Fred Wilbur is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Fred Wilbur
As the crew boss, I was responsible for getting the roof done today. Things were not going well. Jim was late again. This time he reeked of beer and had an attitude. He also shunned the white shirt tradition by wearing a black one.
I ignored him, hoped the others would shame him into behaving. By 10:00 am, it was clear that didn’t work.
Jonathon, Abraham, and Jim were preparing a rafter when Jim hollered “Hey, Johnny boy, do that there tail cut. Now!”
“We don’t do the tail cut ‘til all the rafters are installed,” Johnathon yelled back.
“It will save time, dummy.”
“That’s not our way of doing it,” injected Abraham.
“Stupid, what’d you know?” The whole crew stopped to see what would happen next.
“Jim! A word,” I called and walked away.
Jim followed and when out of earshot I asked, “What’s going on, Jim?”
“I’m doing your job since you don’t have the brains to do it faster.”
“Not now,” I said.
“Why not? You ‘fraid I’ll show you up?”
“My way is the only way the roof gets done today.”
“Jim, you’re done for the day.”
“What? You firing me? Good luck on gettin’ done today.”
“If we work together we have a chance. If we fight, we don’t. We don’t need your kind of help,” I said, hating this part of my job.
Jim stormed off. I looked forward to hammering nails.
We finished at 5:07 p.m.