Thumbnail Sketch

By William Kitcher

I was sitting on a park bench as I often do, doing nothing, staring into the sky, and attempting to stop original thoughts from intruding. I don’t like thoughts; they scare me because I don’t really understand what’s happening anymore.

I was studying my thumbnail, thinking that was the best way to make my mind go blank.

But things never work out for me.

Sitting on my thumbnail was a little man looking at his own thumbnail. When I looked more closely, what he was looking at was an even tinier man. And that littler man was looking at his thumbnail.

The littlest man I could see looked up at the man on my thumbnail. The little man on my thumbnail looked up at me.

I said, “What?”

The little man on my thumbnail ignored my question and returned to looking at the littler man on his thumbnail.

The littler man on his thumbnail resumed looking at his own thumbnail.

My best guess was that this tiny tiny man was looking at someone on his own thumbnail. This could go on indefinitely, I thought, and that was certainly the end of my desire to have no thoughts of my own.

That tiny tiny man seemed to be rather perturbed. And he put his thumb in his mouth.

I sensed something but couldn’t figure it out.

Then the little man on my thumbnail shook his head, sighed sadly, and put his own thumb in his mouth. What could he possibly have been upset about?

While I considered putting my own thumb into my own mouth to see what would happen, on the back of my neck I felt hot breath.

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Bill Kitcher is from Toronto and his stories, plays, and comedy sketches have been published and/or produced in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, England, Guernsey, Holland, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.

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