Jerome’s Take: Flash fiction by Paul Beckman

Jerome’s Take

How much more can I take? Jerome wondered. This has been going on since high school and now I’m about to turn forty.

“Jerome, stop daydreaming and get back to work,” Mr. Wicks ordered. “Those pencils aren’t going to count themselves.”

Mr. Wicks used to work for my father and now I have to work for him. It doesn’t seem fair. I got the house and a healthy monthly stipend but he left the business to Mr. Wicks.

Jerome punched out and left and drove off the factory grounds without telling anyone. After all, he only had to sign in to work in order to get his monthly check and Wicks knew it and never hassled him about leaving early—just about sitting around doing nothing.

Jerome drove to the mall and wandered around, bought an Orange Julius, looked at the high school girls and left with more than he came with. Once home he went into the kitchen and unloaded his loot. Another watch, two jazz cds, a wedge of Chevre cheese, a three pack of tightly whiteys and two tubes of Crest toothpaste.

How much more can I take? Jerome wondered again as he looked around his house with unopened packages everywhere. And then he took out Mr. Wicks’ Daytimer and letter opener from his briefcase along with a real treasure—Mr. Wick’s library card.

Paul Beckman‘s stories have been published in the following magazines as well as others: Literary Orphans, Blink Ink, Pank, and Thrice Fiction. He lives in Connecticut and is a retired Air Traffic Controller who has no control over the squirrels emptying his bird feeders. is Paul’s published story website.

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