A Scene From Montana

Reads: 133  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Standing under the roof of the Elsworth Garage and Diner located on Rt. 12, just west of Ismay, Montana, two men shelter from the light snow that has been falling from a grey sky since mid morning, smoking cigarettes, shooting the breeze to past the time. The music from a country and western radio station can be heard coming from the open garage door.

Ducy, wearing a grey hoodie, grey shorts that go to his knees, thick wool socks that cover most of his calfs and hiking boots.

His friend, Shep is dress more appropriately for 25 degrees in Montana.

A Peterbuilt with a Coca Cola trailer drives westward on Rt. 12, leaving behind a trail of snow, almost looking like a jet stream from a plane 30,000 in the air.

Ducy peeks around the corner of the diner side of the building to see the truck haul ass down the road.

"It's gonna be a while before they put plows on this part of the road." he says as he takes a drag from his cigeratte.

""Shit, there's nothing out here. That's why the road crews do us last. They gotta do 94 first. Were just a pimple on a cats ass here." Shep said as he shuffled his feet in the slush.

Smoking the last of their Marlboro's and stamping the butts into the slush and mud, the two headed over to the garage side of the establishment to see what's up.

Walking through the opened door, the men see one pickup truck raised on the rack. Jose is working on the transmission. They each give a wave of their hands to him. He waves back with a socket wrench in his hand.

A late 70's Ford Bronco, painted yellow with rust on parts of its body, similiar to a person's hands with liver spots as they get older, waiting to be serviced. That would be Shep's.

Over comes Lorry, the owner of the garage, ready to shake the hands of the two men.

"Hey Shep...Ducy, good to see you." shaking their hands as if he was pumping water from a well.

Looking at his clipboard, he says to Shep, " You know Shep, I had a helluva a time finding that part for your truck. I mean shit, it's a '78."

"I know what year it was made in. I bought it back in '94. It's done me good. Hope to get a few more years out of it. Put a new engine in it back in '05."

"Yeah, I remember. I was the one who put it in, and brakes and steering column. With the money you spent on it, you could have bought a newer truck."

Ducy, just standing there, taking in the conversation while a Blake Shelton song warbles from the radio.

"Well, like I said, I called a place in Billings, thought they might have it, but didn't. So I went online and found your part at a wholesale auto parts place down in Cheyenne. It's gonna take a day or two."

"Well that's fine. Get the part and fix my truck. In the meantime, Ducy can drive me home and I can get around in the Buick."

"Ok, I will text you to let you know when you can pick it up."

With that, the three men departed. Lorry went back to his tiny office, no bigger than a California sized closet, while Ducy and Shep walked out of the garage, walked under the roof for shelter from the wind and light snow that was still falling and into the diner portion of the building.

Taking a booth that looks out at the road, Susie comes over, taking a pen from the side of her ear and a pad from her apron to take their order like she has done for the last 17 years and probably 17 more after that.

"Hey Ducy, Shep, what's shaking?"

"Just came in to get my truck fixed. And yourself?"

"Can't complain, because if I did, who would listen?"

They all had a polite laugh at the stale comment, similar to the stale buns used for their hamburgers.

"I will have the hamsteak, two eggs over easy, hashbrowns, toast, whole grain, not white and coffee."

"Ok hon. How bout you Ducy?"

Ducy put down his menu and ordered the Lumberjack breakfast, pancakes, bacon, eggs, over easy as well and potatoes. He too order a coffee.

As Susie left to get their order, Ducy took out his phone to look at some texts he had received.

As for Shep, he looked out the window, watching the snow fall from the grey Montana sky. A county cop drives by in his SUV, kicking up a trail of snow, again like a jet stream from a plane, but not as large as the Peterbuilt.

Thinking to himself, "Yeah...just a pimple on a cat's ass."



Submitted: January 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 88 fingers. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



This is great. Nicely describes so many places, as well as the people you might find there.

Sun, January 24th, 2021 6:39pm


Thank you. Actually, this is a story based on a dream I had last week. For the last few days, I kept thinking about turning this into a story.

Sun, January 24th, 2021 12:07pm


Like the contrast between downbeat, homespun and the interesting descriptive imagery. Very atmospheric.

Mon, January 25th, 2021 8:24am


Thanks for reading.

Mon, January 25th, 2021 12:30am

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