“Miss Thurman, I’m not working for you anymore on my day off,” Barry said and closed the hatch of the Subaru.
“Here, take this.” Miss Thurman held a folded $10 bill.
“Now, you know I’m not allowed tips,” Barry said.
“You’re a young man and you need money for your future, for your braces when you get them. You should go to college.” She paused a moment and said, “I couldn’t possibly lift those chicken feed bags when I get home. My figure has turned into a dumpling.”
Barry pursed his lips over his jutting front teeth. “I’ve saved money for braces,” he said. “This is a good job—Whatley’s pays for health insurance, too. Did you hear me? I won’t do your yard work unless we clean up your house. You have a problem.”
Miss T’s lower lip drooped like she might cry...
Thumbnail: Barry, a neatnick, does yardwork on his days off for Miss Thurman, a compulsive hoarder. The story was a finalist in the 2016 Neoverse writing competition, but didn't win. Read it in full HERE.