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.

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Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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