The Short Humour Site

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

Writers' Showcase

Cologne and Cheerios
by Erin Theisen

The first thing I notice when I wake up, before I even open my eyes, is that it’s sunny. I squeeze my eyes shut to see if that fixes the problem, but it doesn’t. All it does is alert me to the headache resting somewhere behind my eyes.

I open my eyes and narrow them at my offending window. My blinds are flush up against the top of the window frame. I never forget to put my blinds down before I sleep. For this reason. Morning sun isn’t kind to light sleepers. Or to those who had a few too many the night before.

I roll over and groan, and notice that the other side of my bed is rumpled and smells suspiciously of crisp cologne and perspiration. Sandalwood and sweat. Ew.

I roll over again and my cell rings. It’s absurdly loud for this hour of the morning, and my custom ring tone – which I shelled out $2 for – sounds like bleating sheep. I knock it off the nightstand instead of grabbing it, and then lurch down to snatch it from the floor. Bad idea. I wind up falling out of bed and swear before I flip open the phone.

“What?” I say rudely, because I saw the caller ID and know Tammy won’t mind.

“Morning sunshine. How’d you sleep?”

Ugh. There’s a little giggle in her voice and I know she’s mocking me.

“That good huh?” she says, and I realize I didn’t answer out loud.


“Right. Well, you left your camera over here last night. I think Ryan stole it and took some pictures. There’s some really special ones of…well you’ll see when you get it back.”

“What happened?” Flashes of Tammy’s party come back to me. A going away party for one of our mutual friends, which included lots of friends who weren’t so mutual.

“You and Pete hit it off.”

Oh. That explained the cologne. But where was Pete, if we got along so well?

“He’s not here.”

“No. He’s a douche. I meant to tell you but you’d already left.”

“Thanks. Who invited him then?” I manage to get to my feet and stumble across the stained carpet in my bedroom, the padding of which has long since disintegrated. No sounds of life from the rest of the apartment beyond the door. I skulk around like I’m afraid of someone – I don’t know who – jumping out with a steak knife.

“I dunno, friend of a friend. Wanna get lunch? I can bring your camera.”

“Huh?” I’ve already forgotten about the camera. Almost forgot about the phone, too.

“Lunch, you know, that meal people eat halfway between waking up and collapsing.”

“Let’s skip to the collapsing,” I say as I round the corner into my kitchen.

Tammy laughs. “Usual place at noon?”

My kitchen looks wrong. A cupboard is ajar, and there’s a half-eaten bowl of Cheerios on the table. The rest of the box is tipped over and dotted with milk splatters.

“Son of a -!”

“What?” Tammy says, confused.

The bastard seduced me, ate my food, and then left a mess. Literally.

“I’m never going to one of your parties again.”