Jonathan's Summer Job

by Alexa Jones

Thanks to Wendi for the beta!

Jonathan's Summer Job

By Alexa Jones (

Disclaimer: Didn't think up these characters, don't own 'em.

Jonathan waited impatiently for the sound of the lunch bell. He felt like he'd been at work for twelve hours, but a glance at the large clock on the back wall confirmed it had only been four.

Working in the factory was the worst job he'd ever had.

He liked the outdoors more. Being cooped up in colorless steel with the loud noise of five hundred people and machines working was torture. He missed the smell of grass, the feel of sunlight hot on the back of his neck.

Unfortunately, he needed the extra money, and his father couldn't afford to pay him for helping on the farm. There was an engagement ring for Martha he'd had his eye on, and the money wouldn't just earn itself.

The thought of money earning itself made him smile. He'd read that just yesterday, and made a conscious effort to remember it. It was good to remember little lessons like that. They got you through life, and Jonathan thought if everyone would heed that kind of earnest wisdom, the world would be a much better place.

After what seemed like another twelve hours of monotonous work, the bell finally rang. Jonathan moved to the locker room for his lunch, pausing by the large bin at the edge of his station.

He knew if his supervisors caught him stealing, they'd fire him. It didn't seem like it would be a great loss to the factory because they were so little and inexpensive to make, but he also knew that the factory skimped on everything, including his paycheck. Even so, the threat of losing his job wasn't enough for Jonathan to be able to resist taking a handful. They were too tempting, and the stolen goods were the best part of his lunch. Besides, he'd give them back. He'd just borrow them for an hour.

Jonathan quickly shoved the handful into his jacket pocket, glancing around to make sure that no one had seen him. Heading outside, he sat alone under a tree to eat his lunch. There, no one would know what he had, and he could enjoy himself. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the first.

"Be careful and good things will happen." Jonathan nodded. Sound advice.

"Think of consequences before you act and you will prosper." He nodded again, after all, how could he disagree with the wisdom of the ancients? Fortune cookies never gave bad advice. Aside from Martha's ring, it was the only useful thing this job had brought him.

Jonathan happily unfurled all of the fortune papers he had borrowed as he munched on his ham and cheese sandwich. One day, when he took over his father's farm, hopefully with Martha, this wisdom would be important. Maybe someday he'd have a son, and he could carry on the fine tradition of passing down such invaluable advice.

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