Flash Fiction: A Fuse for a Book by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. May’s prompt is to write a story about a character

playing a prank on another. This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara

dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages.

She also has lot of fun.



A fuse for a book

Chiara De Giorgi

My elderly upstairs neighbor is very cute, but quite deaf.


She’s also lonely, especially at night. Her small flat suddenly becomes too big, the

emptiness of it filling every inch. And she can’t sleep if she’s alone. So she turns on

the TV while she lays in bed, waiting for sweet slumber and hopefully some happy



This is all very moving, and I feel sorry for her. That is, until at 2.00 am she turns

in her sleep and accidentally presses all the buttons in the remote and the volume

goes up and a crazy zapping starts, right over my head. Which happens more often

than seems reasonable, especially at 2.00 am.


I tried banging on her door once, but of course she couldn’t hear me. She slept on,

while people in China could hear her TV proudly announcing Germany’s Next Top

Model. So I bought myself some earplugs, which I keep next to my bed, just in case

RTL jingle brutally and suspiciously intrudes into my dreams at some ungodly hour.

Once I thought, why doesn’t she goes to sleep with a book, for goodness’s sake!


And right there and then, an idea was born.


The first book I left in her mailbox was an ancient and pretty copy of Jane Eyre.

She disregarded it completely, as I could easily tell the following nights.


So I tried slipping a slim Agatha Christie mystery under her door. Again, no luck.

Desperation and insomnia were gripping me, so I tried leaving the whole Modern

Herbalism Collection (seven hardbound tomes) on her doormat. No success. My

elderly neighbor was happily and unwittingly spending her nights lulled by the worst

possible TV programs, while I was going crazy for lack of sleep. My eyes were

bloodshot, my skin was grey, I put the car keys into the fridge and tried starting

my car with a ham slice… I needed a new idea.


One morning, I went down to the basement by mistake (I was basically sleep

walking and missed the front door of the building while going to work) and a

brilliant idea stroke me.


That night,around10.00pm,whenIheardmyneighborturntheTVon,I tiptoed

Down to the basement, reached the fuse box, and removed the one that granted

power to the sweet old lady’s flat. And There Was Silence.


I slept like a baby, woke up happy, and went to work with a renewed spirit. Before

leaving the building, I put the fuse back. Let her call Maintenance!


Which she did, after a week of mere moving-and-replacing the fuse, but no one

ever found what was wrong with the TV, or the cables, or anything.


My elderlyneighbor finallystarted reading the booksI hadanonymously givenher.

I’ve been dropping a new book in her mailbox every week since then, and we’ve

both been sleeping peacefully ever since.


I keep removing the fuse at night and putting it back at morning, though. You can

never be too safe.


The Spot Writers:

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/ 

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/


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