Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-nine - Now. What? (part four)
Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-nine - Now. What?

Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-nine - Now. What? (part five)


(part five)

Monday midday —12:02 p.m.

“We asked everyone to stop today and noon. . .” Jacob started.

He was standing on an enormous excavator in the middle of one of the two sites that had continued working through the pandemic. He’d been wearing a face mask up until the moment he began speaking.

“I wanted to let you know that we’re in negotiations to get the vaccines as soon as they are approved,” Jacob said. “Or, I should say, we’re on the list after doctors. They think it will either be early next year or December. Until then, we wear our masks.”

“And afterward!” someone yelled from the back.

“For a while, at least,” Jacob said.

He turned over his wrist to look at his watch. Seeing the time, he nodded. Bambi climbed on top of the excavator as did Aden.

“We wanted to let you know that, as of 12 noon, our fourth site is up and running!” Jacob said.

The men and women cheered.

“We wanted to take a minute to thank each of you for hanging in there this year,” Bambi said. She spoke loud enough through her mask that everyone heard her.

“Without injury or illness!” Jacob said with a cheer.

Everyone cheered.

“You have shown up, worked hard, been flexible around job sharing, and. . . well. . .” Feeling emotional, Aden stopped talking. He pulled off his mask and covered his eyes.

“You are heroes to us,” Jacob said.

Jacob looked at Aden, but Aden was too overcome.

“There’s a little something in your paycheck this week to say ‘Thanks,’” Jacob said.

“It’s not a lot, so don’t get too excited,” Bambi said with a laugh.

Shaking his head at Bambi, Jacob grinned.

“You are the lifeblood of this company,” Aden said, having gotten himself together. “We bought lunch for you and the other original site.”

Everyone cheered again.

“We wanted to say ‘Thank you,’” Jacob said. “Did you take your kids back at the Marlowe School?”

The crowd cheered.

“We were just there,” Jacob said. “The classrooms are quiet and everything is going well.”

Everyone cheered again.

“We want to let you know that we’ve been told that vaccines are coming and we are one of the first in line,” Jacob said. “We’ve weathered a storm that has killed many, many people. Thank you.”

Jacob waited for the cheering to die down.

“My dad’s at the new sites today,” Jacob said. “He’s doing well, overall. We’re going to be harvesting the gardens in the next week or so, so we’ll have some fresh vegetables for you. If you need help harvesting, just let us know. Aden has some teenagers that need something to do.”

Everyone laughed.

“If you want to shift to a new team or working on the other sites is better for you,” Bambi said. “Give us a week and we’ll work it out. But do — give us a week. They are just getting their feet under them.”

“Okay, we won’t keep you,” Aden said. “Just a thanks. Your team leaders will have your lunches. Take an hour and revel in this truth — we worked our asses off, but we made it.”

Everyone cheered again.

“Team leads, see me!” Bambi said.

After putting back on his face mask, Jacob climbed down off the excavator. Aden climbed down after him. Seeing that Jacob had his face mask on, Aden put on his face mask.

“Shall we?” Jacob asked.

Aden took one look at the site and nodded. They got into Aden’s sedan and drove to meet Tres at the other site to tell them the good news.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...


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