Carl pulled at the bottom of his shirt, stretched it over an expanse of stomach. When he released his grip, Ernie noticed that the bottom of Carl's white T-shirt hung ouched and ruffled from frequent tugs. Carl brought wax paper-wrapped sandwichs from the local diner. The only diner. The town wasn't big, but since news of the mine's closing people couldn't get out fast enough. The first few houses sold well to out-of-towners but now the clapboard hoems were drastically reduced on the market. Some went for a thousand bucks.
Most days Carl and Ernie did their jobs quietly--Carl stood watch on the mountain and Ernie sat in the site office--but clear evenings made Carl think; got him to talk.
"Look here," Carl wiped his hands on his belly and they left sooty smudges as they ran down his body. The coal dust coated everything. "When I was getting these sandwiches, you know what I saw?"