Bucks Up — a short story

Posted on 2017 November 12


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“Good to see you. It’s been too long. What you been up to?”

He sipped his drink. “Oh, not much. Same old same old.”


“A little. Mostly just enjoying retirement.”

“Nice to be bucks up.”

He shook his head. “I was up for a time, but I kinda burned through most of it.” He laughed. “So now I guess I’m ‘bucks down’. It’s becoming a problem. Had to borrow money the other day to pay for some house repairs.”

“So why don’t you just go back to work like the rest of us stiffs?”

“Well, it’s been nice, not having responsibilities. You get spoiled. Plus I’ll have to do a lot of market research, make a ton of calls, which I hate. So I keep putting it off.”

“Ahh, quit yer whinin’.”

He sighed. “You’re right. Gotta bite the bullet.”

“What’ll you do? More writing?”

“Maybe, or try my hand at something else.” He laughed again. “You know, it’s funny. If I ever had a ton of dough, I’d probably say all the same things, make out like I was running low on cash, whine about it like a baby.”

“You would? Why?”

“Well, in this day and age, if you brag, people overhear, and a few might start making plans to … I dunno … steal your identity and take all your hard-earned pay. Kidnap you. Better to be cautious than a showy fool.”

“You got that right. Wish I had that problem, though.”

He nodded. “Me, too.” He finished the whiskey and stood. “Thanks for the drink. Next time it’s on me.”

“Assuming you’re not stone broke.”

“Yeah.” They shook hands. He found his way out to the street, pulled a cellphone from his pocket, and made a short call. Then he turned and began walking. The evening was warm.

Two blocks on, a limo — dark and sleek — idled at the curb. He walked over to it, opened the rear door, got in, pulled the door closed. The limo eased into traffic and drove off into the night.