Contact Us      
         Join today or login


New Here?
Sign Up
Fast! Three Questions.

Already a member?


Horror Story Writing Contest
Deadline: May 21st

Novel Writing
Deadline: In 5 Days

Quatrain Poetry Contest
Deadline: Dec 3rd

No One Would Take It
Deadline: Dec 9th

What If?
Deadline: Dec 15th


Poet: None
Author: None
Novel: None
Votes: None

This work has reached the exceptional level
life's lessons... Flash Fiction
The Bottom Line by jackiesmuse
 Category:  General Flash Fiction
  Posted: May 1, 2011      Views: 726

Print It
Save to Bookcase
View Reviews
Rate This
Make Reader Pick
Promote This



Jackiesmuse (mother of three beautiful children) is a published writer, playwright, and composer.

She co-wrote, designed and edited a history book, which is used as a supplemental text in colleges and universities.

Jackie represen - more...

Portfolio | Become A Fan

Life on our ramshackle farm was harsh for Momma and me; my penny-pinching pa made certain of that.

My mother never asked for much; the old man’s temper was quick and ugly. She had a wish list, sure: a freshly painted house with a white picket fence running around it, a garden in the side yard...
“Only time I’d put money into it,” he’d say when Momma hinted around, “is if I was selling, and that’s not happening any time soon.”
One of the few times I dared stand up to him, he made me lug my toys outside. As I dragged them down the back stairs I got to thinking I might be getting new ones or maybe some video games...
I plopped GI Joe on top of the pile.
That’s when I saw the red can next to my old man. The bastard told me to stand back, splashed on the gas, struck a match and threw it into my treasures.
He smiled.
I wished him dead as I watched my buddy melt in the flames.
The following spring, Pa'd  just come in from a long day on the back 40 when Momma made her plea for a garden. "... I could sell what I grow."
"Ya don't say.” He wiped the grimy sweat from his forehead with his snot rag. " You have everything you need!"
“I know, but...”
“And that kid of yours has three hots and a cot--”
“I’m your kid, too!” I blurted, moving in front of Momma as I eyed the ax in the corner of the kitchen.
“You shut your damn yap.” He swatted me aside like a gnat before I could make a move.
Momma stepped in front of me. “I could plant tomatoes, carrots ... and maybe some  tulips...”
He stood stone-still, arms folded, neck veins bulging while she spilled her guts all over the holey linoleum; I lay in a puddle of pain behind her.
“...roses. American Beauties. Red ones. They’d bring in a goodly sum. Increase that blessed bottom line of yours!"

"Would they now?"

"If you could just make a little plot for me in the side yard I’d--”
"I'll give you a damn plot." He pulled on his cap and slammed out the back door.
The tractor engine roared. A split-second later, the old John Deere was barreling through the side yard, dragging the disc harrow.
Momma ran out screaming, “Fred, no!” as she tried to stop him.
I grabbed the ax and flew down the steps.
The bastard was grinning ear-to-ear as he dug up humungous earth chunks in the side yard.
No, I didn’t kill him--couldn’t do it--but he did choke to death on a crappie bone three days after destroying the yard.
Momma died from pneumonia right after Christmas that same year, without realizing her dreams.
I got the farm and the cash my father had stashed under their mattress.
Nothing changed for damn-near fifteen years. Old habits...
A few months back I painted the house candy-apple red and put up a white picket fence. Mosher Landscape graded the side yard and planted a kickass garden; the farm looks like a million bucks! Momma would've loved it...except for the ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign in the front yard.
The place should bring a pretty penny. My wife and kid don’t want me to sell it “now that it’s what it could have been all along!”
Some people just don’t understand the bottom line.

Flash Fiction Writing Contest contest entry


Author Notes

Bottom Line: The final total of an account, balance sheet, or other financial document.
Thank you Keri Harrish for the picture.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Keri Harrish at

Share or Bookmark
Print It Save to Bookcase View Reviews Make Reader Pick Promote This
© Copyright 2014. jackiesmuse All rights reserved.
jackiesmuse has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

You need to login or register to write reviews.

It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

Interested in posting your own writing online? Click here to find out more.

Write a story or poem and submit your work to receive reviews on your writing. Publish short stories on our book writing site and enter the monthly contests. Guaranteed reviews for everything you write and you will be ranked. Information.

  Contact Us

© 2014, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Statement