Rain had threatened since Friday, and now the morning hung with dark low clouds. It was hot and sticky and still in the high bush where the rig stood in a clearing. Parrots flitted noisily from creeper and orchid festooned trees, and a brightly plumed toucan peeved monotonously.
The Rig Superintendent took a last bleary-eyed look at the pump pressures and rotary table torque gauges on the drilling console where it stood front of the driller, and then turned, sore-footed, to descend the ladder from the rig floor.
He slumped across the uneven dusty gravel of the location, his shirt wet with sweat, his face showing stubble and drilling fluid smatterings of a three day stretch without sleep. He climbed the few steps to the doghouse.
“I’m going in Carl,” he said hoarsely. “Call me if we run into it again. I’ll be at the house.”
The toolpusher raised eyes from the drilling report. He was a big solid man with strong placid face as black as midnight soot. He had strong very white uneven teeth, and a badly healed scar running across his bare chest.
“Go on in Cappie. Get some sleep.” He smiled faintly.
“I’ve since Friday to catch up on.” The Rig Superintendent said. “It’s a bad son-of-a-bitch, this one. ‘Bout time something went right.”
“It’s Easter Sunday. Maybe you should try going in church,” the toolpusher smiled faintly. “It might change your luck Cappie.”
“Maybe I’ll try it,” the Rig Super said, yawning and stretching.
“Maybe you could try a whore. That works for me,” said the toolpusher smiling again. He had just taken up tour and there was still the hint of sleep in his face. “Whores work, I tell you. Or a virgin if you can find one.”
“I could do that,” the Rig Super said. “But I’ve got something better in the house, and I don’t have to pay one way or another.” Continue reading