Flash Fiction: June, 2020

“Bein’ a slave ain’t so bad. Hell, ya put in a good, hard, honest day’s work and get free room and board. Sundays off. Singin’. Banjo pickin’. No worries. No goddamned boring board meetings.”

That’s what the CEO of Mississippi’s premier supplier of lignite burden carrier vehicles had to say. Every one of his lignite burden carrier vehicles comes pre-bumper- stickered with stars and bars.

My vehicles do not sport bumper stickers. I collect 1940s Bugatti Bentley Mark VI Cabriolets. I prefer coachwork by Franay. Custom, naturally. Being what the hoi polloi call a “Silicon Valley dot-com millionaire,” uh, make that billionaire, does not suck. My house has a Frank Lloyd Wright wing. The bar is art deco. My guest house is a near- perfect replica of Mies van der Rohe’s glass and steel masterpiece. (Mine is a bit larger.)

It takes some serious private security to guard all my toys. I’ve armed them all with .440 Cor-Bon Desert Eagles with titanium gold finishes. Beautiful, and most effective.

My newest hobby, a real change of pace, is my cotton field, right next to my weed garden. Who knew it’d be so hard to grow cotton in Montana! But through lots of good, hard, honest work we’ve done it! It takes just one slave to tend. He was reluctant at first, worried about his “freedom” and what he calls his “business,” but heavier chains and a few lashes did the trick. Well, more than a few. Now he spends his time plantin’ and pickin’. To make up for all that whoopin’, I gave him a Deering Clawgrass 5-String Openback.

We harvest (i.e. he picks) enough cotton for my wife’s assistants to spin some thread, weave some cloth, and tailor some nice white T-shirts. We have our own graphics shop add the ranch logo. Sweet!

He made a run for it last year, into the Honeycomb Hills. Fortunately, by then I was well into my next hobby: breeding Brazilian Mastiffs. Fila Brasileiro. Banned in the UK. Magnificent beasts.

They got him; we whipped him one last time and hanged him. He marched up the heavenly road. He’s rolling in Jesus’ arms.