Strange & Short Stories
by Cindy Hansen


Somewhere in a galaxy, far, far away, there’s an Earth that has people who have to remember to blink. It’s not automatic for them like it is for us.  To them, blinking is a required part of personal hygiene. We wash our hands because it’s proper, good, right, and important.  But we don’t have to. There are people too lazy to wash their hands like they should. And they disgust the rest of us.

This story is about one such person in the parallel universe. Bob Wa’Xapinoth can’t be bothered with blinking. He doesn’t care if his eyes get dry and sticky.  He doesn’t care if his neighbor, Agnes Weef, has called the Health Department about him repeatedly.  It just doesn’t matter. “It’s my life and she can just take a flying frack at a rolling dingnut,” he growls with a wave of his limp hand. “I’m not hurting anybody.”

His eyes get so gummy from lack of moisture that bits of cat hair, threads, dust, and grit stick to them. Still he can’t be bothered with blinking. If he lived an active life, he might have reason to care, but he spends all his waking hours lolling about his house.  He was fired from his job as a grocery bagger several years ago because the customers were complaining about his appearance.  Nobody else will hire him, so he just sits all day.

Bob’s mom brings him food and tidies up his house for him. She says she didn’t bring him up to be a non-blinker, but…kids…what can you do?  She can’t let him starve to death just because of his lifestyle choice.  And she’d never forgive herself if he ended up getting hurt when he tripped over something on his floor that he couldn’t see.

Once in a while, she’ll quietly reach over and peel the thick film from his eyeballs, like taking lint off the screen of a dryer. He hates it when she does that!

“Leave me the hell alone, Ma! For Gorb’s sake, I’m a grown man.” 

“I know, Bobby, but it would be so much better for you if you blinked once in a while,” she chides gently as she quietly drops the two flaps of furry filth into his wastebasket.


Copyright Cindy Hansen