Finnian Burnett

Author, Educator, Cat Person

In one of my flash workshops, we were asked to take a fairy tale and turn it upside down.

The Seven Refugees

It isn’t a big house, the split-level. Three, maybe four bedrooms, tops. Eric Franson who does handy-man stuff on the side said she called him in to fix a toilet once and from what he could see there were only two bathrooms, though perhaps there was an en-suite off the big bedroom in the back. When the first refugee moved into her house, we thought well there’s a nice thing but when a second one moved in, it seemed too much. Before long the strangers were shopping at our grocery and asking poor Sheila, whose feet hurt after double shifts, for discounts on bulk purchases. The fourth came with three children which meant she had six people besides her living in that little house and we wondered where she put them all, if they shared bedrooms or if perhaps one (or more) were even sleeping with her. They came gradually so we didn’t have time to talk to her before the seventh, a tiny man with a beard down to his waist moved in and took over lawn care and now Snow White plays in the perfectly manicured front yard with the refugee children and when we tell her we feel for these people, we really do, she turns away before we finish our sentence.

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