A Controlling Interest


Called off again! Still insufficient snow for skiing. My parents were visiting a museum. Back to the hotel!
For no reason, I went round the back and peered through our dining room window. I was surprised to see my parents, turned away, fortunately, and my sister Judy comatose on the table. Dad was holding Judy’s head up and Mum was unscrewing the top off it, revealing a brain cover and a small connected device. I hid behind a chair against the window, listening.
“I’m sorry Fiona but I didn’t pay a small fortune to tolerate her foul language and provocative behaviour!”
“Yes, dear.”
“It says, ‘To moderate unruly behaviour, turn screw D a little clockwise.’ ”
“OK dear, pass me the screwdriver.”
I returned after a long, thoughtful walk. “Hello mum, how was the museum?”
“Oh, there was a problem. We didn’t go.”
I stared into the bathroom mirror, touching a faint line across my forehead.
Judy knocked. “Hurry up!”
I opened the door. “What’s the rush?”
“I’m going out, I wanna get laid. That’s after I get pissed!”
Dad appeared. “Judy, language!” Then, “Fiona!”
Mum arrived. “I’m sorry dear, I get so confused between clockwise and anti-clockwise!”

Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories

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