The Awkwardness of the Snail

This is part of a series of quick, mostly unedited, short stories I am planning to do this year. The idea is, I go to a museum, pick a painting or a sculpture or a something, and then quickly write a story while standing or sitting in front of it. Like gesture drawings, but for stories. I only read the description after I’ve written the story.

Hendrik de Fromantiou
Dutch, about 1633 – about 1700

Trompe l’oeil with a Dead Partridge
Oil on canvas
Currier Museum of Art

“This wall feels weird, scratchy. I don’t even know how I got here, isn’t that weird? One minute I was on top of a ledge and I thought I heard the ocean and then the next minute here I am sliding along to who knows where. So weird. Have you been here long?” The snail slowly turned his tentacles towards the bird he’d been addressing. First he notices the lack of movement, then the fly perched on its chest rubbing its little feet together.

“Oh shit, that guy’s dead. Shit, shit, shit. This is so embarrassing.

He slid away slowly hoping nobody heard him chatting up a dead bird.

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