Big Business as Usual—By Brian M. Riley

Edwardo McKlusky Nguyen and his sugar daddy Abraham started SIT & STAY DOT COM, a daycare for pets, in a previous flash. Learn here how their story continues:



Day 12 of Month 5

Oh Long Yellow Pad That Is Dear:

It is I again Edwardo McKlusky Nguyen with a most favorite new pen from Abraham my hubby.

“Happy successful first fiscal quarter, pumpkin!” was what he told me when he gave it. Always such the romantic.

On the pen in gold swirly letters is written, “To Edi, Love Abe”, and my heart oh it fills. Then when the pen it spins there is, “ABE & EDI’S SIT AND STAY DOT COM”, and my heart it drops with the thunk! But why? For just as I love my Abe do I love the business for the pets that together we have made and run all the time fifty-fifty as partners who are equal like Steven who is even. So why then the thunk! when the pen shows the business?

Maybe these words they will tell me as they spill from the pen with the record of today.


 7 Hours and 54 Minutes After the Midnight

In the rush of the morning the door did cry loud with a ding dong inside it. Much like Edwardo.

“Shh!” said my Abraham. “Is that the doorbell, baby? I thought you said the Greens weren’t scheduled to check their pup in til nine.”

“Mph hmph mmph hmmmph!”

“Shit, sorry, pumpkin,” went Abe with the red ball from my mouth.  “What?”

“What I said is,” panting and panting, “for us I now make the coffee.”



8 Hours and 3 Minutes After the Midnight

Yes too early were the new clients Mr. and Mrs. Green of the Green Discount Auto! who were black and the doggie Panther who was brown and all so confusing. But what a cutie was the Panther. Not once ever before had we seen this poofy breed.

“He’s a Schoodle!” did explain Mr. Green of the Green Discount Auto! “Pure-blooded Schnauzers are real nasty sons-a-bitches. But the reason Panther is such a sweetheart is because he’s got poodle genes mixed in!”

To this I did scream, “Then I wish for the whole world to be sweethearts in the jeans of the poodles!”

Everyone did agree and together we laughed, Haha! Except though for Abe. And to write here the truth, it was less and less lately that the laughs came from my husband. So serious with the grump face was he now through the days.

To this in the past he has said, “Well, it can’t always be playtime, Edwardo. Running our own business is going to take a lot of hard work!”

To which I would pout, “But is that not why we did building this business from the home for all the doggies and meow kitties? To walk with and play and have sleepover fun!”

“Of course, pumpkin. As long as it pays the bills.”

Yes, always with talk of the monies was now Abe. Of the deposit and balance and interest. But what of the interest in Edwardo?

“Edi!” Abraham did snap. “Stop daydreaming, huh? Mrs. Green is ready to fill out the insurance form. Meanwhile, Mr. Green and I are going to finalize the numbers in my office.”

“Yes, I will do.” Le sigh. “Edwardo always do.”

And into the den went the hubbies while I did try hard not to dream in the day.

“Baby, I just adore that accent,” said Mrs. Green with smiles in her eyes. “I have just got to know— where in the world does an accent as lovely as yours come from?”

“Well we call the place the far-faraway.’”

“Ooh girrrl, sounds like you been plucked right out of a fairy tale!”

“Yes,” I said with a fan of the hand. “Edwardo the princess.”

“Damn straight. Now you best make sure that man keeps treatin’ you as such, feel me?” She leaned close like in secret. “And just ‘tween us girls, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with stickin’ a reminder in now and again. These husbands of ours, they can get preoccupied with their little conquests and what have you.”


“Their world domination and whatnot.”

“Ah—domination, this is a word I know!”

“Yes, I’m sure you do, baby.” My leg she did pat. “It’s certainly one of Mr. Green’s favorites, to be sure. The man sells a used car and he thinks he’s Mufasa. Now that’s all fine and good, but then he wants to come home and play king of the castle? Well shiiit – guess that makes me the queen, now, don’t it? Then treat me as such.” Her hair she did fix. “Or it’ll be off with a muthafucka’s head, you hear what I’m sayin’?”

Hear Mrs. Green I did.


8 Hours and 48 Minutes After the Midnight

“A real pleasure doing business with you!” said Abe to Mr. Green with a blink in one eye.

The Greens they did smooch and hug the Panther and say, “Now you best behave!” and were then gone.

I made cozy his nest but still the Schnoodle had panic and through the windows and doors did he search for escape. Very sad all this made me as I watched from the corner with his bed and bowls and toys all alone. Even closed was the door to my Abraham in his den, back to big business as usual.

It was then at that second that my heart did the thunk! and I did know for finally why: my dream in the day it was now too of escape.

Then the den door it flew open and out again came my Abe.

“Okay, pumpkin, time to take our new guest to the park.” In his hand was a pouch for the poop and at the front door he shook it. “But don’t forget this – you’re gonna need it!”

Then like never before as a bomb I did explode.

“You say to me not forget!” was my scream. “When you are the one, the one that forgets! No more do you treat me like the number one love. No more is it Abe and Edi fifty-fifty. It is now you and big business and Edi do this and Edi do that!


“And all you think now is—is of—is of your conquistadors!”

“Conq—okay, what? Look, just take the poop bag, pumpkin.”

“Ah you see! Give Edi the shit! All the time with the shit!”

But the bag I did grab and felt something inside. Chinkety-chink the thing went.

Then the front door was opened by Abe with a smile and to outside he made a swoosh with the arm. “Ta daaa..!”

Because down the steps on the street was a pink motorbike.

“Dios mio!”

The bike it was tied in a black velvet bow. On the side was a bucket with a window for doggies. And on the tank for the gas was painted in curls, “VIP: Very Important Princess.”

“Happy successful second fiscal quarter, my love,” Abe said. “Mr. Green hooked you up pretty nice, huh? He had it delivered this morning while I signed the papers.” Then over my hand Abe did dump the bag and out came a key hung on a glittering “E”.

So excited and with tears into his arms I did jump!

And out the front door the Panther did run.

Le sigh.

Brian M. Riley lives as an illustrator and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. His writing has appeared in the likes of The Fix, Page & Spine, Every Day Fiction, Spaceports & Spidersilk, Deadman’s Tome, Massacre Magazineand Gay Flash Fiction.

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