A work of fiction that ponders why some people have all the luck…

by: Frederick Foote

When I was six, my mother said, “Lloyd, let your little sister play with that truck. Kenya is only four. Be generous, she’s the only sister you got.”

When I was eight, my dad said, “Lloyd, you can’t do everything you see these white boys do up here. When you see them about to get in trouble, you need to head on home.”

When I was ten, my schoolmates voted my story about the ghost in the henhouse as the best story in my class. However, my teacher, Ms. Atkins, said I must have copied it from someplace and refused to give me my winner’s prize. 

When I was twelve, my sister broke my mother’s 100-year-old vase, and I got blamed for it.

When Amy McFarland and I were almost fifteen, she let me touch, feel, kiss, and suck her breasts.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven. But I noticed something strange.

“Amy, they are delicious, and delectable, but I think the right one is bigger than the left one.”

“Lloyd Henderson, you is as thick as a brick. That’s natural, silly. One is always bigger than the other.” 

“That ain’t fair,” I said. “I’m going to adopt the smaller one. Is that okay?”

“Lloyd, you are about the strangest boy I have ever known. Well, if you’re going to adopt her, you better give her a name.”

I named her “Daisy.”

When I was eighteen, my number came up in the draft. 

I ducked and dodged and headed to Canada, where I lost three toes to frostbite. My mother forwarded me a letter from the draft board explaining that there had been confusion, a mix-up, and a fuckup. Another Lloyd Henderson was supposed to have received the draft notice, not me.

When I was nineteen, I got into college, in part because my calculus teacher had transposed my grade of seventy-nine to ninety-seven.

When I was twenty-five and working for the state, I missed my flight to San Diego. That flight crashed, and there were no survivors.

When I was thirty, my best friend, Ray, was in love with this woman, Tina, from work. He asked me to double date and take her sister, Lisa, out for dinner and a show.

Six months later, I married Tina, and Ray never spoke to me again.  

When she was thirteen, my daughter, Geneva, was vexed because she couldn’t play on the boy’s football team. There was no girls’ football team. I sued the school district for her and other girls in similar situations. Geneva kicked twenty-six consecutive field goals, never missing a kick. Two years later, Disney made a movie about her, and she got a supporting role. Now, she is an actress/influencer and makes far more money than I ever will.

At fifty, I got an email from Amy McFarland saying that Daisy had been excised due to cancer.

At eighty-five, Tina, Ray, and most of my friends are gone. Geneva and Kenya look out for me after my second stroke.

I don’t want to be a burden. I saw Death hanging around my bedroom door. I asked him if maybe he could do me a favor and take me a little bit early. Death said, “Lloyd, you know that wouldn’t be fair.” 

And we laughed so hard I fell right out of my chair.


Frederick K. Foote, Jr. was born in Sacramento, California, and educated in Vienna, Virginia, and northern California. Since 2014 Frederick has published over three hundred stories, poems, and essays, including literary, science fiction, fables, and horror genres. Frederick has published three short story collections, For the Sake of Soul (2015), Crossroads Encounters (2016), and The Maroon Fables and Revelations (2020).

2 replies on “Fairness”
  1. says: Arthur Rosch

    You can’t beat this for sheer humanity and narrative pulse. Once I started reading I kept going: always a good sign for a piece of “fiction”. Fred Foote strikes again.

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