#MenageMonday 2×37 : Part Entertainment and Part Business

David was counting the money, one penny, nickel, dime, and quarter at a time. There were lots of them to count, especially the pennies. He paused for a few moments, to stare at the jar full of coins. “A rather successful outing, I do believe.”

He leaned back in his desk chair, and remembered the afternoon experience, after school. Tanya and Shauna in a cat fight, in the alley, with at least a hundred kids watching. The hard part was always the same. Getting the two competitors to agree to delay the fight until he could arrange the time and the place. It always made things easier when it offered to split everything three ways. Each of them got a third, and he got a third for arranging things. 25 cents admission. Pay him at the entrance to the alley.

The only rule was no talking about the fight. No telling anyone when it was, or where it was. And no talking about who won or lost. 25 cents got you in to see the fight.

Four kids was $1. 100 was $25. The easiest $8 he ever made. And he’d made $8 12 times in the past three months. Lots of kids seemed to hate each other, and wanted to fight. Lots more always wanted to watch.

David always got to open the fight. To him, it was part entertainment and part business. And he always opened the show by saying, “Let ‘em fight!”

237 Words

It’s week 2×37 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.


#ThursThreads Week 176 : It Better Be You

“It better be you knocking on my door, Doc!”

The doctor came in. “You called, sir?”

“Yes, you idiot! I coughed up blood this morning!” I glared at the doctor, “I’m paying you to fix me, so fix me!” God, my throat hurt, like someone was dragging a medieval mace through it. Each fraction of an inch it moved, I nearly choked. I hacked, coughed, gagged, and spat blood.

The doctor bowed his head, “I’m sorry, sir. We’re still working on the cure.” He stuffed a tube down my throat, poured a goo through it. My throat stopped hurting. That was good enough for the short-term. He bowed, gathered his things, and began to leave.

“I expect you to find a cure. A permanent fix.”

The doctor bowed, “Yes, sir.”

It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t destroyed the atmosphere. I’d done that. But as long as it didn’t kill me, and was profitable, so what? The metals and acids in the air got into everybody’s throat. They choked on their own blood.

I wouldn’t have cared at all, except the problem was costing me money. Too many of my human resources were failing. I needed to find a solution, so I could cut my operating costs again. That’s how business worked. Humans were expendable, replaceable resources.

I wasn’t.

“They better find a workable cure soon. I’m fucking paying them enough!” Then, I could sell the cure to the human resources and recover my expenses.

245 Words

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 176. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.