Autumn 2015 / Short Story and Poetry Contest

Runner-up and readers’ favourite in the 2015 U of T Magazine Flash Fiction Contest

Mary had a fall, so she called me, “Help, I need you!” Later, as I sat on the edge of her bed fingering the coarseness of a blue wool cover, she confided, “A bear came into my room last night.”

“How did he get in?”

“Through the keyhole.”

“What happened then?”

“He stayed the night snorting and huffing; his breath reeked all over me. I was so scared.”

“Well, if he comes back, just shout, ‘GO AWAY!’ ”

On the following visit, I asked whether the bear had returned. “Yes,” she said, “he came in through the keyhole. I ordered him to go away, and he squeezed back out.”

“What happened then?”

“Seven sheep stepped in through the keyhole, one after the other.”

“What did you do?”

She replied brightly, “I like sheep. I let them stay, and they kept me warm in my bed all night.”

Marina Martin (formerly Idema), who graduated in 1968 with a diploma in Physical and Occupational Therapy, is the author of a book of poetry: Breathing Water (2012). She is currently working on a book of non-fiction stories.

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