slowly made their way. Yachts and fishing boats gave some colour to the scene with their bright sails and hulls.

‘I could sit up here for hours,’ she said.

‘I do sometimes,’ I said sitting in the reading chair and looked out at the misty sea. She sat on the arm, watching the waves with her back to me. I touched her back and she turned and looked at me in surprise. ‘What are you doing, Thompson?’ she snapped. I pulled my hand away, saying nothing. I looked away and she hid a smile. She had used my name from school. Had she remembered or looked it up on social media?
‘I’d better go,’ she announced, standing and taking a lingering look at the sea.
‘Your carriage awaits,’ I said.
‘Thanks,’ she said sullenly. As we were going out the hall the phone rang. It was Shay.
‘Hi,’ Shay said overly brightly. Jess stood listening.
‘Hi,’ I said sheepishly. My expression must have looked taxed as Jess drifted into the front room and sat on the edge of the sofa, looking around.
‘Are you alright? You sound all weird,’
‘Yeah, I’m fine. You?’
‘Yeah, I’m great, I mean I’m OK, thanks,’
‘What’s up?’
‘I left my shoes at yours, could you bring them over,’ she said. I looked around, but couldn’t see any of her shoes.
‘I’m not coming over your way tonight,’ I lied, as I was going to Niesden to drop Jess off.
‘Oh damn,’
‘The party’s at Mannie’s,’ I said. ‘He lives just down the road from me, you know that,’
‘Yeah,’
‘Look, can’t you wear something else?’
‘Uhhh, no, I need my red stilettos,’
She needed her five inch red stilettos to meet Kim and Denise? Something wasn’t right for sure. ‘OK, I’ll bring them over later. Sounds like your dressing to impress,’
‘I just like to look nice. Listen, thanks, I’ll see you later,’ she said sweetly.
‘Sure,’
‘Bye Lind,’
‘Bye Shay,’ I said and put the phone down.
‘Is everything all right?’ Jess asked. She stood in the doorway. I was going to say, ‘yes, all good’ but ended up saying
‘No, not really,’ my face dropped.
Two hours and five coffees later Jess had told me what a b*stard Darren had been to her. As she said his name she looked at the five inch red stilettos that sat between us on the kitchen table amongst a debris of broken biscuits and coffee cups.

She told me that Darren played for City, he was a midfielder and didn’t do regular 9-5 hours. He would be at home until midday, train in the afternoon and then either play or watch a five or eleven a side game. Saturday home match days were a weekend wipeout and he had to be away a lot for the away games every other week all around the country. But that was just the start of it because there was the entertainment, pier pressure and all the money that drove him to a crazy non understandable lifestyle.

‘He goes to a lot of nightclubs with the team and spends hundreds on drinks, going out and god knows what else,’ she said gripping her coffee mug tightly.

‘It alright for some,’ I replied, trying to make light of it. I wish I could do the same I thought, but then I didn’t have ultra skilful feet.

‘He stays up in London for two or three nights, if they play up there,’ she said it quickly so it was out in the open.

‘Where?’

‘Hotels mainly, it’s all laid on for them,’

I knew what that meant (strip clubs, lap dancing clubs and sleazy bars), but she seemed OK with it. Was she that naive, deluded or taken along with the fame thing. ‘Oh,’ I rolled my eyes.

‘What does that mean?’

‘Nothing,’

‘Tell me we’re friends aren’t we?’ she said with pleading eyes, grabbing my hand.

‘It’s just I expect there are a lot of distractions,’

‘Girls, you mean?’

‘And drugs and gambling,’

‘Yeah, I know,’ she looked down and started crying. Tears splashed on to the table. I went around, knelt beside her and put in arm around her shoulders.

‘It’s OK,’ I said soothingly. Her head fell to my shoulder and her tears soaked through my shirt. She sobbed uncontrollably, her body juddered.

‘He’s been unfaithful several times, I don’t know why I take him back,’ she blubbed.

‘Break it off,’

‘I will soon, as soon as I get my head together,’ I looked down at her, she looked up, we were close together. Her lips looked enticing, I wanted to kiss her. ‘And you too,’ she croaked, clearing her throat.

