Featured Fiction
Sleeping with Samantha Thompson: Just a Bunch of Animals
// Samantha Thompson

“Dude, your toque has a spelling mistake on it,” a guy laughed as he walked by. “It says, ‘Smile if Y-O-U-R horny’! Don’t you work for a newspaper? How embarrassing!”

Worked, I thought angrily. Past tense. My future in journalism would probably be over as soon as I got up to the office. I still couldn’t believe I’d missed such an important story – at this point, a spelling mistake on my toque was the least of my worries.

I walked slowly up the hill and opened the door to the office. One of the editors was inside, but I awkwardly couldn’t remember her name. I knew it reminded me of some sort of animal, but the mental connections ended there. She barely looked up as I walked in and sat down.

“Hey, how’s it going?” I said, talking too quickly. “You wouldn’t believe the day I’ve had! I missed the most important story, and almost got run over, and they made my coffee wrong, and …”

I took a step back, startled. Who talks to another human being like that? My retort was interrupted by her cell phone ringing.

It lit up, brassily trilling My Heart Will Go On. “I have to take this!” she practically shouted, grabbing her phone and slamming the door behind her. Well fine, I thought. Leave me in my moment of need.

I watched her through the window. She was pacing back and forth, talking solemnly into her phone. With my superior lip-reading skills, I could tell it was something serious. She saw me watching, though, and gave me a death-stare. Then she pulled a furry mass of fabric out of her back pocket, and as she shook it out it took the form of some sort of animal. The fur was a little matted, but the wrinkly face and defined features left no room for doubt: it was a monkey mask.

She pulled it on over her face, and where a girl once stood was now a monkey with the body of a woman. With the monkey mask on, I was no longer able to lip-read what she was saying. Great, now on top of everything else, I had to cope with loneliness. The monkey-girl hung up her phone, and I quickly moved away from the window. The monkey walked into the office, and even without seeing her real face I could tell something horrible had happened.

“My hamster died,” she said.

Oh, fuck. What was I supposed to say to that?

“Um, I’m really sorry to hear that?”

I replied, wincing at the cliché and my own up-talking.

“Damn right you are.”

She stood up and, wiping away the beginnings of tears, punched a hole in the wall. Grabbing her monkey mask, she pulled it over her face once again, shoved through the door, and ran down the hill. Away from the office, away from the school, away from me.

// Samantha Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
// Illustration by JJ Brewis

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com