His fingers were covered with splotches of black ink, especially near the knuckles and fingertips. There was a smudge or two on his nose, where he had scratched it, not knowing his hands were tainted with the ink. The ledger book that were opened on his desk were full of corrections, and red ink, and illegible words that he had to decipher. The previous clerk had only been on the job a month before isolation and depression had sent him down the mountain with his tail between his legs. Adam was his replacement, seen as a stronger sort by the mine manager. During the interview, which had taken place on the telephone, the manager had asked Adam if he liked to be alone, and Adam said that he did.
He had to take the call at the post office, since the telephone at his apartment building was on a party line and located in the small, open lobby. Adam always had a hunch that the neighbors were listening, so he kept his calls short, which actually helped tremendously when his mother or his one of his aunts called.
**I am keeping some of my drafts here for Men in Caves, because it’s so easy to organize them on wordpress (and of course I love the instant gratification). They’re more for my own benefit than anything; it’s a sort of accountability to write in a more public forum on a longer project, isn’t it? Since I haven’t held hands with or even nodded to these folks in the several months since I finished the first draft, I’m treating them with kid gloves. Look at them: they’re sort of creeping out tentatively, their eyes blurry and squinting as they adjust to the bright light. I’ve neglected their daily routines. Their clothes are torn and dusty, their teeth need brushed, their hair is full of tangles. Is there a patron saint of neglected fictional characters? Or a separate layer of hell reserved for their shimmering, malformed figures? Or is that layer kept for writers who neglect them? ;)**