Psych! JK, LOL

Warning: This blog contains spoilers for Lost, The Sixth Sense, Star Wars, Poms, and Avengers Infinity War, and End Game. You’ve been told.

Last week I hit on tech peeves. This week, I’m still on a rant.

About one of the biggest cheats in fiction.

Because I’ve been reading lots of short stories. From all kinds of authors in all kinds of genres. Just to study the form and to prepare for an upcoming workshop I’ll be doing in November. Some of them are amazing.

And some of them cheated.



When Penny passes away, it falls to Kylie to pick up the slack at the diner—and to take care of Roy, the old geezer who lingers too long and never seems to take a bath. But as time wears on, Kylie is set to learn a little something about compassion and community, and about the values that bind us all together…

“It’ll be hard on him today.” Tyler nodded toward the window at the twelve-passenger van as he filled the acrylic countertop display with fresh-baked rolls. The van operated by the senior center carried citizens with no other means of transportation to and from the grocery store, bank and Penny’s Place diner. “I’m glad I’m back here. I wouldn’t put up with him the way Penny does—did.”

Kylie wished she could trade places with Tyler in the kitchen. Away from all the customers, not just Roy. All morning, condolences had been handed out for the woman Kylie had barely known. Kylie just wanted to work her double shift and go home.

Penny died last week, and the diner had shut down for the funeral. Kylie had only waited tables there for about a month, a job she hated in a town she despised, but after running out of money at college—for tuition and food—she didn’t have much of a choice.

The rock-bottom rent for her studio apartment was the only bonus Gainesville held for Kylie until she could earn enough cash to return to her graphic design studies at DeLane.

Waitressing, face to face with people all day—that was the last thing that matched Kylie’s personality.

Kylie had met Roy on her first day. Evidently, he was a regular. She didn’t know his name for the first week or so. She was terrible with names and had struggled to keep up with her tables in that first week. Roy always sat at the counter, and Penny always took care of him.

Kylie wiped down a table and put the dollar tip in her back pocket. One dollar closer to saying goodbye to the cornflower blue walls with yellow polka dots the size of dinner plates and endless requests for refills.

That’s what she kept telling herself, at least. One dollar at a time.


Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on the first Friday of every

month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.

Copyright © 2019 by B.A. Paul
All work is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed herein are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. All work published on this site, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Beth's passion for writing started in grade school with an epic outer space adventure scribbled on 158 sheets of wide-ruled notebook paper with not-sharp-enough pencils. That manuscript was lost in a basement flood.

Thirty years, marriage, two kids and several dogs later, she's garnered enough story fodder to resurrect her passion—and this time she backs up her work!

She currently resides in Indiana with her family and a couple of meowing fur babies who enjoy walking across her keyboard.