CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
At her desk, she whispered to Melancholy, “So, you see, I’ve got no idea what his intentions are and I don’t know if he’s even attracted to me.”
Melancholy whispered, “Yes, I do see the problem. And you know, if you were to simply ask him: ‘Felipe, are you attracted to me?’ he’d be likely to say something like, ‘Well, I slept with you, didn’t I?’ which would not answer your question at all. Because you already know that he slept with you—” and here, Melancholy looked at her in a doubtful, questioning way and whispered, “That is, unless it was so uneventful that it was difficult for you to notice him in bed with you—?”
Lorna whispered, “Oh, no, it was quite eventful!”
Melancholy whispered, “Good. So, his answer would not really be saying anything. So, whatever he’s likely to say, you will still be left to solve this riddle by yourself. This is the problem we face.”
Lorna started tapping on her keyboard and as she did so, she whispered, “Well, Melancholy, I’m glad I’ve got you here to help me.”
Two hours later, she had still not received any messages from Felipe. She whispered, “He knows I’m here; why doesn’t he message me?”
Agent Melancholy whispered, “There are endless possibilities.”
She whispered, “It’s always left to me to contact him. If I don’t message him, he doesn’t message me. So, how do I know that he wants me to message him?”
Melancholy explained that some men simply do not know what to say, even in the simplest of social situations, and that it was like a great riddle to them—what were they supposed to say?—so that silence did not necessarily mean he was not interested in her. And Melancholy helpfully added: “You see, if that metaphorical cat said something to you in Japanese, and you didn’t respond, the cat might think you weren’t interested. But you may have been extremely interested, only you didn’t understand Japanese. Do you see?”
Lorna’s head was starting to spin. She simply got on with her work.
One hour later, she noticed Felipe getting up from his desk and leaving the office. She whispered, in a told-you-so tone, “Well, there you are. He’s not interested!”
Melancholy whispered, “But perhaps he thinks you’re not interested in him, so he’s given up and is looking elsewhere.”
Lorna whispered, “You mean, he’s got a date with someone else?”
“He might have. Because your silence might have told him you’re not interested, so he might have given up on you. The riddle works both ways.”
“But I still want him.”
“But how does he know that? He might think you’re not interested. So, he might be interested in you and he might not. The fact that he’s going home without having sent you a message, doesn’t prove anything.”
Lorna shouted, “But how do I know!”
Her manager looked at her with concern.
She left the office with Melancholy.
 
Back in the living room, Lily’s solitary goldfish, Matilda Smithe, was hovering in the goldfish bowl.
She hovered in that same spot for the past two hours, remaining motionless—except, that is, for the occasional flap of a fin, which was needed to counteract the slight propulsive effect of the steady trickle of water passing through her gills. And this she only did because it was absolutely necessary, it being a well‑known fact (among goldfish, that is) that you need to counteract this slight propulsive effect with an occasional fin‑flap in order to prevent your nose from eventually bumping into the side of the bowl.
She slowly gazed round the bowl at the usual sight of the bowl’s emptiness. She wondered why there were no other fish in her company. Then it occurred to her that her life seemed pointless, since there were no other fish for her to talk to or be with. She felt her usual aching desire to be with other fish, which would have made her life worthwhile; and without that, her life seemed to consist of this terrible emptiness—like living at the centre of an impenetrable barrier which it was impossible for her to pass through, or for others to enter.
While feeling this, she was gazing down at the living‑room carpet when she saw something that filled her with fear; she saw a vision of death in the living room. And this vision was the sight of herself lying there on the carpet. The vision shouted at her—Do it, do it—filling her with dread. Then she realized why she found the vision so alarming. It was because she was about to obey it; she really was! And that alarming voice continued shouting—Do it, do it.
She looked up to the surface of the water—Do it, do it—but kept on merely watching the surface. She glanced down to the carpet, then heard that vision’s voice again. But it seemed that some other voice within her was preventing her from obeying it. The vision’s voice was still shouting—Do it—but its voice was no longer alarming to her, for she now knew she was not going to obey it; she could not; that other voice within her was too strong—a voice that seemed to be commanding her to go on living, whatever happened; just go on living.
The vision of death faded and she was left gazing down at the empty carpet. She continued to simply hover—but not forgetting to occasionally flap one of her fins.

