White Hat-Black Hat

By Jim Freeze

Being human, I am really good at ignoring warnings and believe I have just enough rascal in me to be the proverbial exception to the rule. What rule you ask? All of them, or at least most of them that concern law and order and life in general.

My name is Lucas Badger, 35 years old, single, but with a girlfriend and I think there’s a kid out there somewhere who I’m probably responsible for.

I am an independent contractor working in the new home building construction trade. Okay, I’m really just a carpenter who subcontracts out to builders on a daily basis. I guess you would call me self-employed, but I’m not very good at business, so it’s been at least six years since I paid any income taxes. Other than that I’m a pretty good fella, don’t lie too much or cheat or get greedy on my invoices for the general contractor. Every day when I get up I strive to get the day started with the right excuses in hand. Now I know that sounds underhanded, but I seem to be driven by my desires and bad habits, so I want to be ready if problems arise.

Lucy, my current girlfriend, is the serious type. That tends to bother me because it makes her look sad and sort of worried a lot. But she knows I love Eastern North Carolina barbecue with vinegar-based sauce so she’s good at keeping plenty on hand most of the time.

I think I love Lucy and here’s the reason why. When I asked her to go to the dirt track races over in Unionville on Friday night, she got this sexy looking curve in her lips, which turned into a smile and then she nodded and said, “I’ll be happy to go with you.” Of course, another reason is that she’s a real looker. You should see how she occupies all the old men’s attention at those races on Friday night.

A problem developed last Friday night when Lucy gained the attention of a younger guy. I noticed him looking at her and Lucy returning his flirting. Before I knew it, Lucy was gone, nowhere to be found. Lucy called yesterday to let me know our relationship status had been terminated. I think I know what she means. I’m going to have to go get my own barbecue sandwiches from now on.

There was a time when men didn’t air their crap to the world like I’m doing now. But I’ve been looking for a new woman without much luck. Sometimes I’m just not good for other people, just not good to be around. You know what I mean? Sorry, I tend to drift when I’ve had a few too many. Well, I guess that’s all for right now and maybe we’ll talk some later, but I’m tired, so bye to you, Mr. Barkeep.


Jim is seventy years old and retired. He has been happily married for fifty-one years and has two grown sons. He began writing in early 2012 to have something to do. His short stories have been featured in several publications including: Brilliant Flash Fiction, Calliope Magazine, and The Original Writer.

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2 Responses to White Hat-Black Hat

  1. Kitty says:

    Well done. Enjoy anything remotely associated with a cowboy’s voice and you have it. Just a simple short tale that speaks volumes. Bravo

  2. Kerry White says:

    Love the character development . Guy would make an outrageous neighbor.

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