Flash Fiction: Kid Work

By: Paul Beckman

It was on the local NY news and later it was online in the Post, so I figured it’s worth a shot.
When I got there, this ten-year-old phenom sitting at a card table with the #5 & #6 subway trains heading downtown, had a line a half-dozen people long waiting to tell him their problems, ask their questions, look for answers. There were others waiting for their train, taking pictures with their cell phones and both the phenom and the client were sitting on folding chairs—phenom in the noon and client in the 3 o’clock position so they could talk into each other’s ears. On the table was an alarm clock and a sign; Consultation $5 for 10 Min.
“What do you know about stock trading?” I asked.
“My father’s a stock broker.”
“Maybe I should be talking to him.”
“I don’t work in his office, he doesn’t work in mine.”
“Fair enough. Stocks, Bonds, or Options?”
“I like options but don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. Do you know anything about
“Buy Alibaba, calls two weeks out tops. They’re big at this time of year because of their ‘Single Man” Day. Look it up if you don’t know about it. “I believe the women in Japan are going to
jump on this bandwagon.”
“Where’d you read that?”
“Who’s got time to read?”
“Well, Mr. Alibaba, how’d you do?”
“I invested $2k in calls and walked away with almost $7k.”
“Panicked and sold early, huh?”
“No panic but also not greedy. With Christmas coming I’m thinking high end retail because the market’s up. What do you think?”
“I like Amazon. They’ll sell more than all your high ends put together.”
“Well, Mr. Amazon, tell me.”
”More than doubled my investment.”
“What about today?”
“Different issue. My wife’s having sex with my brother.”
“You do remember I’m only ten, right?”
“You looking for a divorce?”
“No. I love her, and we have two young kids.”
“Confront her without anger and tell her you want to hear from your brother’s wife that it’s okay with her.”
“There’s a problem. I’m having sex with my brother’s wife.”
“Okay. This is a multi-parter. You and your wife have a sit down. Same with your brother and his wife. And then, depending on those outcomes you and your brother meet with your sisters-in-law and talk it out.
“Okay. Got a stock pick?”
“Netflix 2 week options—go heavy and get out if you get a 50% bump. Don’t be greedy.
“Haven’t seen you around for a while. How goes?”
“My wife and my sister-in-law had also been having an affair with each other, so they moved out and left me and my brother with the kids. I got a stock tip at work and bet the farm and lost the farm. What do I do now?”
“I suggest finding another ten-year-old. You’ve burned me out.”

Bio- Paul Beckman’s new flash collection is Kiss Kiss, (Truth Serum Press). Paul had a micro story selected for the 2018 Norton Anthology New Micro Exceptionally Short Fiction. He was one of the winners in the 2016 The Best Small Fictions and his story “Mom’s Goodbye” was chosen as the winner of the 2016 Fiction Southeast Editor’s Prize. He’s published in the following magazines among others: Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Matter Press, Pure Slush, Thrice Fiction, and Literary Orphans. Paul also had a story nominated for the 2019 Best Small \ Fictions.

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