You Waited Six Damn Months For Your Newly Upholstered Armchair and Now This

Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash

by Anika Carpenter

Your newly upholstered armchair has been expanding since the moment it was finally delivered, it is now the size of a small elephant and clamber as you might you cannot reach the seat. Griping, irritable as men stuffed with red meat and port tend to be, you call the upholster. ‘Rub it, like you would a child with belly ache,’ she tells you.

‘And who will sooth me,’ you scream back, slamming down the phone to run and fetch a knife. There is no satisfying rush of air when you stab at the embroidered linen, there is not the gratifying pop you hoped for. 

Through the tear you made in the fabric, stuffing escapes, drops to the floor, twists and spasms like a poisoned rat, that grows into the form of a gargantuan woman, who gathers priceless ornaments in her skirts, snatches paintings from the walls and shoves them down her blouse, marches out of the house with everything you prize save your newly upholstered armchair.


Anika Carpenter’s stories have been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and the Bridport Prize. You can find links to her stories at


Recent Stories