Comparing apples to oranges

Ethan grabbed an apple and an orange
and decided to finally compare the two.

He looked at the apple. Round.

He looked at the orange. Round.

He stroked the apple. Skin.

He stroked the orange. Skin.

He smelt the apple. Sweet.

He smelt the orange. Sweet.

He crushed the apple. Mummy.

He crushed the orange. Daddy.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

Larry the butcher

Larry the butcher fancied a career change. The early mornings were beginning to get a little more difficult and his heart just wasn’t in it like it once was. You know how people who work in chocolate factories say being around chocolate all day puts you off the stuff? Larry totally knew what they meant. Spending all day hanging up corpses and chopping up flesh just made his evening hobby a little less enjoyable.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

Egg

Jimmy found an egg.

It was poking out of the baby bush that had recently started growing in his front garden.

He picked it up and took it inside. He placed it on the kitchen counter and stared at it. How did it get here? Why did it get here? He was fascinated by it.

It was just your classic hen’s egg – a few inches tall, a couple of inches wide, a pinky beige colour, etc – but for some reason Jimmy loved it. He wanted to take care of it. He wanted to nurture it.

His wife told him to stop being stupid.

‘It’s just an egg,’ she said. ‘It’s clearly just fallen out of our shopping. Look, here’s the pack of 12 eggs we literally just bought. There’s one missing. Now put it back and help me put the rest of the stuff away.’

Jimmy picked up the egg, walked into the living room and told his wife to ‘fuck off’.

He sat himself on the floor, removed his socks and laid them down to make a little nest. Jimmy placed the egg on top and gently cupped his hands over it.

‘Come on, Jim’ his wife snapped from the kitchen. ‘I need you to help!’

Jimmy stayed motionless, silently smiling at his hands.

She poked her head through the doorway. ‘Jim-‘

‘Sshhh,’ he replied. ‘I’m trying to look after this poor thing.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘Sshhh.’

Jimmy’s daughter wandered in to the room. ‘What’s that, Daddy?’ she asked.

‘Sshhh.’

‘That’s it,’ said Jimmy’s wife. ‘Come on dear, say goodbye to Daddy. We’re going to Grandma’s!’

As the door slammed, Jimmy’s shoulders relaxed.

After 12 weeks the eggs still hadn’t hatched, but his life certainly felt quieter. Easier. Less full.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

You know what I’m like!

“Weekend plans, fella?!”

“Well-”

“One too many beers for me, I imagine! You know what I’m like!”

“…Well, most of it will be spent second–guessing myself, I imagine. Taking things too personally and pushing people away. I’ll pop out for a bit, but I’ll be looking over my shoulder. I’ll smile and nod and make a joke or two, but I’ll regret everything I’ll say. I’ll blame myself for the weather, the traffic, anything that derails the fun of others. I’ll hold on to the smallest comment and push it down and down in an attempt to silence the fear despite its voice getting louder and louder with every push. I imagine… You know what I’m like.”

“Cool, have a good one fella!”

© Carl Burkitt 2016

Fang

The other day I met a man called Fang. He had a full set of round teeth. There was not a single spiky gnasher in his gob. It was one of those ironic nicknames, apparently. I didn’t find it funny. I still don’t, to be honest. He looked rather unkempt. His hair had potential. There was just so much of it – a solid straight line atop his forehead. But I got the impression didn’t enjoy washing it. His dress sense was one I could only describe as ‘Earthquake survivor’. The great unwashed. I told him all of this, by the way. Later in the evening his girlfriend said Fang didn’t like me. She did though, I can assure you. I told him that, too.

© Carl Burkitt 2016

No Access For Unauthorised Personnel

He stared at the door marked ‘No Access For Unauthorised Personnel’.

Shall I? he thought. It’s an office, how authorised do you have to be in an office?

So he went for it. He pushed the door and stepped into the little room.

His feet were the first to fall off.

Then his hands.

Then his fucking nosy nose.

© Carl Burkitt 2016