Wednesday 30 September 2020

Flash Fiction: Gir-affin A Laugh!

Gir-affin A Laugh!

Written By Casey Douglass

Gir-affin A Laugh

Sandra hated the bathroom window. It wasn’t that she had anything against windows. Or glass for that matter. She hated this particular bathroom window because it was hers, and it was permanently stuck half open. It was a small window that, thankfully, was frosted to provide some privacy. It was even on the first floor, but she always felt paranoid that someone could peep through the gap.

Sandra was a sensible woman. She would have paid the landlord to get the window fixed, but with all of the COVID restrictions, and her job at the pub seemingly hanging by a thread, she couldn’t really justify it. So she had to lump it for now. She opted for the policy of trying not to think about it. That is, until the day she was laying back in a nice bubble bath, listening to the bubbles popping near her ears. She always enjoyed closing her eyes and listening to the sound of the world going by. That morning though, she heard something new. Something extra and something personal. An embarrassed cough, sounding from just above, where the breeze from the window wafted into the room.

She glanced up at the window and screamed. It was a good, full-bellied scream, the kind that really ought to crack a window pane. A long, yellow face was peering down at her, its mouth hanging open in amazement. It was as she squirmed up the bath to put a good second wind into another lung burst, that she realised its mouth wasn’t hanging open, it was screaming too. This brought her up short. It also gave her time to register two, no... three things. The first was that a giraffe had its head through the half-open window. The second was that this wasn’t just any giraffe, but a cartoon one. And finally, that said giraffe was screaming like a human! Sandra looked down and realised that the soap bubbles were doing little to hide her nakedness. A hot flush of anger gripped her throat, smothering the scream and kindling the kind of indignation that fuels many a confrontation. ‘I don’t know why the fuck you’re screaming! It’s me who’s being spied on!’

The cartoon giraffe quietened, the scream petering out like a kettle coming off the boil. ‘I’m sorry! I must have the wrong house!’

‘The wrong house?’

‘Yes! I’m looking for my girlfriend. I wanted to surprise her!’

Sandra’s mind spun like a drunk slipping in the snow. A talking giraffe. All that came to mind was her response, the rest of her thoughts turning to mental static. ‘Well I’m not her!’

‘Yes, well I can see that now! All these houses look the same to me. If only I hadn’t broken my spectacles!’

Sandra covered her eyes with her cupped hands. ‘If I take my hands away and you’re still there, I must be going mad. Must be...’

‘How exciting! Take your hands away and see! Do you want me to count you down?’

Sandra dropped her hands. ‘Oh my fucking god. Oh my fucking god. There’s a talking giraffe stuck in my window!’

‘No, not a giraffe, a Tony!’

‘And he’s called Tony. Just great. Just effing great!’

‘What’s your name please Miss?’

‘Oh it wants to know my name. Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it?’ Sandra squeaked, her voice approaching “mouse on helium” level.

‘Are you going to keep doing that? Freaking out? I mean, suit yourself, but it’s going to make this conversation even longer than it needs to be. I’d kind of like a bit of help.’

Sandra dropped deeper into the bath. ‘Oh I see, you want a bit of help?’ Sandra felt her cheeks flushing as her mind projected images of what the giraffe might have really been doing. ‘You aren’t just a giraffe, you’re a perverted giraffe who gets his jollies watching women in the bath!’

‘Eww huuu huuu!’ Tony stuck out his tongue. ‘Watch a human? I like my women with much more neck thank you very much. With longer legs and floppy ears too, for that matter!’

‘Isn’t your girlfriend human?’

‘No chance! She’s a giraffe! The most lovely giraffe in the world!’

‘But she lives in a house?’

‘And by lovely I mean in character as well, not just sexy patterning and a really long tongue!’

‘Erm, but she lives in a house?’

‘Naturally! I must say I find your indignation rich coming from a human. The last human I saw lived in a messy enclosure at the zoo!’

‘The zoo?!’

‘Yes the zoo! I took Jilly there for a date awhile ago. Jilly is my girlfriend’s name. You didn’t ask what her name was but I just wanted to throw that in there. We saw the humans fighting over their food, getting all pouty and bickering about who had the most. It was all very tiresome. To see you in a lovely house like this... what the heck is going on?’

‘That’s what I’d like to know too!’

‘It’s nice that we can agree on something... am I going to call you wet woman, or will you tell me your name?’


‘Nice to meet you Sandra.’

‘Am I going mad Tony?’