‘I’m going to see what’s going on first,’ I said.

‘The writing’s on the wall, Buster,’ she said holding up the red shoes. I dropped Jess back at Niesden and when she said good bye she tenderly pecked me on the cheek and said thank you. I decided to show Shay my fancy dress costume and changed into in the car. I drove around to her house and knocked on the door. Gingerly she opened the door a crack as she was only half dressed, but when she saw my costume she swung it wider and laughed. I had an orange all-in-one devil’s costume on, complete with two spiked horns and a long tail. The tail had a bulbous arrow-shaped end that dragged along the ground. Only my face was visible.

‘You look funny,’ Shay said, holding her hand over mouth. She was wearing a silk camisole and as the air from her house rushed out her perfume was carried out; she smelt divine.

‘You look beautiful,’ I said and sadly I knew it was for someone else.

‘I’m only in my underwear,’ she protested.

‘Are you sure you’re meeting friends?’ I said giving her the red shoes. She took them, nodded, flushed red and slowly shut the front door.





© 2019 Tertia


Author's Note

Tertia
In Chapter 3 Lindon gets 'The Call'

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Reviews

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Vin
You grow, chapter by chapter. Keep writing my dear friend!

Posted 1 Week Ago


This is top-notch storytelling! I want to know more about everything in this story. This is a chapter that would keep me here, to read the next chapter. Your character development is superb thru dialogue & well-crafted asides to go with what your characters are saying, to show how their interactions look & feel. I felt all 3 of your main characters were fully believable & convincing in how they were acting toward each other. I hate to be a drag about your poetry, but I felt this chapter was a million times better than the last chapter (a poem). Your writing really sparkles when you do prose. You have a strong imagination, yet staying within an authentic storyline (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Tertia

2 Weeks Ago

Hey Wow Thanks. If you have any questions please fire them out 😊
barleygirl

2 Weeks Ago

I didn't mean that I have specific questions. I mean that I want to get to know your characters & se.. read more
Tertia

1 Week Ago

Cool sorry
great chapter,getting more into it

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


The interaction of the various characters takes a bit of working out, but I just crashed on and enjoyed the narrative without getting the plot very clear in my mind. There are some nice touches - the descriptions of Steve and Darren, the love-making in the setting of the lakes, the tension in the relationship with Jess and Shay... with the conclusion getting us guessing what is coming next. I look forward to it.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


I'm not exactly into cheating which is what every character in this story seems to be doing. Let's see how the story unfolds.

Also, unrelated, but I'd always thought Darren sounds like the name of someone unkind.

From what I've observed, ending quotations with commas and compressing several events into one single paragraph seem to be part of your writing style, so I won't point those things out. You also don't use Oxford commas anywhere, so I'll assume that's the writing style you were taught and not point them out.

As for the things worth pointing out:

1. By seven o clock the smell of fresh biscuit wafted in the air everywhere.

- o clock => o'clock?
- comma after "...clock"
- stylistic: since you already have "wafted in the air," I don't think "everywhere" is necessary

2. ‘Thanks,’ he said checking over what I’d weighed out for him, while simultaneously getting more trays and tins for the third run.

- comma after "...he said"

3. He leaned over the railings with me, he didn’t look like a man, he looked like a boy made to go to school.

- run-on sentence, but if it's intentional, ignore this

4. He was short, a small guy and even his white netted health and safety cap looked big on him.

- stylistic: health and safety => health-and-safety?

5. ‘Thanks,’ he said checking over what I’d weighed out for him, while simultaneously getting more trays and tins for the third run. He was my weigher and I was the mixer and baker for our line, Coconut Crunch Biscuits.
‘Good weekend?’ he mumbled under the din of the machines that had started to hum loudly. He leaned over the railings with me, he didn’t look like a man, he looked like a boy made to go to school. His moustache and a few lines on his face were the only things that made him look adult. He was short, a small guy and even his white netted health and safety cap looked big on him.

- question: are these two paragraphs intentionally put together with no space between them?

6. A few minutes went by and then without speaking or looking at each other mechanically, like robots we started the second run.

- I'm not sure what you mean here. Perhaps this sentence is missing a few commas?

7. ‘This days going quick,’ he mumbled to himself.

