The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Mrs Norris
by Michael S. Collins

Mrs Norris knew she was going to die. She knew this, not only because it was written in the tea leaves, but also all over the walls and in the sky as well. God was never one to take things subtly with Maggie Norris: everywhere she walked she was confronted by the words "you are going to die!" This was never very reassuring. As a psychic she had started to see the phrase hanging welcomingly everywhere since she had turned fifty. She wrote her will, divorced her husband so he wouldn't die a widower, and said final farewells to friends before dishing out her fortunes to various CASH charities. This was all very well, but now Mrs Norris was turning eighty. This meant either her psychic skills were not all that great, or else God was in a fairly sadistic mood this century.

Maggie wondered if she should watch the news, yet she knew she had heard it all the night before, and the night before that. Half an hour of two smartly dressed newsreaders solemnly addressing to the camera that she (Mrs Norris) was going to die. Which must have been slightly boring for everyone else in the universe. This was followed by the Sports Roundup, an hour long show featuring young men excitedly jumping up and down, and discussing the importance of sporting news like, "you are going to die!"

It should be noted just now that Mrs Norris was not an awful psychic. Nor was God feeling sadistic this century. This was, in fact, an administrative error. There was an error message that had existed somewhere on the computer screen of Maria's (or if you wish to use her old name, Death's) computer. However, with her continual nights out, she simply failed to notice it. No malice was intended towards Maggie Norris - it was all an unfortunate mistake. Which is all you can say about some people, to be honest. Much like what is about to happen to her.

Mrs Norris was trying to sleep. It was difficult, seeing as every single second her eyes were closed the words "you are going to die" jigged merrily through her mind, as if to spite her. This was all very distracting. Seventeen years ago she had visited a Doctor. This clearly confused master of medicine told Maggie to take a few aspirin and have a lengthy lie down. Thirty years of warnings of her impending death had made Maggie Norris impatient, surly and agitated. She was also annoyed when that Doctor, two years after his pat diagnosis, had inconsiderately fallen off a pier in Dover, and been eaten by a Great White Shark holidaying in the English Channel to get away from all the media attention in Florida.

Maggie was fed up waiting for her impending death. This is somewhat ironic, as in a few hours time Maggie Norris will have a heart attack and die.