But Not Enough Time

The man walks slowly toward the new shed, metal roof shining in the sun.  His shoulders are hunched over, his large hands hanging loose at his sides.

As he touches the door, he glances at the newly-seeded narrow land between the trees. He dreams of its future.

His eyes brighten as he opens the big wooden door, and as the squeal breaks the silence, he is reminded to oil the new hinges. 

The man enters his shop and he is smiling.

The smell of new grease and fresh sawdust and varnish greets him and his shoulders straighten.

His mind is filled with the wonder of this place and he moves about in a reverie, touching shiny tools and placing some on his workbench. His dream is coming true.

He pauses before the open drawer and unrolls a crisp white roll of paper on which is printed the diagram of his design.

The great wings he has drawn will be a sculpture and the powerful metal of the gleaming engine on its stand in the corner will send the sculpture into the sky.


The man sighs.  Time runs short…I start today.


Among the timbered hills the young woman follows the hiking trail and comes upon a clearing, long and narrow, green and uncut. 

Near one end of the grassy strip stands a shed, the aged silvered wood gleams in the sun.

The number of years the shack had withstood the ravages of wind and weather could not be counted.

She draws near and sees movement…the flap of paper covering a broken window twitches in a light wind. 

Piles of metal pieces, odd shapes, some rusty, lie along one side of the old shed.


The door, loose on one hinge, is not locked.

It creaks as she swings it open to look inside.

The light from the grimy windows is dim and the breeze from the open door kicks up a piece of fluffy sawdust-mixed mouse nest material.

It scurries across the dusty floor, the only movement in this dead place.

The hiker cannot determine the purpose of the work shack.

Along one wall is a long bench, waist-high, well-scarred with nicks and gouges, piled with shapes of metal and wood and rolls of wire.

Walls are lined with nails and hooks upon which hang dark shapes of tools and clamps, some greasy, all covered with dust.

A huge piece of iron equipment stands in one corner. There are shelves lined with metal cans and dusty boxes of tiny objects and rolls of tape and bottles of rusty screws. 

A wooden chest, gray and brown with age, sits in another corner. The drawers are partly open and the girl pokes at the yellowed paper and crumbling books, the bindings eaten by mice.

Large cans with tightly-fitting lids are piled by one wall, the labels are faded and peeling. 

Overhead in the rafters great rough-hewn boards are stacked. There seems to be no two of one size or length.

The sawdust in the corners is gray, brown and greasy black, and nothing seems to be in use.

The visitor leaves the shack, wondering what it was for, now a useless and abandoned eyesore that if bulldozed would improve the pristine landscape. Someone started something they had no time to finish, she shrugs, couldn’t have been very important, and heads down the trail.


About the Author

Presently furloughed from solo flying and detailed artwork due to an eye problem, Bette Bach-Fineman lives in a hangar in Arizona. She is happily married with five children living dangerously in an unsafe world, and too many grandchildren and step-grandchildren to keep track of or worry about. Her book Patterns is now appearing in serial form on www.friendsofaviation.net. You can learn more about Bette on her web site: www.bettebachfineman.com.

One Comment

  1. Shirley Ann Chevalier

    Loved your story …. I could see Jon in that workshop.

    Shirley Chevalier

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