Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: You’d Have to Pay Me

This is the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupent.The letter was nothing special, only a neighbour complaining about the billboard this company pays me to have on my lawn. The company mails me a cheque for $500 a month to leave their horrid billboard painting alone. I try not think about it or look at it much. 

If Gary in the Condo next to me doesn’t like it, too bad for him. I put his most recent letter in the garbage. Clever of him to have it sent to me as ‘occupant;’ he knows my name well.

As I am leaving my house for work, I glance at the billboard. The lady on it looks like some nightmarish clown. At least, my niece thought so when she visited with my sister. Sara hated to sleepover because outside the spare bedroom window is the billboard. I love Sara but the billboard stays, it pays part of my mortgage. I don’t mind switching rooms with Sara for the night she comes to visit me once a month.

On my way to the car, I see my neighbour Gary. I wave and run over to my billboard smiling and giving the billboard a thumbs up. Gary, an elderly man in his seventies, scowls at me. I wave to him again and drive off squeeling my tires and honking at Gary who shakes his fist and swears at me loudly as I pass him in my car.

I don’t care. If Gary paid me $500 a month to not have the ugly billboard on my lawn, well that would be the only reason I would be getting rid of the billboard. Until then, the hideous monument remains on my lawn.



Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

29 thoughts on “Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: You’d Have to Pay Me”

  1. People find all.kinds of ways to make money, as this person did, however, in this case even though it was her right to display the sign, it has a negative affect for her neighbors. There is no respect for her neighbors/property value. Imagine what the neighborhood would look like if everyone decided to do that! Great story. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I pictured as a “he” for some reason. But I don’t think I ever said. He’s just an ass and doesn’t care about the neighbours. I would be horrified to have that up near my condo but he’s just incredibly ignorant and selfish. Glad you liked the story, despite the character lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your story shows the humanness is some of us. The selfish attitude and all, but then again, he needs money to live. Maybe there’s a better way so that he doesn’t incure the wrath of the neighbours. Good read

    I am sure that I forgot to mention to you,I am hosting a brunch party on my blog today and tomorrow. The link has just gone live. The title is BRUNCH PARTY live link 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your compliments about the story. It’s an easy $500 a month. And the guy is not a nice guy. I have just been to your party and will go back in a bit. Lovely of you to host, you are an excellent and generous hostess!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story Mandi. Your main character feels like a real person to me, with real motivations – and I like the way you used the neighbour’s antipathy as a reason to have a letter marked ‘occupant’. Very nicely done. I do think you could take your character forward too – see where their mercenary nature leads them next …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there, Mandi ☺ Thank you for checking out my blog and for the recent follow.
    I really like this story, it gives you a concrete impression of that kind of person that the speaker is in just a few words. Well done! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, it’s easy money… I’d think after a while the billboard will just blend in, right? I have to say I can see both sides – I wouldn’t want to see it every time I looked out my window, but if someone gave me $500 for it… Great take on the prompt, Amanda 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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