Funny stories in under 500 words.

Flat as a Pancake

Pancakes will never be the same again. This story was written by Jane Swan, who lives on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. She writes flash fiction and short stories and is the newsletter editor for her local writing group. Jane likes walking on the beach to fight the effects of eating too much chocolate. It doesn't work.
Don’t look down is good advice. Presumably because the adviser wouldn’t say it unless there is reasonable cause. So I bridle a little when I do look down, having not been warned otherwise. Anyway who wouldn’t take just a little peek? I am curious.

My right breast is clamped into a mammogram machine. The radiographer, who sees hundreds of squashed tits every year may not be impressed, but I am. And mortified. My breast is a flat, thin, white disc the shape of a supersized plate in a cheap diner.

The psychological pain of seeing myself, really seeing the size of my bosom is more acute than the physical discomfort.

Am I really so monstrous? And is it safe to inflict such torture on my poor innocent flesh? Tissue that was only minutes before joggling unaware along the road to the mobile breast screening van.

I had heard the horror stories of course, mainly from my less amply endowed friends. Tales of crushing and squashing which caused weeping, bruising and the taking of painkillers, before and after. But I had never heard anyone speak of the grief of seeing one of the twins leering up at you like bloodless road-kill.

Then I wonder. What if the radiographer should drop dead while at the controls and I am left pinned like an insect on a dissecting board? Would my cries for help be heard? Would the bombardment of my boob be stopped before it blackened like an overcooked pizza?

I have made a fatal error and pray this busty flight doesn’t crash. The business of relaxing. Ha! Leaning forward, positioning shoulder and neck just so, has made me quite forget the First Law of Travel - always note the exit.

As my second plate cooks I also realise, while wincing, that I had planned to go bra shopping this afternoon as a treat for my poor ravaged tits. But where am I to find a garment to fit flattened frisbees? And if I managed to find a corsetier who specialised in such brassieres would I then ever again be able to reach the steering wheel?

I wobble into the changing room. When I emerge into the waiting room two other victims are waiting. One is big like me. The other, flat as a pancake, but that phrase doesn’t seem to hold the same meaning anymore.


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