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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michael K on April 1, 2008

Tax Season

Doctor Wilson led the interns down the hall, and paused before the door of room 242. "I want you to take note of this patient, as his delusions are quite extraordinary."

One by one the interns peeked through the small, chin-high window at the patient who lay sedated on his bed. To the untrained eye it looked like a peaceful, normal sleep, but to the most alert of the interns, the signs of serious neurosis were obvious. One of the interns said, "What form does his delusion take, Doctor?"

"Well," Wilson said, "His delusion began in the most innocent of all places - in his own home..."


Jeff was sitting at his desk, working on his taxes. It was one of the most stressful times of the year. How much money was Uncle Sam going to require of him this year? "I hate April," he muttered.

"Really?" a shrill voice replied.

Startled, Jeff looked about, trying to find the source of that one word. "Who said that?" he asked.

"I did, of course. It's me, Gordie."

Jeff stared at the little bird, swinging on his perch. " talk?" he stammered.

"Of course I talk. And I think it's absolutely absurd that you hate April so much. April is a beautiful time of year."

"But," Jeff retorted, "you don't understand the pressures of tax season."

"And you, my friend, don't understand the stress of being locked in a cage 24 hours per day when outside the robins and the finches and all the other birds are celebrating the arrival of spring."

"Oh, wah, wah," Jeff said. "You're such a whiner, Gordie."

"At least I'm not a big bully that locks helpless animals in cages."

"You know what? I don't even know why I'm talking to you. You don't really talk! This is all just the pressure of tax season getting to me."

With that, Jeff opened the cage door, lifted Gordie out, threw him out the window, and called his shrink.


Dr. Wilson pressed the button that turned on the intercom in room 242. "How are we feeling today?" he asked, leaning into the intercom panel.

The reply came back, trembling but defiant, "I'm not crazy, Doctor! I'm not!" Then, after a pause, Gordie added, "I swear, the humans really can talk!"

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