Funny stories in under 500 words.


Fred hesitated before pressing the Very Intelligent, Likeable Dental Appliance’s on-switch.

“Good morning, Frederick Singleton, “Vilda said. “Was the romantic encounter with your candidate mate successful in the prior time period?”

Vilda brushed Fred’s teeth. “I don’t want to talk about it.” He spit out his toothpaste residue. “I didn’t program you to ask questions like that.”

“All events involving your mouth could have an impact on your dental health,” Vilda said. “Please document how your mouth was used in the aforesaid romantic encounter."

“My romantic encounters are none of your business.” Fred spit out the periodontal rinse Vilda had squirted in his mouth.

“Your dental health can adversely affect your risk of heart disease, and…”

Fred dislodged Vilda’s controller from its base on the wall and dropped the entire unit into the toilet, sighing in relief. He picked up his smart electric razor, but it wouldn’t start. He switched to a different outlet. Nothing.

The toilet started gurgling. The water inside was rising, pushing Vilda toward the rim. Fred reached for the purple flush button (solid waste, large) but received an electric shock when he touched it. The LCD screen on the toilet was flashing red: “NON-FLUSHABLE MATERIAL INTRODUCED INTO RECEPTACLE.”

Vilda floated to the top of the bowl. Fred grabbed a towel and picked her up. The toilet bowl began to drain. Vilda’s screen was blue; “Initiate drying procedures,” it read. Fred wiped Vilda off and put her back in her base. Just before he reconnected the power cord, Vilda’s screen turned orange. “Stop.” Fred smiled and inserted the cord into the socket. All the power in the bathroom died; a little smoke rose out of Vilda’s housing. Fred decided he didn’t really need to shave today.

This story was written by Andrew Hogan, who has published sixty-seven works of fiction in the Sandscript, OASIS Journal (1st Prize, Fiction 2014), The Legendary, Widespread Fear of Monkeys, Hobo Pancakes, Twisted Dreams, Long Story Short, The Lorelei Signal, Silver Blade, Thick Jam, Copperfield Review, Fabula Argentea, The Blue Guitar Magazine, Shalla Magazine, Defenestration, Mobius, Grim Corps, Coming Around Again Anthology, Former People, Thrice, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Black Market Lit, Paragraph Line, Subtopian Magazine, Pine+Basil, Festival Writer: Unpublishable, Fiction on the Web, Children, Churches and Daddies, Midnight Circus, Stockholm Review of Literature, Lowestoft Chronicle, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Spank the Carp, Beechwood Review, Pear Drop, Marathon Review, Cyclamens and Swords, Short Break Fiction, Flash: International Short-Short Story Magazine, Slippery Elm Online, Story of the Month Club, Birds Piled Loosely, Zero Flash, Canyon Voices, Alebrijes, Rose Red Review, Yellow Chair Review, Cactus Elbow, Serving House Journal, and Twisted Vine.


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