The Fish Factory: Six Sentence Story

Jennifer plunged her hands into the vat of salt water, her eyes tearing with pain as the salt water ate at the cracks meandering across her red swollen palms. Some holiday jobs are worse than others but despite hating the job,  she needed it to be able to escape from it.

Move quicker, they’d said but obeying was her downfall. As she increased the speed  of the sharp knife she used for preparing the fish, it slipped on the scales cutting through the thick rubber gloves she wore into her own hands. Immersion in the brine dried her own flesh as effectively as that of the fish and she prayed she’d be able to hide her drying, dying hands until she had enough money for her passage home.

I wish I was a fish, she thought, as at least they’re already dead when they’re put in the brine.

In response to Zoe’s SSS prompt dry

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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20 Responses to The Fish Factory: Six Sentence Story

  1. UP says:

    What a story! WhT a job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If she was a fish she could swim home! Nice one Irene.

    Click to read my Six!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ewww (Cringe at the imagery*) unfortunately I have had the experience described, including the slice of the razor-sharp fileting knife.
    good Six

    * a most sincere compliment

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene, this is a wonderfully sympathetic story about a job most of us will never (thankfully) do. You made me think about how I benefit from the work other people do, struggling to get ahead so they can leave the awful job behind. We should all become more conscientious about the food we eat, the shoes we wear, the comfort of our homes and lives. In six lines – look what you’ve accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. valj2750 says:

    This is quite a story. There’s a lot of pain and hopelessness in the story, as well as a character with tenacity and grit. I’d like to read more of what happened before this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Valj. It would be a horrible job to do (I don’t know if they still do it this way). I remember it was a job for holiday makers to Iceland in the 90’s. When you were travelling on the cheap there were lots of low paying horrible jobs available to work at for the season or until you got the cash to move on to the next place. Some I guess are just more in need of the cash than others.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s tough to stick with a job you hate, even when you really need the money. You made my heart ache for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ow! Painful! You really have engaged the reader in this 6. It grabbed me painfully from the start.
    Very emotional, very….good!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, this was intense and tugged at the heart! We could easily feel her pain, and her determination to continue so that she could go home. Excellent story!

    Josie Two Shoes ~ Six Sentence Stories

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pat B says:

    Oh, ouch! Swollen hands with cracks, plunged in salt water makes me cringe. I know how painful that combination can be. Do you suppose she will return to this job next holiday?
    Great SSS.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. noelleg44 says:

    Wow, Irene. Quite a story. Plus I’ve cleaned fish before so I can relate!

    Liked by 1 person

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