Tim pressed his body against the giant stone, the coarse sand rubbing his sweaty skin raw. His hands grabbed either side and Tim started to hoist the block. His biceps flexed and tendons strained but they held as he swung his body to bring the stone resting on its new platform. Three-quarters of the way through the swinging Tim’s arms quivered. He dug his claws in and swung a little bit faster dropping the stone in sort of a throw roll hybrid attempt that in the end made people suppress laughter. Sure, you could make fun of Tim, but he has a tendency to bite people’s heads off, and a few other parts. The rock missed the mark by several feet causing the bulldozers to slow down.
“Hey! Watch it you, scatterbrained short armed egghead!”
“Sorry!” Tim bellowed to the bulldozer operator. The operator shook his head in disgust and thrashed down on the reins causing the bulldozer to step off again.
Tim didn’t mind being told he made a mistake and he would own up to it. Just don’t make fun of him, Tim pushed the block into its proper place with his hip and the laborers rushed in to begin the precision installation. The facility being constructed had to be erected very precisely.
“Tim. I need to speak with you.” A voice came from the scaffolding to his left.
Oh no. Tim thought. The beckon came from Octavius, who was a real tough shell. Over the past few weeks, Tim had been having a hard time adapting to the new phase of operations at the construction site.
“Tim, first I heard you wrote a letter to a magazine. I am frankly surprised you can write. You are like a lizard after all. Laying in the sun to warm up.” He groaned. “And frankly, you are not very smart. Did it go well?”
Considering Octavius could fit inside of Tim’s brain cavity, it seemed a weird insult. Tim opened his mouth to speak.
“It is not important anyway Tim. Time to get down to stone tacks.”
Tim darted his eyes between Octavius and the door, he imagined himself throwing that little shell through the window and playing a game of soccer with him. But who would employ him after that?
“Tim, I hate to say this, but it is a little embarrassing how you cannot keep up the work.”
Tim sighed. “I know, I am sorry. I am simply not used to this kind of working condition.”
“I understand, but everyone else is adapting. Your actions are causing some questions amongst the local inhabitants. They are beginning to question how somebody in your position to be so unaccustomed to work.”
“I have not done research this remote since I was in primary school. I have been spoiled with pristine work environments and climate control.”
“We do not have that here Tim,” Octavius said slowly shaking his neck from side to side. Tim thought this was a most unusual dance, he really tried to focus on what Octavius was saying, but then he would get a silly idea in his head. No, not a dance, a hypnotic dance. Back and forth and back and forth. Hmm… Oh, wait… I think Octavius is mad.
“TIM!!” Octavius is shouting like a horn.
“What? Hu? Sorry, I guess I stopped paying attention for a few minutes.”
“Tim you are a scientist but you need to act like a member of your own species!”
Ouch Tim thought, he never understood why people go down the species arguments.
“No butt’s.” Octavius was finished with the conversation. “Now get back to work before I turn you into a bird.” He paused before continuing. “Be mean… act like you are scary. For tree’s sake, you are such a coward.”
“Oh well… Thank you for that.”
Octavius threw his head up with a sigh of disappointment. He stared directly at Tim’s one visible eye and he slowly retracted into his forever home. Eventually, the head was gone as were the feet. Tim wanted to have a handle on the shell so he could carry his goat’s milk inside the shell after he ate Octavius out. He traded with Mike-o-Top’s for the milk and it was free range goat hunted by wolves so the milk is stressed properly.
Tim abandoned this idea and left the office. Suddenly, the door was slammed behind him. Slammed is a generous description, as it took 26 minutes for the door to finally close.
Tim was amazed by Octavius’s speed when he was angry. He will be a worthy adversary.
Tim got back to work and moved a bit slower so he could scan around before making a spectacle of himself.
Soon he thought as he hoisted another rock. Very soon.