FFftPP : A tiger in my pocket




‘There are no half measures with you, are there Mr Gibson?’

Gibson stared at his slippers, a little boy caught misbehaving. ‘Mother said I had an addictive personality.’

Shame you’re not addicted to cleaning, I thought, but kept it to myself. The stench in the flat made my eyes water. A blue feathered missile dive-bombed me, claws tugging my hair. I should have brought a hat.

Gibson flapped an arm towards the bird, which ignored him. ‘I’m so sorry, Miss Milligan. Captain Flint doesn’t like strangers.’

Flint perched on the dresser, preening his lurid feathers with a beak that could open tin cans.

I looked at the guano mottled floor, the streaks of white and black staining Gibson’s cardigan. ‘Quite. Last time I was here, I counted 53 birds.  How many are living here now?’


‘Mr Gibson, you must rehome them ‒’

A harsh caw shattered the air. ‘Tell the hooked nosed council baggage to leave us alone.’ Captain Flint stared down at me with beadlike eyes.

Gibson flushed purple from his wattle neck to his thinning hair roots.

‘Just do it, please,’ I said.

Some days, I so long for a pet tiger.



For Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. See the pic and try to include the sentence – this week,  “You never do anything halfway….” – in a story of no more than 200 words. See here, why don’t you.

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