‘What makes you say that?’

‘It’s not normal for a giraffe to talk, or to be poking its head through my window. You also don’t look like one of our giraffes, you look like something we might watch in an animated film. Sorry to say so.’

‘Well you do look like our humans... you smell a lot nicer though, to be fair. Maybe I’m the one going mad. Or maybe I got my head stuck in the wrong window and the blood supply is being cut off from my brain and I’m stroking out! I do have a headache coming on, but that might just be because of you!’

‘Charming! It’s my window you’re stuck in!’

‘Can’t you let me out?’

‘It’s stuck, it has been for months!’

‘I’m going to die here!’ Tony yelled.

‘Don’t be silly!’

‘All I wanted was to see Jilly, and I’ve got my head stuck in a crazy woman’s bathroom window! Help! Help!’

‘Hey! I’m not crazy!’ Sandra yelled.

‘Check mate!’ he smirked calmly.


‘You were worried you were going mad, and I just talked you around into seeing that you aren’t!’

‘Wouldn’t you try to convince me of that anyway? You might be sneaky!’

‘Oh come on! If I’m so sneaky, why would I cough to announce myself when I realised I was stuck! Look, can we hurry this up? It’s going to rain hedgehogs and turtles out here in awhile. I can feel it in the air!’

‘Hedgehogs and turtles?’

‘Yes! Haven’t you heard that term before?’

‘Ours is cats and dogs!’

‘You have cats and dogs as pets? Yuck!’

‘That’s funny coming from someone who thinks hedgehogs and turtles make good pets!’

‘Look, we’re wasting time. You seem nice, but I really don’t want to be here longer than I need to be. Could you please try and free my head somehow?’

‘Can’t you pull it out?’

‘I already tried when you weren’t aware I was here. Look!’

Tony closed his eyes and pulled his head backwards. Sandra tried not to laugh, she still had turtles on the brain. His scrunched up face and trembling neck really put her in mind of a turtle retracting its head into its shell. A small stream of dribble trickled from Tony’s lips. He really was trying.

‘Stop!’ she chuckled. ‘You'll do yourself an injury!’

‘What’s so funny?’

‘Nothing. Nothing at all! Keep your eyes closed so I can wrap a towel around myself, then I'll see what I can do.’

Sandra stood once she was happy he wasn’t peeking, curled a towel around her body and moved closer to him. ‘Okay, you can open your eyes.’

Tony looked at her. ‘So what’s the plan?’

‘I could try some shampoo?’

Tony grimaced. ‘Okay. I’d rather smell of flowers than stay stuck!’

Sandra squeezed a generous dollop of her favourite lavender shampoo into her hands. ‘You know, this is my favourite. You should feel honoured.’

‘Oh I do. And you know what? If this was a film or a story, you’d have to try two different ways to get me free, before the third finally worked? I really hate that!’

Sandra stood back and nodded. ‘I always hate when I see that bullshit too. I mean, how often in everyday life does that happen? Hardly ever!’ she laughed. She began to rub the shampoo around the back of his head. It soon grew frothy and began to slide down to his unseen body. ‘I think this will work first time! And you know, I don’t think this shampoo was even tested on animals either, which is ironic...’

‘Ha bloody ha!’

‘Come on Tony, where’s your sense of humour?’

‘I keep it at home and only bring it out on special occasions, like when I think someone is actually going to be funny!’

‘Touché. Can you wiggle a bit, to help it work down?’

‘I'll try.’

His head moved side to side, sending bubbles gliding down his neck. He also left a frothy snail trail of soap, glooping down her window. ‘I think that’s got it. Thank you. I’m sorry for intruding. You are okay, for a human.’

‘And you are okay for a cartoon giraffe!’

‘That’s very kind.’

Tony smiled, twisted his head to the side and slipped it out of sight with a small pop.

‘Did it hurt?’ Sandra called through the gap.

There was no reply. She strained to see through the opening. There was no sign of Tony. She gave her head a shake as she wiped around her window, chasing the bubbles around the glass. She might be going mad, she decided, but if this was as bad as it got, she could live with that. It was kind of nice to have someone to talk to. It was even nicer to help someone out who was in trouble. Damn it. She actually felt sorry that he’d gone.

The first drops of rain began to sound against the window, hedgehogs and turtles, as Tony might say. Which is a real shame, as sometime later, when the rain had finished, it had washed away the hoof prints directly beneath her stuck window, a window that Sandra had recently decided, was just fine the way it was.