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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Comedy · #2289869
A conversation between two short people. Co-winner of The Dialogue 500, February 2023.
Short Shrift

“Someone called me a dwarf yesterday.”

“It happens. I’ve even been called a midget.”

“Hey, that’s almost a compliment, Sam.”

“I know. But they seem to think it’s an insult. Everyone else took a deep breath and waited for my reaction.”

“Yeah, that’s typical. Did you give them one?”

“Hell, you bet I did. Acted like I was really offended and hurt. Ranted on for a while about how hard life is if you’re short and it isn’t helped when people throw around the little words. Had the guy curling up with embarrassment and shame. Asked him the old chestnut about whether his brain was starved of oxygen being so high in the upper atmosphere.”

“Hah, that’s still a good one. And what were all the others doing?”

“That was what made it so hilarious. They were all glaring at the poor feller, each one trying to be more outraged than the rest. They weren’t attacking him but, if looks could kill…”

“So I suppose it ended with you marching out of the room in high dudgeon?”

“Nah, that’s not my style, Bill. I let it go on for a while and then stopped. Told ‘em, ‘Anyway, I like being a dwarf.’ Said I’d been short all my life and wasn’t about to change now. Had a good laugh at the confused looks on all the faces.”

“So they took it well?”

“Yeah, once they’d got over the shock of it. One or two started laughing but I think that was the relief, not that they really saw the humour. Talk about cutting tension with a knife - you coulda ladled out the relief with a shovel.”

“And what about the guy who called you a dwarf? How did he react?”

“He looked a bit lost in all this and I felt sorry for him, being the object of all that disapproval, even though it was gone now. I told him that, being such a giant, he should stick to his guns. He wasn’t wrong, after all. I am a dwarf and not afraid of being called one. I mean, there’s a whole lot worse I’ve been called and lived to tell the tale. Then we left the party and went down the pub for a beer.”

“That sounds like you. You always were a one for a few pints, Sam.”

“You better believe it, Bill.”

Word count: 395
For The Dialogue 500, February 2023
Prompt: This is a short month. Write me a dialogue about short people.
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