Fiction

Stories from a Leaking Mind

Stories from a Leaking Mind
A collection of short stories. Each of the eighteen stories are different in style but all feature a comic, thoughtful and poetic approach to this exploration of the striking inner worlds of these memorable characters. Read more>>

Andrea Segovia Loses Control

Andrea Segovia Loses Control
Short story. Andrea is addicted to correcting other people’s mistakes, and when she moves to London to meet her new boyfriend, she finds that she has plenty of work to do. Read more>>

The Gallery

The Gallery
Short story. A woman stumbles into a gallery and finds pictures of her own life displayed there. Read more>>

The Price to Pay

The Price to Pay
Short story. In a moment of recklessness I begin overspending which soon attracts the attention of a shady character who watches over me. I then discover the shocking price I must pay. Read more>>

Choosing the Right Drinks

Choosing the Right Drinks
Short story. How do we choose to spend our life? And is our chosen path of any value? Joseph is dying and is troubled by the choices he made in life. Clemency, his nurse, has no answers for him but his turmoil causes her to re-evaluate her own life. Read more>>

My Constant Companion

My Constant Companion
Short story. A man is being pursued by his shadow—or so it appears to him. Read more>>

The Wimpering Beach

The Whimpering Beach
Short story. In a tropical paradise, the boundaries are blurred between love and terrorism—but then perhaps those boundaries are blurred everywhere. Read more>>

Irresistible Temptation

Irresistible Temptation
Short story. An old man offers me some simple advice which I ignore and this begins the adventure of my life. Read more>>

A Substitute Passion

A Substitute Passion
Short story. Many Truman is accident prone when wearing stiletto heels. She decides to wear them one more time and finds this unleashes from within her a shocking passion. Read more>>

The Armchair Ballet Dancer

The Armchair Ballet Dancer
Short story. To the outside world, Benjamin Clark seems unusually happy, but this only masks his inner turmoil as he struggles to live with the consequences of a single reckless decision he made at the age of eighteen. Read more>>

Fiction Archive

Fiction Archive
A selection of classic fiction by past authors, including short stories, longer fiction, and poetry. Read more>>

The Tragedy of Perception

The Tragedy of Perception
Full-length novel. In a town called Perception, the citizens are ruled by an extravagant madness. The novel is a comic allegory about communication problems. Read more>>

If only Cats could Speak Japanese

If only Cats could Speak Japanese
Short story. Lorna Glover does not know whether her boyfriend has any feelings for her, so she decides to consult the Emotional Detective Agency to try to solve the riddle. Read more>> 

Craig Stemford's Imprisonment

Craig Stemford's imprisonment
Short story. Craig Stemford’s life seems like a prison sentence. He meets a new girlfriend on the internet, secretly hoping that she might set him free, but instead he only gains a deeper insight into his sentence. Read more>>

Samuel Pam

Samuel Pam’s Salvation
Short story. Samuel’s life is plagued by strangers who whisper to him unwanted messages of a sexual nature. Read more>>

Shorter works

Shorter works
Short pieces of fiction, poems, prose poems, nonsense poems, or other short pieces of writing that don't seem to fit anywhere else. Read more>>

The Beckoning Precipice

The Beckoning Precipice
Short story. A doctor, who is racked by guilt, is contemplating suicide, but are his misdeeds imaginary? Read more>>

Daniel and the Wine Stain

Daniel and the Wine Stain
Short story. In one way or another, we are all disabled. Daniel’s disabilities are not immediately obvious, yet when he is forced to face them, he becomes overwhelmed. Read more>>

The Betrayal of Jack Baynes

The Betrayal of Jack Baynes
Short story. Ray Herring recalls his school days and the betrayal of his best friend, Jack Baynes. Read more>>

Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking ‘Inside the Box’
Short story. A burden is thrust upon me, in the manner of a cryptic message. Read more>>

A Martial Artist Meets his Match

A Martial Artist Meets his Match
Short story. Jack Hutton was a martial arts champion. But nothing in his training had prepared him for his life’s ultimate challenge, which began the day Maryanne moved in with him. Read more>>

Trout with Celery Stuffing

Trout with Celery Stuffing
Short story. I attempt to eat a simple meal in a restaurant but find myself getting deeper and deeper into trouble and unable to negotiate my escape. Read more>>