Adam Thomlison

Watching the Fish, Waiting for the Detectives

Diane had always liked to hide out at the Chinese restaurant down the street. She’d dodged rainstorms, boyfriends, and a whole range of responsibilities there.

But that day she knew she’d found trouble even General Tso couldn’t get her out of. So she sipped green tea, watched the fish, and waited for the cops to arrive.

The Needles of a Tailor’s Disapproval

The raindrops stung his sensitive skin like needles. And not like the good kind, that deliver heroin. Like the bad kind, that deliver … a tailor’s disapproval. Or something. Johnny clearly had more experience with the good kind.

Kid Commitment Proves Them Wrong

The fight critics called him an “unexciting” boxer – the kind who hung back, didn’t engage, waited for chances.

His non-fight critics – namely his girlfriend and his parents – said he had a fear of commitment, mostly for the same reasons.

When he finally committed, it was a felony. And he didn’t even enjoy proving them wrong.

A Security Guard Staring at His Navel

He got shot one time, and he didn’t like the feeling. Not because of the pain, but because it made him a sucker.

If he’d been shot guarding his own money, fine – it’s something he could believe in. If he’d just had a long and uneventful career, then that would have been fine too – poor compensation for few services rendered.

But getting shot as a security guard hurt like being proved wrong – like finding out you didn’t have it all figured out after all.

And every time he looked down at his belly the scar called him an idiot.

Adam Thomlison is a journalist in Ottawa whose work has appeared in national newspapers and bus-station bathroom stalls, and has gotten him banned from Parliament Hill. As a fiction writer, he's written one book, We Were Writers for Disastrous Love Affairs Magazine, and edited and contributed to another, These Are Not Movies: Screenplays for Films That Will Never Be Made. At the same time he's been releasing issues of the ever-more-unfortunately named Last Thumbnail Picture Show zine, now at its tenth issue and fourteenth year because he can't stick to a schedule. His even shorter writing also appears on Twitter, @40wattspotlight.