Teeny Tiny Bastards

Teeny Tiny Bastards

Short Fiction

David Duff




There’s been little men dancing on me neighbour’s roof. Saw them with me own eyes so I did. Dozens of the bastards! No bigger than me mickey. The wife says I’m mad, but I know I saw them. ‘Twas no “trick of the light”, as she called it. I saw them little fuckers up there clapping, clopping, ducking; tapping, jumping, spinning; fucking hopping.

Call me mad, will she?

Rain and snot dripping, tickling, falling off the end of me nose. How can that hole contain all the things he was? Fingers stiff and skin pained, the air bitter. He cycled 40km each way to the sugar mill, along God only knows which roads, over hills that were almost mountains, and in weather ya wouldn’t find in a horror show.

We’ll see who’s mad when I catch a few of the tiny bastards and am on the fronts of all the papers. Oh there I’ll be with me little dancing men in their lovely little jars, the world will be looking, and she’ll be choking on them fucking words of hers.


Oh ho. We’ll see who’s fucking mad then.

The fucking witch!

By Christ, she’ll rue the day she called me mad.

They must like music, the bastards, sure ‘tis not like they’d be dancing without none? Have to find out what it is they like. Weren’t wearing no green jackets or nothin’ else like them fellas from the stories do be having on. I’d play ‘em a jig on me fiddle if there’d been green on ‘em and if me fingers worked, but there’s not so much as a fucking hint of it, and ‘tisn’t no set-dancing that they do be doing anyways.

‘Twas like they’d all had hot pokers shoved up their holes. Their tiny arms and legs were being fucked around in all sorts of ways. ‘Twas like a thing them Cossacks do. But I can’t imagine those little fuckers being Russian, sure what business would tiny Russians have in dancing on me neighbour’s roof?

Throat raw, a hard lump of nothing, no words. He got up at five every morning and wasn’t home until ten that night. There were no lunch breaks in those days. He did that six days a week for forty odd years. He put bread on the table and more too, rashers, sausages, sometimes even oranges.

They do be doing the twirling and the spinning and the leaping and the splitting, but they’re a far cry from being fucking Barry-Shovnikovs.

They’re more like fucking epileptics really.

‘Tisn’t like no dancing I’ve seen before. Looked like they were on them pills that people do be taking at the discotheques. A young lad came into me local on them things once. Walked right into the pub with all his teeth stuck together like his jaw was wired shut. John behind the bar asked him what he’d like and the fucking lunatic said “a hug”. Mental, so he was, an absolute head-to-ball altogether.

Socks wet and toes numb, tight inside the shoes. I had to buy ‘em in a hurry. Never did he tell my sisters or me that he loved us. Never did I see him say it to Mam. He never had to though. We all knew. Sure why else would he cycle so much?

Can’t see the little men being on them pills, so I can’t. The fucking things would be nearly the same size as their heads. They’d never get them into their mouths, and besides, I’ve seen ‘em during the day just as much as during the night, and you’d hardly be taking one of them pills during the day. ‘Twouldn’t be the right time for ‘em.

I’ll have to see if I can’t find a channel on the radio they’ll like or a tape or something. Herself will never let me play nothing loud though, the fucking cow. Probably have to wait until she’s off out galavanting at the shops, spending me money.

Fuck her!

Ah sure I’m bound to find some kinda something they’ll like, maybe some Tina Turnstone or Elvis Priestly or one of them rock ‘n roll shouting thingys.

‘Twon’t be a bother.

‘Tis the other bits and pieces I’ll be having to get that’ll be making me have to wonder a bit.

Be needing a ladder, so I will, and I’ll be wanting a net of some kind. A butterfly net, I’m thinking. Maybe a fishing one though. They might go all floppy and flappy when I catch ‘em. Christ knows how the fishes get, and only he knows how these fucking pricks will be.

Gloves too, I’ll be needing those, in case they bite. With the way they do be dancing, I’d be surprised if they weren’t rabid or something. Wouldn’t be surprised neither if the witch wasn’t gone rabid too, with the way she do be screaming.

The wizened up old cow.

Fuck! What am I saying?

A man in my condition could hardly be expected to put on gloves, climb a ladder, and run around a roof full of tiny dancing fuckers. And with rock ‘n roll blaring out the window too. They’d think I lost it altogether!

He had hands that could do anything. There was nothing they couldn’t fix. Them machines in the mill, not a bother. My laces when I couldn’t, not a problem. My sisters when they’d be wanting a hug, his hands could do it all.

I’ll have to get the young-fella to help me. If he won’t, surely his own one will. Isn’t it me that’s his grandad and wouldn’t he do anything for me?

Ah fuck!

The wife will never let him onto a roof. She barely lets me out of the fucking house as it is. She’ll never let the small fella up a fucking ladder. I’ll have to sort something out to ged rid of her for a while. She can’t be here, so she can’t. Not at all.

Won’t be no good telling her to fuck off and leave me alone. She’s not listened to that kinda talk for years. It’d be a waste of me hard earned breath. I’ll have to fuck me medicine down the jacks again. ‘Twill be the only way to get her gone for long enough. Christ, she’ll be livid.

Ah sure, what does she expect?

Having me cooped up in here all day and fucking night, locks on the doors and everything, and me not even getting to go to the pub or back home to see me mam and dad.

The fucking cow!

I was hardly out the door when she’d got the Gardai out looking for me, and the young fella, and the neighbours, and fuck knows who else. What the fuck does she be thinking at all?

“Lost,” she said!

