bad behaviour

Another entry to CBC's Flash Fiction contest.

Theme: Bad Behaviour

Are writers naturally inclined towards wickedness? Do we have wilder lives than other people? Is that why we have so many stories at our fingertips?

In addition to bad behaviour, I would file this under: mean, inappropriate, frustrating, spiteful and judgmental.


The middle seat on a charter flight is a gamble.

Passengers file onto the aircraft like blood cells traveling to an aorta. Husband on my right stares out the window occupied with all things aviary.

Here she comes.

White hoodie, shoulder length brown hair, pretty face. She shoves a bag into the overhead compartment and maneuvers her black sweat pant clad hips into the aisle seat. Her bulbous thigh touches mine.

“I can’t believe the vacation is over already,” she says.

My smile is false. I shift closer to Husband giving me less room in an already cramped seat. We all opt for Shepherd’s Pie over pasta. She eats the brownie first. I want more wine.

Two hours later, after the half funny movie, Fatty continues watching Ugly Betty reruns. Her head is four inches from mine. A chubby cheek now full of gum. I insert earplugs but still hear her chewing. Her fleshy arm against me is like warm glue. I fondly remember the chatty fellow on the outbound flight who asked too many questions. I exhale in puffs. Husband covers my hand with his.

Later still, she snores. A sleeping giant beneath the hoodie. It smells like damp sweat and peppermint foot powder. I stretch the muscles in my face keeping my mouth open in the position of a scream. FAT!

On our descent, she asks me to repeat the announcement she missed about donating to the charity of the airline’s choice. I pretend I can’t hear her.