Tiny House by Nancy Stohlman
After the rapture I decided to buy a tiny house. The realtor met me in the driveway.
That’s not a tiny house, I said. That’s a Barbie house.
You say Barbie house, I say tiny house the realtor said. Wait until you see the inside.
The realtor opened the flimsy door. The walls were made of pink vinyl with drawings of bookshelves and framed family photos and a two-dimensional television. That’s for easy collapsing the realtor said. The whole house can fold up into this suitcase—he held up a pink suitcase—which most people find extremely convenient.
The fridge door can open the realtor said, opening and closing the door several times. And your oven comes with a roast chicken already cooked.
It looks delicious I lied.
Yes, it does he agreed. The house comes with wine glasses but no actual wine, of course.
Into the bedroom there was a walk-in closet with tiny hangers and a vinyl bed that folded down from the wall. A cat sat unmoving on the bed.
I’m allergic to cats I said.
Oh, you won’t be allergic to this one he said.
As we stood there one of the vinyl walls started to buckle and he pushed it back into place.
The best part about this house are the amenities he says, taking me outside to the carport and a pink Cadillac. The car comes with the house.
Wow, that is a perk, I say.
Yes it is. You may be asked to sell some Mary Kay skin care products, but I think you’ll find that the moisturizer is great.
Yes, I’m sure it is.
Hold on he says, checking his phone. I need to take this.
While he steps to the corner where the two vinyl walls meet, I look in the closet. A nurse’s uniform, a tennis outfit. A pink ball gown.
Good news he says, I’ve been authorized to throw in the Barbie ice cream maker—it makes real ice cream and other frozen treats.
And the Barbie helicopter and landing pad.
Well I have to be honest—it wasn’t quite what I had in mind, I said. I was thinking of a tiny house made of wood or something. You know, like a tiny real house. Like they have on tv.
Oh you won’t see a house like this on tv, he agrees. And actually, you won’t find another house like this in the entire state—most of them have been recalled.
Okay, let me think about it.
Don’t take too long he says. A deal like this won’t last forever.
Nancy Stohlman is the author of the flash fiction collection The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories (2014), the flash novels The Monster Opera (2013) and Searching for Suzi (2009), and three anthologies including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape (2010), which was a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. She is the creator and curator of The Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series and the creator of FlashNano in November. She lives in Denver and teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her newest book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, is forthcoming in the fall of 2018.