256 Words

Fighting Your Instincts

M. Stanley Bubien

Even if you've never touched one before, you've got some instinct inside you that knows when your hand's inside a toilet. I was blindfolded but that instinct was firing away like crazy.

There's another instinct---comes from your hand---that screams, "GET ME OUTTA HERE!"

"What's the matter, pledge?" a fraternity brother's voice beside me chided. "You don't trust your brothers?"

I grimaced and pushed my hand back into the bowl---guess that's what separates men from animals, the ability to fight your instincts.

"Deeper!" the voice ordered.

Mumbling under my breath, I complied. I was almost up to my forearm when I felt something soft.

"Pledge!" the voice yelled before my instincts took over again. "Don't remove your hand!"

My teeth clenched. Everything inside was telling me to rip my arm out of the water, tear the blindfold off, and run like hell away from here. Well, almost everything. A tiny thought reminded me I'd worked my ass off to get here and I couldn't throw it all away now.

Could I?

"Grab it!" the command came.

My hand obeyed, crushing the gruesome softness between it's fingers.

"Now smell it."

I bolted upright---that instinct again.

"What?" the voice screamed, "don't you trust your brothers?"

Slowly, I lifted my hand to my face---but held my breath.

"Smell it!"

Brow furling below the blindfold, I took a hesitant sniff, and instantly, I knew what it was---a banana!

"Trust your brothers!" a calm voice told me.

With a huge sigh of relief, I nodded agreement.

Based on a true story.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact the editor for free text versions of this very short story formatted for e-mail, usenet news, or ftp.

Story Bytes


June, 1997
Issue #14

256 Words