Submitted to the CBC Canada Writes Short Story Competition, shortlist to be announced February 2012, and winners in March 2012.
“Morning,” John said, hopping into the idling truck, beat-up lunch box in hand.His brother, Bob, handed him a hot coffee.
John was happy the job was in Ilderton today. The quiet of the morning drive, watching the sun chase the frost out of the shadows as his brother listened to the news, had always been his favorite part of the day. And, while he never said so, John had a feeling it was Bob’s favorite too.
In the early morning traffic, the drive went quickly. They had time to hear all of the news from but not enough time that either of them had finished their coffees.
The old truck shuddered to a halt, relieved, under a looming elm tree that had lost nearly all it’s leaves. Two pallets of stone sat awaiting them on the driveway across the street.
As the sun began to rise in the morning sky, the brothers set to work soundlessly, each going about his respective routine with a long-honed, deliberate, and rhythmic efficiency. A gradually sloping hill beside the driveway became a soft, clay-colored trench under their careful shovels as the garage doors of the neighborhood went up and down around them, mini-vans pulled out, and curious eyes on their way to work slowly passed over the brothers.