What Not To Do On A Scaffold

anchor – noun

[ang-ker]

1.   a heavy device that is attached to a boat or ship by a rope or chain and that is thrown into the water to hold the boat or             ship in place

2.   a person or thing that provides strength and support

3.   a large store that attracts customers and other businesses to an area (such as a shopping mall)

4.   chiefly US : someone who reads the news on a television broadcast : an anchorman or anchorwoman

correspondence – noun

[kawr-uhspon-duh ns, kor-]

1.   the activity of writing letters or e-mails to someone

2.   the letters or e-mails that people write to each other

3.   a direct relationship to or with something or between two things

4.   the fact of being similar or equal to something

scaffold – noun

[skafuh ld, -ohld]

1.   a temporary or movable platform or structure on which a person stands or sits while working high above the floor or             ground

2.   a platform or structure on which criminals are killed by being hanged or beheaded

Jack Wilson was stuck up on the scaffolding of a building. He had been sitting quietly with his headphones on eating his sandwich when the whistle blew. Mike and Danny waved goodbye to him. He waved back and finished his sandwich. When the warning whistle blew, Jack had been sleeping against the steel anchors of the scaffold, thinking about the exciting correspondence he received on his cell phone earlier. His phone vibrated waking him up. This is when he figured out he was stuck.

I hope I saved the text, Jack thought. He checked his phone. It was powering down; low battery. Then, nothing.

Shadows crossed his face. Jack looked up. What time was it anyways? He checked his watch. 6:03 p.m. Wow! Work finished an hour and a half ago. He still had time to get down and meet his beautiful date for dinner at 7 if he hurried.

This explains why my phone is dead. Knowing how deep a sleep he gets into whenever he closes his eyes, he also knew he had only himself to blame. Mike and Danny were the only other two guys working on the top scaffold level and they had said goodbye to him and he waved back. No one knew he would fall asleep.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the crane was no longer reaching his level. Jack turned his head to the right. No elevator scaffolding was near him either. Ms. Carter, the crew leader must have lowered all of them when she left.

Jack walked the planks around on the upper level where he was at. His mission was to find the closest steel that he could climb down to get to the next level. On the south side, he found just that and climbed to the level below. Next, he searched for the next steel rod he could climb. He found it, climbed down and did this until he reached the sixth story.

On the sixth , no climbable steel rods were available so Jack tried to think of something else.

Shadows crossed his face again. Quickly he raised his arm toward the remaining light and checked his watch. 6:36 p.m.

I can be fashionably late. I’m sure she’ll laugh when I tell her the predicament I got myself into, he thought to himself.

A new thought hit him smack in the vocal cords.

“HEYYYYYY! CAN ANYONE SEE ME UP HERE? I’M STUCK ON THE SIXTH FLOOR!” he shouted. He waited a minute then called out again.

“HEYYYYYYYYYYY! PLEASE! I NEED HELP. I AM STUCK UP HERE ON THE SIXTH FLOOR SCAFFOLDING. HELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOO! ANYBODY HEAR ME OR SEE ME?” Jack sighed. What if no one sees me or hears me?

Jack walked the wooden walkway around and around the sixth floor, calling out to anyone who may hear him.

6:58 p.m. his watch read.

Out loud but to no one in particular he said, “I GUESS I WILL HAVE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE RESTAURANT FROM WHEN I GET DOWN. I HOPE SHE UNDERSTANDS.”

Just then, Jack saw a truck slowly drive by.

“HELLLLLOOOOOOO DOWN THERE! LOOK UP HERE! LOOK UP HERE!” Jack hollered. “HEYYYYYYY, UP HERE, I’M STUCK. I NEED HELP. CALL 911!”

The truck sped up and turned the corner. “YIYIYIYIYIYIYI! HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP! YOYOYOYOYOYO! HELLLLLLLLP!”

“COME BACK! PLEASE! I NEED HELP UP HERE!!!” Jack screamed jumping up and down.

The scaffold swayed.

“HELLLLLLLLP MEEEEEEEE!” Jack screamed again.

Clink, clank, clank. he faintly heard below him.

The sun was setting in front of him. Darkness was creeping in.

CLINK. CLANK. CLUNK. The sound was a little louder.

“HELLO. IS SOMEONE DOWN THERE?” Jack called out. He peered below him but saw only steel rods everywhere.

CREAK! CREAK! CREAK! CREAK! Jack listened.

