Superheroes of the Great Depression

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by AAB, Jan 26, 2014.

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  1. [​IMG]
    Elizabeth Shanaman shut the oven door. There were four loaves of dough in there, but she knew with a large family like theirs she'd probably have to make a couple trays of rolls as well. Mom was in the garden, the menfolk were out in the field, Emma was feeding the chickens, Frieda was supposed to be helping Elizabeth with the baking. But she had probably wandered off to play somewhere. Frieda was the baby of the family, but she got away with far too much. At least, Elizabeth thought so.

    Emma ran into the kitchen. "Liz," she said, "another one of our chickens was stolen." Elizabeth shushed her sister. "Don't tell Mom," she said, "maybe it just got out." She whipped off her apron and headed outside to look for the bird, turning at the door to add, "mix up a batch of sweet rolls," before leaving.

    Elizabeth counted the chickens. The one with the weird foot was gone, which made it more likely that Emma was right. That one wouldn't have gotten very far if it had escaped, and a vagrant looking for a meal would have felt less guilty about taking a "defective" chicken. But it could lay eggs just as well as the others, so that wasn't really fair.

    Elizabeth knew her mother would be wondering whether the other farms were missing livestock as well, and she really didn't want to go back into that hot kitchen yet. So she scurried off down the road to check on the Mayfields, an older couple who had a farm nearby and whose hired hands did most of the work.
  2. Louise blinked several times and held a hand over her eyes as she stepped into the sunlit lobby of the Otoe theater, out from the darkened theater. She frowned just slightly and pushed her spectacles back up her nose. "No one here yet for the next show?" The girl peered outside disappointedly.

    The older man behind the glass counter didn't pause wiping down the fixtures on the soda fountain. "Afraid not. S'been slow lately, you know." He sighed quietly. "Think I'm going to close up early today, actually. You can go ahead and leave, if you want. --Actually, hold on." The man stepped over to the cash register and popped the drawer open.

    Louise headed over to the snack counter and leaned over it curiously. "Mr. Dugdale, you know I don't get paid until Friday, right?"

    "Oh, I know," he said, pushing two dollar bills into her hand. He leaned back and reached for a fluted glass on the shelf behind him. "Want a pop before you go, Lou?"

    Louise stood back up and attempted to straighten her floor-length skirt with her free hand. "Ah, no thanks, Mr. Dugdale." She smiled meekly at him. "I think I'll save it for dinner."

    "All right, Lou. Now you have a good afternoon, then."

    She thanked him and made for the froot doors and then out onto the sidewalk. Where was a good place to eat today?
  3. Benjamin woke up to his daughter pushing on him, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." She repeated over and over again. He open his eyes and yawned, He then turned his head to his lovely little girl. "Yes sweetie?" He asked her.

    "You said that you would make pancakes today!" his daughter replied.

    He cracked his tired neck. "Oh yea, Daddy did say that." He was buzzed of the moon shine he had last night, It was some really good shine. He got out of bed and walked out of room into the small hallway. He knocked on the door were his grandma sleeps. "Granny, You awake, I'm going to get fix up what we have for breakfast."

    "Okay Ben, Make sure Clara gets enough to eat. She has been looking fin!" She said through her door, She was still resting in bed.

    "I will granny." He walked away and down to the kitchen. "We all looking fin granny." He got some flour, milk and the egg from the counter. "Would better if we cold make these things last longer, I think the milk is good." He smelt it, "Good enough. Going to get some more stuff, I know we have the supplies." He got to work looking for the stuff.
  4. James strolled through the city. Work had let out early and he decided to go meet a friend for lunch instead of just staying home. It wasn't that his apartment was bad, just a touch small. James loved to be out and about, in the fresh air (or as fresh a the air in the city could get). He started to whistle a happy tune as he turned the corner and waved at people he knew. After a bit of walking he spotted his friend, sweeping just outside the shop her parents ran.

    "Miriam!" James shouted, waving like an idiot. Miriam looked up trying to see who called her name.

    "Oh, hello James" Miriam said, finally spotting James. She set her broom aside and brushed off her blue dress. "Ready to go?"

    "Yeah, let's go!" James said. "There's a new place I wanted to try, just opened up and everything."

    "Alright then, lead the way." Miriam said, gesturing for James to start walking. He gladly obliged and the two set out together, chatting all the way.
  5. It was 11:33, AM. The 11:30 train pulled into the station. Someone began to open the mail bag. "Here's one postmarked last year," he commented, "that one took its time in getting here."
    Harvey Smith stepped off the train and made his way through town. His quarry would be at the sugar factory. If not now, then at a later shift. The well-dressed man repositioned the folder under his arm.

