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Page Turner Challenge: Picks

Such a Change of Fortunes by Deb Loughead

Nothing more satisfying than a fresh block of wood.  As promising as a brand new day, awaiting him in its raw form to be transformed, given another chance in a brand new incarnation. Albert stood at his basement work bench and rubbed his hands together as if to warm them up for the task ahead.  He could hardly wait to begin.

What secrets did this simple chunk of pine hold?  How would the golden grain speak to his imagination? What would the piece demand of his chisels and knives, his gouges, skews and punches, after he finally sank in the first blade, watched the first curl of wood lift away from the block like a thin slice of aged cheddar. Albert loved the precise and menacing sharpness of each and every one of those tools. Their power to reanimate something so lifeless.

It was almost a guilty pleasure to vent his frustrations on this object. Woodcarving had become such a satisfying hobby over the years; it helped to erode some of the dull and desolate hours of his life, allowed him to forget for a while everything that made it so unbearably empty. 

Tapping lightly with his hammer on the butt end of the chisel, he drove it into the wood.  Then he shivered, involuntarily, as he often did when he carved. For once again he wondered how easily human flesh and bone would succumb to his tools.

Deb Loughead is from Toronto, ON

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