The Saboteur – a 500 word story!

This is just a little story I wrote the other day, I had a vague idea about what I wanted to write and just decided to go ahead and try it out. I’d appreciate any feedback!


Brett Hardwick blamed the toaster. He woke when a north-westerly gust soared in through his open window, bringing with it the first few snowflakes of a blizzard which would last for the next two days. He had felt certain that he had locked the window before going to bed, but there it was as open as an unblinking eye.

He clambered out of his bed, scraping his leg on an exposed spring and reached the window just in time to see that his newspaper was missing. Was it too much to ask, he thought to himself, that the shiftless lout of a paper boy could deliver his paper through the letter box? Brett checked his leg, which was now oozing a glossy line of blood. He made his way downstairs.

The toaster sat in the kitchen, mocking him. He dressed his leg as best as he could, placed the roll of bandages on the worktop and set about making himself some breakfast. He glared at the polished stainless steel curvature of the infernal appliance as he slid two slices of bread into its inner workings. The toaster made a vague hum. Brett carefully studied the dial, which was set to ‘2.’ Any lighter than that and the bread would have come out of the toaster as a bag of flour. He reluctantly peeled his gaze away from it and turned his attention to the fridge, which had been unplugged. He kicked it with his bare foot, opened the door and took out a bottle of tepid orange juice and poured himself a glass.

The plug was stuck behind the metal grating on the back of the fridge, but no matter how hard he tried his arm wouldn’t stretch to it. Taking the weight of the fridge on his chest he pulled it away from the wall. With a clunk he heard the plug come free. He had just plugged it in when the familiar smell of burnt toast wafted graciously into his nostrils.


The toaster blamed Brett Hardwick. It watched as Brett wandered down the stairs, his eyes glazed over and milky, feeling in front of him. The toaster wondered what possessed Brett. Why did he keep stopping what he was doing? Why did he keep undoing the things he had done?

Every morning without fail Brett would place two slices of bread inside it, every morning he would set the dial to ‘2’ and study it for a while, and every morning he would glaze over and spin the dial up to ‘10’ as he went to the fridge (which he unplugged every night before bed) to get some warm orange juice.


Brett’s eyes went glassy. He whispered to himself, his voice rasping. He said nothing like any recognisable language, but meandered through a sequence of rhythmic sounds. Almost a chant. He picked up his keys and placed them behind his TV set. His eyes grew bright again.

“Right… Keys, keys… Damn it all I left them right here.”


Thanks for reading!


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