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Death By Bandersnatch

by Ira Nayman

About the Author: Ira Nayman is a humour writer who frequently combines comedy with other genres, most notably speculative fiction and mystery. His eighth novel, THE UGLY TRUTH, will be published by Elsewhen Press in 2022. He has had 20 short stories published in various anthologies. Ira has self-published 14 collections of Alternate Reality News Service stories. They were taken from his web site, Les Pages aux Folles, which will celebrate its 20th year of weekly social and political satire in September, 2022.


“I’m worried about my friend.”


“Because she’s my friend.”

“No, I meant why are you worried?”

“Because that’s how people are supposed to act when their friends are in trouble?”

“But why?”

“I don’t know! I didn’t design human behaviour!”

The meshuggah hut fabrikant looked so discomboobulated I thought he might try to eat his own head, large hat with the “thirty pence” card sticking out of it included. I had dealt with excitable types before, so I offered him a bowl of chicken soup. Soothing, warm chicken soup I bought from the Just Like Bubbe Used to Make Deli down the street from my office. He thanked me but declined, saying that he was allergic to noodles made from chickens, and, would I, perhaps, have a little tea that he could borrow? When I told him that he could have the tea outright, no strings attached, he said, “But surely the teabag needs to have a string!” I said it was my mistake, and that, indeed it would (no use upsetting a potential client) and went about making the tea for him.

“So,” when that was settled, I tried to get back to the reason the man was in my office, “what did your friend do?”

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