Mammals, I Think We Are Called: Thin

Someone stands on a scale, superimposed on a picture of crogenic tanks.


Number 6 of the eighteen stories in my debut short story collection, Mammals, I Think We Are Called.

A slim young girl wakes from cryopreservation to find that she is too fat for her new world.

Read an excerpt:

After I unfroze, I opened my eyes and saw five gaunt faces leaning over me and thought that everyone in this new world was starving; it turned out I was just too fat for it.

“Not thin,” they said, staring down at me with disgust. I glanced at my young slender body, then up at them: thin.

This was nothing like what we’d been prepared for. They looked like famine victims, but somehow healthy, with glowing cheeks and shiny hair. We couldn’t bear to look at them.

I don’t know who I’m writing this for, really; the wafers hardly speak to us, let alone read. We’re down from our original ten to five fat cryogenic freaks; as far as we know, we’re all that’s left of our old world. But the number five gives us a strange hope.

At first we kept asking, but they refused to explain why they thawed us; they just shook their heads at our mountains of words. We would have to speak less, they said, to practice, to get the hang of it. Of course they didn’t say ‘the hang’. “The thin,” they said.

They put us in a white room, divided into ten sections by brightly coloured, low partitions, a futon in a matching colour for each of us.

“Go out,” we said, pointing to the door.

“No space,” said the guard.

He was so thin we could’ve pushed him out the way, but Ade said they must have some sort of hidden tech to keep us in. Besides, we all agreed it would be crowded with emaciated wafers. They wore flimsy white gowns, but ours were in lurid colours that matched our futons and they’d see us a mile off.

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