Sometimes, it's the little things.

Sometimes, it's the little things.

A Story by Kevin Chelsea

Edwin finds something that he likes to look at. One day, the question will go from why, when, and where, to what was it made for?

    Edwin liked to look for things. He was always getting into trouble for going through boxes of old junk and not cleaning up after himself. There was a certain box in his house that he always looked through. It had an abundance of knick-knacks and brick-a-brack. A ball of old yarn that smelled of faded perfume. Three old wooden spools that he'd clack together at least once, he liked the sound. There was an old notebook case, it looked like those fancy cigarette cases he saw in old movies. He'd click it open, knowing that there wasn't anything in it, but he'd look anyway. There were old shell casings, a couple 30-30's, a 30-06, a few .243s, a bunch of 22s, and a single shotgun casing. He'd squeeze the plastic and roll it back and forth in his fingers, enjoying the small ridges. There was an old time bottle opener, the same kind as the one in the kitchen that his mom used to poke holes in her evaporated milk for her coffee and tea. There were parts for a broken pellet gun. One time, he saw his dad put a pellet in it and give the little piece of metal a few quick pumps. When he pulled the trigger, there was a small popping sound, but the pellet didn't even move. There was an old cracked coffee cup that was filled with coins. There was even a square coin, he'd stare at it for a while, wondering what it would be like to live somewhere where they used them. The oldest coin he seen in the cup was a 1937 penny, he'd stare at that one as well, wondering about all the places it went. It was rare that Edwin would be able to satiate his curiosity. One of his parents would find him kneeling beside the box in the hallway and tell him to put it away.
    What was better was when he'd go visit his grandparents, they had stories for their stuff. Still, Edwin didn't get to go through it all, look just to look. It would always be time to get ready since his parents were coming to pick him up or it was dinner time or bed time or bath time. He didn't know it, but he would always sigh when he had to stop looking.

    It happened one day when he was standing at a store's door, waiting for his mom to finish her conversation with the store clerk. 'Not a cashier, a store clerk,' his mom would tell him. He'd hear, and not understand, that it was a sign of the times. Cashiers and clerks were different in so many fundamental ways, being a economist who had a degree in philosophy, his mom saw the world in ways he could never understand. Edwin just knew that clerks had mustaches, aprons, and laughed at all her jokes. Cashiers put her stuff in bags, stamped the keys on their machines, and took money. Mostly, cashiers would have a look of the daily grind. That look that was accompanied with the gnawing of a small piece of gum that had lost its flavour hours before. Edwin had a small smile on his face because Mr. Jacobs, the clerk, always laughed and it was a happy sound. There was the sound of a piece of metal hitting the ground, kind of like a butter knife.
    Edwin saw a car backing up, the tail lights went red, then the reverse light went out and then the brake lights as the driver started driving away. Edwin watched the car pull out onto the highway. A pair of terrified eyes, framed by matted hair, peeped out the the rear window, bound hands waving. Edwin almost waved back.
    There was a glint off the ground, it took his mind off the disappearing car. Whatever the shiny thing was must have fell out of the car. He glanced over his shoulder, his mom was still talking to Mr Jacobs. She didn't pick up the bags yet so she would be a little while longer. Edwin stepped away from the door, he listened for his mom's voice asking him what he was doing, nothing. So he took a couple more steps then jogged over to see what the glint was coming from. He didn't know what it was, it had a long handle and a sharp little blade.

    The scalpel looked scuffed and scratched, well used, just like the other stuff in the boxes he looked through. Edwin was crouched next to it, chin almost resting on his knees. He looked down the road, half expecting the car to be coming back to pick it up. Nothing. He looked the other way, no traffic that way. Across the street there was a gas station, he could see the attendant sitting on a stool, elbow on counter, hand on cheek while he read a magazine.
    The scalpel was sharp, very sharp, and he could see that just by looking at it. Edwin wanted to keep it, it was garbage, wasn't it? Maybe collect it? He wanted to stay just as he was, crouched in the parking lot, staring at it. He imagined his mom's angry voice asking him what he was doing, reminding him that he was told to stand by the door so she could see him. He imagined it so well, his hair flew when he snapped his head around to see. He didn't see, or wanted to see, an angry mom standing there with her hands balled into fists.
    So Edwin went through his pockets and dug out a pack of gum, the kind he liked because it had wrappers in wrappers. When it was empty, it became of fan of little papers he could run his fingers across. He fumbled the papers off the last two pieces of gum and crammed them into his mouth, then looked at the scalpel. His breath caught in his throat when he heard a engine humming from down the road. It was too big to be anything but a truck, it rumbled by. Edwin watched the truck get out of sight out of the corner of his eye. Somehow, he managed to get the blade of the scalpel wrapped in papers with his hands shaking. He carefully, very carefully, pressed it against his calf and pulled his sock over it.  It was time to get back to the door before he was missed. On the ride home, he wasn't listening to anything his mom was saying. Edwin's mind was preoccupied with trying to make out the shape of what he had hidden in his sock.

© 2011 Kevin Chelsea

Author's Note

Kevin Chelsea
One shot, no editing. Because I can.
[edit: so much for that... my free spirit lasted a whole 5 minutes until I had to go through and edit stuff]

My Review

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in one shot..that's awesome buddy..
Story is really really nice..
Keep up the good work:)

Posted 8 Years Ago

an interesting perspective,
and an interesting story line
well done
here and there some flaws, but those will be gone when you re-read it

Posted 8 Years Ago

Goodness . . . his minds spins like a top. Sort of takes my breath away. Interesting perspective to write from.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on July 15, 2011
Last Updated on July 15, 2011
Tags: Cutting, bleeding, killing, grinning
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Kevin Chelsea
Kevin Chelsea

IR#4, The Cariboo, Canada

►My Blogger website, Stories from #4 I'm just a happy-go-lucky-guy from the rez. Working on putting the links to the stories I moved to blogger here, just smaller. I'll still upload new st.. more..


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