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Heavy Debts

“Do you even know the kind of trouble you’ve caused me?”

Jack was beside himself. He never thought, at his age, he’d have to deal with a trespasser … a mischief-maker whose sole purpose seemed to be causing grief for an old man.

“I’ve lived my life, son. Done all the hard work, raised a family. Built this little place here with my own two hands and carved out the land so I could provide for my wife and my children.”

Brock just stared into Jack’s tired eyes, not blinking, not so much as twitching.

“Well … don’t you got nothing to say?”

Silence.

“I mean, ain’t it enough that I worked all those years, that I grieved for my wife … heck, grieved for my boys, and my little girl, when they all growed up and left home?”

Jack’s eyes were starting to water and he stomped toward Brock, grabbed the scoundrel by the cheeks.

“Ain’t it enough? Ain’t it ever enough??”

Brock grunted and arched his eyebrows, questioning.

“And now … now you want to tell me I’m doing it wrong. That I’m doing this wrong?”

Jack let loose of his intruder, began pacing again. He shook his head.

“I don’t know where I went wrong. I mean, should I not have offered you supper that first night? Would you have just gone on your way?”

Jack pursed his lips, looked over his shoulder. Brock was silent.

“Aw,” Jack waved an angry, dismissive hand. “You’d like as not just come back and broke in, then who knows where we’d be!”

Jack wagged his finger, anger boiling in his throat. He stomped up to Brock again, got in his face.

“But now … now you’ve wrecked my home, eaten all my food … woke me up in the middle of the night! I swear … I swear, Brock … you’ll pay for what you’ve done.”

Brock cocked his head sideways on the word “food” and licked Jack across the face at the end of the man’s tirade. Then the big dog rolled onto his back and looked up at his housemate with big, soft eyes.

Jack sighed, then grinned.

“Yep … that ought to about do it. Paid in full!”

Published inFlash Fiction

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