Sidney Thompson

posted in: Issue 1 | 0


This was the type of deal Finance Manager Kim Mickel was still in the business for.  He scanned over the old lady’s bureaus from Transunion and Equifax to gather a sense of her.  Although on scores alone Elnetta Johnson was an eye-popping bullet in anybody’s book, she’d be an automatic decline if he shot her to any bank as she truthfully was, with no valid driver’s license and making only $613 a month from Social Security.  And not any bank would buy a loan with a ghost cosigner, but since her grandson had a license, he was instrumental.

Getting proof of income waived was the easy part.  With her scores, no bank would question the $4,178 monthly retirement that Kim added to her application.  To explain the pesky deficiencies, though, he had to come up with a story, the best possible story.  It was his storytelling ability that got most of his deals funded.  It’s what paid his bills.  It’s what exhilarated his feeble heart.  Why people ever began calling him “Chemical” in the first place so many years ago.

Oh, yeah, thought Kim, considering Marquis’s age.  That was the key.  That was it.  That was it!

Kim made edits to the Credit App.  Marquis Gray wasn’t a welder.  He struck through that.  No, Mr. Gray was a student who still lived with his grandmother.  She was putting him through college, but because of her age, her poor eye sight, she couldn’t drive, so she had no use for a license.  But she had use for a car, of course, and Marquis was her driver.  The car was for her, to replace the one that had just recently quit on her.  He was simply going to drive it for her, drive her to church, drive her to the grocery store, and drive her to the doctor.  You know, the usual.  No, there was no straw purchase here.  Nothing unethical.  The car was purely for Ms. Elnetta Johnson.  That’s right.  For Elnetta Johnson.

But after taking a look at the incentives on Yukons, he revised his story.  It wasn’t a car she needed.  She needed an SUV, something with enough space for her wheel chair and for her plants.  She was always asking her grandson to run her to the nursery and buy flowers and plants.  She was a retired botanist, you know.  And botany just so happened to be Mr. Gray’s major.

So that’s how he structured the deal.  Ms. Elnetta Johnson and Mr. Marquis Gray on a 2013 Yukon SLT, because Ms., no, Dr., yes, Dr. Johnson expected and deserved the finest.


Picture of Sidney ThompsonSidney Thompson is the author of the short story collection Sideshow.  His fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming inRagazine.CC, Ostrich Review, 2 Bridges Review, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, NANO Fiction, Ray’s Road Review, The Fat City Review, and Connu.  He lives in Denton, Texas, where he teaches creative writing at Texas Woman’s University.

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