- days => day's

8. At eight all the packing staff came in, we watched as long lines of them filtered to their positions and started work.

- comma after "At eight"

9. ‘Sorry, I forgot,’ he said his eyes scanning the packers below.

- comma after "he said"

10. We did the same at nine o clock and ten o clock, we loaded a run and then watched below for ten or so minutes.

- o clock => o'clock?

11. The Factory was mind-numbingly boring, all there were in terms of entertainment were little breaks and watching the people and the machines.

- run-on sentence; , => ; perhaps?

12. By two o clock Steve was behind and so I stood leaning over the railing on my own, Mannie having gone to the Factory nurse with a cut finger; blood everywhere.

- o clock => o'clock?

13. After another minute they flashed again, longer this time with a smile, I smiled back and her smile broadened.

- run-on-ish, depends on how you look at it

14. We wore are walking shoes and made our way along a well-known path in the foothills.

- are => our
- stylistic suggestion: wore => put on

15. ‘Where are we going?’ Shay asked her tone serious.

- comma after "Shay asked"

16. ’You’re happy to work in a factory all your life?’

- the opening quotation mark is turning the wrong side

17. ‘So what’s happened then?’ she asked her question full of frustration.

- comma after "she asked"

18. It was fierce and quick and I could feel her anger, but she was excited because there were people around, it was the thrill of being seen, of getting caught.

- run-on sentence

19. I watched the eagle silently rise, casting no shadow.

- no eagle was mentioned before this, so I would suggest changing the article

20. It stood high and mighty in the air, god like above the terrain it surveyed. It’s golden brown wings stretching out forever.

- god like => god-like
- It's => Its

21. ‘When you’re ready call around, it’s at the top of this road,’ I said pointing to a side street.

- comma after "ready" and "I said"

22. ‘No worries, have a good...night,’ I said trying to take in what might be happening.

- comma after "I said"

23. It was Jess, we drunk coffee.

- drunk => drank

24. ‘I do sometimes,’ I said sitting in the reading chair and looked out at the misty sea.

- comma after "I said" and "chair"

25. Two hours and five coffees later Jess had told me what a b*stard Darren had been to her.

- comma after "later"

26. He would be at home until midday, train in the afternoon and then either play or watch a five or eleven a side game.

- what's "a side game"?

27. But that was just the start of it because there was the entertainment, pier pressure and all the money that drove him to a crazy non understandable lifestyle.

- pier pressure => peer pressure
- non understandable => non-understandable

28. ‘He goes to a lot of nightclubs with the team and spends hundreds on drinks, going out and god knows what else,’ she said gripping her coffee mug tightly.

- comma after "she said"

29. ‘It alright for some,’ I replied, trying to make light of it. I wish I could do the same I thought, but then I didn’t have ultra skilful feet.

- It => It's
- comma after "...do the same"
- skilful => skillful?

30. Was she that naive, deluded or taken along with the fame thing.

- . => ?

31. ‘Tell me we’re friends aren’t we?’ she said with pleading eyes, grabbing my hand.

- comma after "friends"

32. I went around, knelt beside her and put in arm around her shoulders.

- in => an

33. ‘The writing’s on the wall, Buster,’ she said holding up the red shoes.

- comma after "she said"

-------------------

Other observations:

- Upon closer reading, I think I know why you compress multiple events and dialogue together now. And, though it's a little confusing at first, I like it.

- I noticed there are quite a few run-ons, and I don't know if it's BrE, mistakes, or intentional. I didn't point them out, but I'd appreciate knowing what's going on.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago



Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

92 Views
5 Reviews
Rating
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on September 24, 2019
Last Updated on October 18, 2019
Tags: Factory, Habits, traits, behaviour, sin, forbidden, hidden, taboo, Character, romance, friends, relationships, people, men, women, life, love, story, chapter, secret, desire, emotion, social, status


Author

Tertia
Tertia

United Kingdom



About
My new book Spring in the West includes poems between chapters. ‘Lindon takes every chance he can get, not thinking about the consequences, juggling with the outcomes later on’ more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..


"Life" "Life"

A Poem by Valentine


Gentle Grace Gentle Grace

A Poem by Ruth