    Gertrude's Eatery was a small restaurant run by a plump German from Russia. She smiled cheerfully at her customers as she rolled out dough for pie.
    "Hey," a man protested, "my runza has no meat in it."
    "Zo izza krout burger," she said, "Der est cabbage en de sandvich, yes?"
  6. Louise stepped eagerly into Gertrude's, pausing long enough to take in the smell of meats and baked goods. She pulled off her cloche hat, holding it tightly in both hands as she surveyed the small room for other patrons. Good, she thought. Only a few people. Too many people around made her nervous, for a variety of reasons, not least of which--

    Well, the important thing to pull from this was that she preferred solitude with a handful of exceptions. Home, at her job in the tight little projection booth at the theater, she belonged in those places. Why she decided to become a missionary in the first place, she didn't quite understand. She reasoned briefly that it wasn't for her to understand: only that she had felt a calling from her Heavenly Father.

    Then of course came the pang of guilt. She should be back in Utah now, at the very least, or ideally in Omaha. She exhaled sharply through her nose and came back to the now, realizing that she was being stared at for standing just inside the doorway. The girl flushed slightly, feeling the heat run up from her neck to her ears. Oh gosh. Get on it, Lou.

    "Hi, Gertrude?" She spoke tentatively, approacing the counter. "What's good today?"
  7. Today marked the 60th anniversary for the Mayfields and Mami wanted to make something special for them. Mrs. Mayfield had a liking for Mami's flan, a sweet custard smothered in a thin caramel sauce and Mr. Mayfield loved Mami's cooking period. Papi was out hunting a rabbit for the Mayfield's surprise dinner, Carlito reluctantly went with him. As much as he was 'just a boy' he was also a blooming man, and Papi insisted that Carlito brought in his own kill.

    Angelita was tasked with collecting the eggs for the dessert. It was adorable how cautious she was with the eggs, as if she was carrying little bombs. Rosa could just barely hear her nine year old sister singing to the chickens over the hum of the bees and it brought a smile to her. Nice to know that every now and then they actually do listen to her advice. She returned her attention to the bees and hummed her own soothing tune as she gently lifted the palets to collect the sweet honey.

    Rosa glanced over at her sister in the distance and could see a figure approaching the farm. 'Great, what now.' She thought to herself as she closed her jars of honey and slung the basket of the mornings work on her arm. Once saftely away, she pulled the gardening gloves from her hand and pulled the netted large brimmed hat from her face. She recognized the woman approaching, she was part of the neighboring farm.

    The neighbor made her way closer, Rosa did the same, meaning to head her off. Whatever the news or question, she wanted to intercept it. The Mayfields were almost like grandparents to her and today was their day off from being farmers. Rosa put her thumb and forefinger into her mouth and whistled a tune that could be heard from miles away.

    "Hola! Que pasa?" It wasn't often she spoke anyone outside her family and often forgets to switch languages. "I mean, Hi. Whats the matter, everything okay?" Her English was dripping with Hispanic accent.
  8. "So damn hard to find shit in this house!" Benjamin whispered to his self not trying to let his daughter her his language. "Now think ben, Were ya put the stuff, You were drunk and you probably put it somewhere close. Benjamin went to one of the drawer and open it. He reached in grabbed on to something, He then pulled out some thing, Ingredients for pancakes. "Thank god." He whispered. Benjamin then went to making breakfast for the only 3 residents in there apartment.

    After breakfast he told that he cooked them to long and they tasted a little off. All this was said by his grandmother. "Granny, I'm no master cooker so you should never expect much." Benjamen told her. "Clara how you like it?"

    Clara looked at him and forced a smile. "They were the best thing i ever eat!"

    "Ate." He told her. "Well think you Clara, Lucky someone enjoyed my food." Benjamin left his seat and started to gage the time. "I should head down to the farm later, Maybe those 'slave drivers' need some hands today."
  9. "Goot?" replied Gertrude to Louise, "Et iz all goot." She beamed and gestured about her small establishment. "Two runza, still hot. Big bowl of schnitz soup, making pie too."
    "And still no sausage," the unhappy customer griped, "And I've had it up to here with your cabbage." He finished his last bite and left. Gertrude shrugged at Louise.
    "No pig, no bratvurst," she said sadly, "Dey all love mein bratvurst, but all I got es cabbage."