CREAK! CREAK! CREAK! CREAK! Sunlight disappeared.

“Um hello. Is someone down there? I’m stuck up here….” he said quieter.

THUMP. CREAK. CREAK. THUMP.

Jack’s heart was racing now. “I HEAR YOU. MIKE? DANNY?”

THUMP. THUMP. CREAK. CREAK. CLUNK.

“WHO’S THERE?” Jack demanded.

CREAAAAK. CREEEEAAAAAAK. CREEEEAAAAAAAK!

The scaffolding shook. Jack grabbed on to a steel beam.

Jack looked into the darkness below him. He could see nothing.

Hidden in the darkness, a hand reached up and grabbed Jack’s foot!

“LET GOOOOOO!” Jack yelled. He tried to shake the intruder off. The hand grabbed up higher. Another hand grabbed his other leg. Jack held onto the beam.

“HELLLLLLLLLLLLLP!” he wailed. ‘I NEED HELLLLLLLLLLPPP!”

Suddenly his legs were free. Jack stood still. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

CREAK. CREAK. CREAK. THUMP and then CRASH! right into the beam he was holding.

He opened his eyes. Mike and Danny were on the elevator scaffolding in front of him quietly laughing.

Jack was angry. “NOT FUNNY. NOT FUNNY AT ALL. YOU TRYING TO GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK? WHY DIDN’T YOU ANSWER ME?”

Mike pulled Jack’s cushy, safety headphones off.

“Dude, we did answer you,” Danny said laughing pointing to the headphones. “We figured out you still had on your headphones when you kept screaming at us.”

‘Oh.” Jack said. “Sorry. How did you know to come find me?”

“Well, Danny and I stopped at Maguire’s for a couple beers and to shoot pool and while we were waiting for our table to get free, we saw this beautiful lady come in and sit down at the bar. We watched her until the hostess showed her to her table. Danny here was going to make his move,” Mike explained.

Jack stepped onto the elevator scaffold and interrupted. “Okay, I don’t need an explanation. I am really late for my date. Just get me down.” Danny and Mike lowered them down.

“Dude,” Danny started, “That’s what we’re trying to tell you. We finished our game of pool and when Mike walked to the restroom, he saw that lady sitting at a table with a glass of wine. She appeared to be waiting for someone.”

“Yeah, when I came out, she was checking her watch. The waiter stopped by her table as I walked by but I stopped to eavesdrop and I heard her ask if ‘Jack’ had left a message for her by chance. You told us you were meeting a blind date at Maguire’s at 7 and that all you were told was that she was beautiful inside and out,” Mike rushed on.

Having reached the bottom, Jack was eager to get going.

Danny grabbed his arm, holding him back. “Mike rushed back to me and told me what he heard. I told him we should walk up to her and ask if you were her date and keep her company until you got there but as we were debating what to do, we saw her leave. We tried to catch her but she zoomed off in a black Impala before we could.”

Jack’s shoulders slumped. Danny let go and the men walked together to Jack’s truck.

“When you still didn’t show up here at 7:45, we knew something happened. So we came back here to see if your car was still here and by luck, it was. We heard someone yelling when we pulled into the lot. Pretty quick, we could tell it was you,” Danny finished.

“Boy, was she beautiful. Whoever hooked you up did you a favor.” Mike offered.

Jack plugged his phone in as soon as he opened his truck door. Mike and Danny waited. Jack’s phone lit up and he turned it on. A few seconds passed when the phone buzzed repeatedly with waiting messages. Jack scanned every text.

He read the very last one out loud, “I waited until 7:40. Lisa told me you were a classy guy. I’m not sure I should believe her. Maybe when I am in town next, we can reschedule. Am taking the 8:40 flight out since I was stood up. Sorry we couldn’t meet up. – Jolene Fitzmaurice.” His phone verified the time was now 8:12 p.m. There was no way he could make it to the airport in time.

“Thanks for finding me guys. I don’t know how long I would have been up there if you hadn’t,” Jack said.

“Glad you’re all right dude,” Danny replied.

“Looks like you need a beer, brother,” Mike suggested. “You should follow us back to Maguire’s for one.”

“Sure. Why not?” Jack shrugged..

When they pulled into the parking lot, a black Impala was parked close to the door.

“Hey, Jack, your date drove off in a black Impala. Maybe she changed her mind huh?” Danny said.

Jack smiled and said, “Maybe.”

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