First Monday Free Fiction: Angoraphobia

Operation Rubber Ducky by Cora BuhlertWelcome to the April 2021 edition of First Monday Free Fiction.

To recap, inspired by Kristine Kathryn Rusch who posts a free short story every week on her blog, I’ll post a free story on every first Monday of the month.

Since it’s Easter Monday, what could be more appropriate than a seasonal story? And so this week’s free story is “Angoraphobia” from my SFF collection Operation Rubber Ducky. No, the title is not a typo, though the story was inspired by someone mistyping “agoraphobia” as “angoraphobia”, whereupon I wondered, “So what would angoraphobia be then? A pathological fear of fluffy sweaters?” The story grew from there.

But what exactly makes a story about people suffering from a pathological fear of fluffy sweaters appropriate to the Easter season? Well, because there are also fluffy killer bunnies from outer space, ’nuff said.

So read all about the shocking new psychiatric condition known as…

Angoraphobia

“And this…” Professor Pohland came to a halt in front of a locked patient room. “…is a particularly interesting case. For you see, this patient suffers from an extreme form of angoraphobia.”

“Ahem…” One of the interns, a young man with pale skin and shaggy dark hair, raised his hand. Of course. There was always one. “Don’t you mean agoraphobia, Professor?”

“No, Mister…?”

Professor Pohland turned the full force of his glare onto the intern, who promptly crumbled.

“Zach… Zacharias.”

“No, Mr. Zacharias, I meant angoraphobia.” Professor Pohland turned on the rest of the interns, eyes blinking furiously behind his little round glasses. “So who knows what angoraphobia is? Anybody? Anybody?”

The interns exchanged glances, clearly confused. Finally, one of them, a young dark-skinned man with a chubby face, stuck up his hand. The clown of the group. Of course.

“Yes, Mr. Wendell?”

“Pathological fear of fluffy sweaters,” Mr. Wendell said, obviously barely able to keep himself from giggling.

“Well, this is surprisingly accurate, Mr. Wendell,” Professor Pohland said, “I’m stunned, I truly am. Though the official definition of angoraphobia is a bit wider than just pathological fear of fluffy sweaters. Indeed, angoraphobia involves a pathological fear of any products made from angora wool or similar materials due to the delusional belief that giant fluffy rabbits are trying to take over the Earth.”

Mr. Wendell broke down first, erupting into a fit of laughter. Soon all the interns were giggling.

“And that’s like… a thing?” Mr. Zacharias wanted to know, “I mean people believing that giant rabbits are trying to take over the Earth is honestly a thing?”

***

This story was available for free on this blog for one month only, but you can still read it in Operation Rubber Ducky. And if you click on the First Monday Free Fiction tag, you can read this month’s free story.

 

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