    Elizabeth paused when the foreign girl addressed her. She knew what "Hola" meant. But what was a kepassa? Had she been called a rude name? Deciding to give the girl the benefit of doubt, Elizabeth replied, "Another of our chickens went missing, and we thought it might have been a drifter. Could be another bunch came through here. Are any of y- the birds here missing?" She stopped herself from calling the Mayfields' chickens the property of their hired help.
    The neighbors had extra hands and Elizabeth had heard her sister's family had recently gotten one, but her mother was insistent they do it all on their own without another mouth to feed. Privately, Elizabeth thought feeding a fellow in exchange for making sure nothing was stolen may pay for itself.
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  10. Louise pasted on a smile for Gertrude's benefit. She looked over the shop, following the woman's hands. "Ah, just a runza for now," she said, applying Gertrude's accent to the runza, unsure of how else to say it properly.

    As she watched the bitter patron leave, Lou asked, "No pigs about? Why not?" Then she remembered all the paper articles about the drought, but it wasn't as bad here, was it? Maybe it was worse in Omaha, and she was here instead--

    She shook her head. "How much, ma'am?"
  11. Alice dragged herself out of bed, stumbling over her shoes that she had sworn she had set to the side, and quickly reached the itty bitty dresser with the even tinier mirror.

    Ugh, her hair was a mess! She had wrapped it up in a scarf after coming back from work the other day, but her tossing and turning in bed must have caused it to unravel. "Damn this tiny shack! Damn it all!" She yelled, beating the dresser with her fists, and only managing to hurt herself. After a few minutes of hideous scowling in the mirror, she breathed in deeply through her nose and began preparing for the day. There was no sense in wallowing in her own rage. She would have time to do that later when she would have to drop by the 'big house' later.

    Her parents hated it when she referred to the house as the 'big house', because that's what slaves used to refer to the dwellings of their owners. Deep down, Alice felt ashamed and ignorant for using such a reference, but sometimes she felt like a slave--Well maybe not a slave but at least a servant!

    While her mother, father, brothers, sister and her God Forsaken children, lived in that big ole house, Alice was forced to live in the tiny shed next to it! To be exact, her parents hadn't exactly forced her to move out, but those little hell spawn of her sister had forced her hand!

    "Come on Alice, no sense in wallowing in your own rage." She repeated to herself, as she stepped outside and closed the door.

    When she arrived at her job she slunk past the counter, hoping Gertrude wouldn't notice her less than lovely hair and her overall tired and rumpled appearance. Living in a shed, meant that she didn't have enough space for an ironing board, so she usually had to get up extra early and iron her clothing in the house, but today she just couldn't do it.
  12. Benjamin went and got his coat, He felt like he forgot something but he decided he need to get going he had a place to be. He need to get some money. He help his grandma back in the room. "Alright granny see ya later on."

    "Okay Ben, I hope thy need work today." his grandma said.

    "Me too, Me too." he replied. He then went for the door and out to the long walk to the farm. Clara was outside at the time, Playing with some of her friends. Ben just kept looking back, He just felt uptight today, Like something horrible was going to happen.


    He was so right, He foolishly left the stove one, The cheap stove in a crappy house. The mix became a fire that would cause chaos, It sparked on the stove and spread across the apartment. In rushed into all rooms in the apartment and took the old woman, She may not of had much time but no one should die like that. Then the fire spread, The violent flame easily ate up the apartment and spread across to other house. People ran out if they could escape. The slums were on fire, People were dieing. This fire was not even done, It start to spread quicker, If it wasn't stop more people would die and even the slightly better parts of the city would be burnt as well.
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  13. "Six cents," Gertrude told Louise. Hearing Alice come in, she said, "get the frouline a runza." As an afterthought she added, "If yer 'ungry ye can have a bit o' schnitz soup." Returning her attention to Louise Gertrude said, "Ya, der are pigs, but to buy? No, farmers vant der pigs."

    "Fire!" the cry went up with the smoke. People dashed about frantically, trying to save their possessions. This part of town didn't have running water, and the firetruck couldn't get there as soon as it should because of the rough roads. "It's that Benjamin's fault!" one man shouted upon seeing where the fire had started, "I knew living near him would bring bad luck." The woman at his side gave him a sharp, disapproving look.
    #13 AAB, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  14. "Six? All right." Louise stuffed her hat into an oversized pocket and started to rummage through her satchel for change.

    She looked up as the girl, Alice, walked in. Her heart sank just a bit and before she realized it, she had reached a hand up to touch her own hair, watching Alice's as she passed the counter. Her hand shot back down to her side as she went back to finding that last penny.

