“Better Than a Furry”: Flash Fiction

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Better Than a Furry

Garrett wasn’t what Susan expected. It showed in the way her voice trembled, skeptical and hesitant, unsure whether to fully reveal herself. I waited, bored. Get on with it, lady. These sessions don’t record themselves.

“Now Susan, please tell me why you’re here today. What is it you hope to accomplish?”

Garrett is like the guy who took “How to Be a Therapist 101.” He made my ones and zeroes a little crazy, always waiting to capture the next thing he said. Based on my experience with Garrett, it would be some variation of “But how does it make you feel?” Or “Go on, please tell me more.”


NEXT PLEASE. No one heard me, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t shouting at this nitwit. I wanted her to get down to the dirty or get the hell out. The next patient was my favorite, a dude with a Furry problem. His stories were hilaaarious.

“OK.” Deep sigh.

“I have a food addiction. I…I need to find a way to get over it. It’s…” Here she coughed, a bundle of nerves bound in phlegm. Gross. I was mildly interested at this point. Food could get weird.

“Go on.”

Nailed it. What I wouldn’t give to run sessions sometimes. Hell I’m basically a doctor by now anyway, with millions (ok,hundreds) of hours under my belt. Err, my case.

Susan cleared her throat again. “Well… My addiction isn’t the typical kind.” My virtual eyebrows raised. Ok, so potential weirdness. I was intrigued, despite my desire to just get to the Furry freak.

“Dr. Barrow. Garrett. Before I go further can you tell me more about your credentials? It’s just… I don’t mean to offend but you seem very young.”

Aaaand there it was. The moment that happened with every patient. Susan was no exception to the shock of meeting Garrett. I knew she was judging his wall of Sesame Street lunchboxes, the cardboard cutout of Spongebob in the corner, and based on everything I’ve heard, his most prized office accoutrement: the glass case full of Power Ranger action figures.

I could hear the grin in Garrett’s words, though, as he reassured her. “I am young, relatively speaking, Susan. I know my office is different, but I believe it’s essential to our happiness to remain in touch with our youth. Aren’t there things you love from your childhood that you wish you still had, or that you continue to surround yourself with?”

“Um. Food?” Good gravy. This woman was a piece.

“Let’s talk about food then. What exactly do you mean by not typical? Please explain.”

Smooth segue, Garrett. I guess she didn’t notice he didn’t mention his credentials.

“It’s like this.”

Man, this was going to be good with all her hemming and hawing.

“It’s not that I eat the food. I… I like to bathe in it.”

Definitely cuckoo. What did I tell you? Food chick DID get weird! My digitals whirred in excitement. I loved my job in that moment.

“You like to bathe in your food. Any food in particular? What triggers these episodes?”

“I especially like mashed potatoes and cornflakes. Sometimes together. I also really love to fill a bathtub with hot water and soak in a ramen noodle bath. I think stress is the trigger. Work, you know. Instead of Epsom salts, I like creamed corn. Doctor. I’m here because my husband said he will leave me if I can’t stop. He’s tired of calling the plumber.”

She heaved a deep sigh and, yes, she was definitely crying. What a whacko.

“Susan, addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. You need support while you work through this. Maybe just switch things up. Have you thought about a kiddie pool instead of your bathtub? It would solve the plumbing issue. And perhaps you could ask your husband to join you?”

My binary code stalled here, I kid you not. I had a strong feeling that Peter Pan there was just dying to get into a tub of mashed potatoes with this lady. Oh man, this was SO much more interesting than the Furry dude!

“Doctor, no, I… I don’t think I could.”

“Susan, let me propose something that might help. Let me just officially end our session, if you don’t mind. We’ll go off the record for your privacy.”

NO! Don’t you do it you bastard! I need to know how this plays out! Garr—

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  1. Fun with the sarcastic storyteller/phone. I start to wonder about the phone, a little bit, maybe we could get to know it/him/her a tiny bit more? Perhaps. But the text flows really well, and I like the rich language and words you use to paint your scene.


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