    Success! She held her pennies out to the disheveled Alice. Gosh, are you all right?

    Her eyes widened. Oh, no, Lou...
  15. Alice pulled her apron on and ducked into the kitchen to the aforementioned 'runza'. After retrieving the breaded item, she shuffled over to Louise, a woman who she had seen quite a few times but aside from a few 'Morning!'s, they hadn't really talked.

    Gosh, are you all right?

    Alice froze in her tracks, the plate hovering above the counter, and her eyes wide with shock. Had she just though that? No no! She couldn't have! Why would she have thought something in another person's voice? What in the world had just happened?

    Alice glanced around quickly at all the other patrons but they didn't seem to have noticed how the woman had asked a question but her lips hadn't even parted. Was this some type of parlor trick? Or was it like...Alice took a step back as she thought of the reports. The child who walked on water, the kid who'd gotten shot and walked away...

    Alice gave a little shake of the head. That was impossible. She might not have known the woman very well, but she sure would have noticed if she could walk on water or something. It definitely had to be some type of magic trick.

    "What was that? A parlor trick or something?" She asked, giving the woman a smile as she set the plate down and took the money.
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  16. Louise flushed red in her cheeks and made to nervously adjust her glasses. What could she tell this girl? Yes, she's some kind of magician? She was sure her own stare and flustered reaction gave her away in the first place, but it was just too easy to deny it completely, especially after so long denying it to herself.

    She bit her lip, looking down at her plate before going back up to meet Alice's gaze. "Oh, ah, what do you mean?" She didn't exactly sound certain. Maybe she'd really have to tell her, if the girl pressed her about it. But not in front of these other people. Another person to confide in, however...

    That would be wonderful.
  17. Gertrude shook her head. That Alice could be a bit odd at times. Imagine thinking there was a trick to buying a runza. She turned back to her rolling pin. Seconds later, a man burst though the door.

    "The fire is spreading!" he shouted, "we're digging a perimeter to keep it away from the business area. Help if you can!"
    "Vhat! Vhat fire?!" Gertrude hollered, throwing up her arms in exclamation. But the man was out the door and gone.
    Gertrude glanced toward a window, but the view was obscured. "Alice," Gertrude said, "pop your 'ead out an see vhat es dere." She would have done so herself, but Alice was nearer the door.
  18. Alice narrowed her eyes at Louise, but before she could press the issue a man burst inside yelling something about a fire. At Gertrude's call, Alice hurried over to the door, and poked her head out only to pull it back in immediately. The damn slums were on fire! Alice felt a rush of horror go straight to her heart, but then she remembered that her family lived on the other side of town near the farms. She then felt terrible for feeling relieved when others were probably trapped or in the process of losing their precious homes.
    Upon re-entering the house, Alice walked quickly over to Gertrude, leaning over the counter and whispering "The apartments are on fire!" Normally she would have just screamed it, but the last thing they needed was widespread panic.
  19. Louise jumped when the man burst in the door. "Fire?! Where?" She watched Alice, guility relieved that attention was taken from her. She couldn't hear what the waitress told Gertrude, so she instead stood to look out the window. No luck.

    Grabbing the runza from her plate, Louise made for the door. She peered outside and murmured, "Oh my gosh..."
  20. Rosa Maria caught the correction, but inwardly shrugged her shoulders at it. It simply was the way life was and Rosa was used to it. She furrowed her brows at the thought of stolen chickens. She had heard the rumors from her brother, but luckily they haven't had any go missing. She turned and called out to her sister.

    "¿Angelita, llevar un conteo, pollos desaparecidos?"

    Her sister glanced up and Rosa watched as her little hands pointed at each chicken. A small smile crept across Rosa's face as she imagined her sisters small voice slowly counting each bird. She really was a cutie pie when she wasn't being a pain in the ass.

    "¿No, llamo a mamá?" Her sweet sounding voice called from across the distance.

    "No, mamita, terminar recogiendo." Rosa instructed Angelita to continue collecting the eggs, no need to get Mom involved.

    "No, none of our are missing. If you need some eggs, we'd be happy to give you some of ours." Mother would have had a fit, but it was the right thing to do and she hardly believed the Mayfields would have protested. Rosa's eyes widened as she saw the smoke billowing from behind the woman. First it was confusion, but it was quickly replaced by a gripping fear, Juan.

    "Do you know where that is?" She forced the english words out, throwing her bee keeping hat to the ground. She knew it was coming from town, but where in town.
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