I wasn’t lost at all. I knew right where I was. And ‘tis not like she’d be worried about losing me anyway, more like losing me fucking pension cheque, the witch.

They were in that box now, folded over his chest, stiffer than my own, colder too. I told them not to fold his hands. He never did that. “Folded hands are idle hands,” he always said. Janey Mac, he’d kill me for allowing it.

“No, keys,” she said.

What the fuck would I be needing keys for? I wasn’t planning on opening no doors.

“Your pants?” she said.

But sure, it was warm, wasn’t it!

“It’s January,” she said.

Ah what the fuck was the problem anyway? With the way she was going on, you’d be thinking that no-one had never seen a mickey before. We all have the fucking things. And there I was, practically being arrested, and me only out for a fucking walk.

Oh to see the look on her face when I’ve a few of them little bastards captured. We’ll see who’s mad, won’t we?

The neighbour, what about him? Wonder what he’ll say?

Fuck him!

Ah Sure, I’ll be doing him a favour. He’s probably not had a minute’s rest with them fuckers being on the roof, either that or he’s gone fucking deaf. I wouldn’t mind going deaf meself. Wouldn’t it be a blessing to have to never listen to herself nag no more. Oh Christ, that’d be wonderful. I envy the bastards who go deaf.

I should almost charge him for it. That’d be a thing. I could set up a company that specialises in trapping dancing little men. There’s bound to be more of the pricks about the place.

His box will be over her box. It’ll be his first time on top of her for years. He’d have liked that. Crikey, when she went, ‘twas grand and quick. Not drawn out like himself. The poor bollocks. Him a tower of strength, holding on for fucking ever but not even knowing that he was doing it. He was the death of her.

I can’t remember the last time I was at the pub. It was that good! I wouldn’t mind a pint now. When was the last time?

Christ, did I have breakfast today? I’m sure she forgot to feed me, ya know.

It’d be grand to go for a pint with the old man now. He’d know what to do about the little dancing bastards and me fucking mad cow of a wife. Why the fuck she won’t never let me alone, I don’t know.

Not a sign of those cunts yet, too early for the hopping I suppose. Still, ‘tis the after-fucking-noon though. Mustn’t be outta bed, I suppose. Do they have beds I wonder?

They were up until all hours last night, doing their dancing. That’s a fact so it is. I was watching ‘em meself. Me own two eyes. Me father’s eyes. Me mother’s nose.

Where’d I leave me fucking jacket? The witch has probably hid the fucking thing, hid me shoes too, no doubt, and me fags. The cow.

Me legs do be needing a stretch. I’ll have to get out for a walk or something. There’s only so much exercise ya can get from pulling your mickey.

Fuck it, what I wouldn’t give to be a tiny dancing man. They must have a grand life. Getting up in the afternoons and having nothing to do but dance. I always fancied meself a dancer. The old man would never hear of it though, neither would the mother. The whole parish would have thought me a queer or something if I’d have ever let on to anyone that I was partial to the ‘ol dancing. No one never knowed. No one still knows, not even the witch. ‘Twould have been grand if I’d liked the traditional dancing. That’s not queer at all. That’s culture. But what kinda fucking eejit in his right fucking mind likes that kinda shite. Holding your hands by your sides and jumping up and down like someone keeping in a piss. There’s no fun to be had there. That’s not dancing at all.


What I fancied was something like what your man did, that Fred Astaire fella. Fuck it, he could move. I’d have liked one of his hats too and his suits. He could dress and move, the talented prick. Christ, it’d be a thing to see the little men dancing like him. Dozens of tiny Fred Astaires tip-tapping on me neighbour’s tiles. I wouldn’t be bothered in catching ‘em then. She could call me mad all she liked. I’d sit at me window day and night, and I’d watch me own private show. ‘Tis a pity really that I’ve got to go after ‘em. They mightn’t be great at the dancing, but they’re better than most of the shite on the tv.

Near the end they had to keep him tied to the bed. If he’d been able he’d have probably said it was a kinky sex game, something him and the nurses do be playing. He had the nappies too. The poor bastard. Sure what harm though, at least he didn’t have to get up to go for a slash during the night.

Fucking hell me legs are cold. Where’s the fucking witch? She’s late with me supper. Out buying shoes, I bet ya. I dunno why she wants so many of the fucking things. She only has two fucking feet. And bags too. I dunno what the fuck she do be doing with all the fucking bags. Wardrobes full of the fucking things. Me then with hardly half a fucking drawer for me own fucking cunting stuff.

Christ, I’m fucking perished. ‘Tis fucking freezing so it is. And famished too, I’m fucking starved. Where’s that thundering cunt of a woman. She’ll have me in a right fucking mood now if she don’t be hurrying the fuck up. And where in the name of fuck are me dancers? All fucking day and not a one of them has started.

This is a fucking joke or something. I bet the fucking witch is in on it. She told them not to dance today, so she did. The fucking cunt. She probably has them hired to head fuck me. Make me think I’m mad, like she says. Cunt of a woman. Absolute cunt. Fuck this now for a game of soldiers. I’m not waiting no fucking more and her mind fuck games. Fucking dried up fucking hole on her. Fuck her and fuck them too. Conspiring dancing communist pricks. Fucking red bastards. I’m off home for a piece of quiet.

“Hello, Gardai. I hate to be bothering you. But it’s after happening again. I know…”


“I was only gone an hour and he’s after disappearing out.”

“Okay so.”

“Thanks so much, that’d be a God send.”

“Yes, I’ll let you know if he shows up.”

“I’d say so too, that’s where he went the last time.”

“Yes. He grew up there. I heard they do that. Yes.”

“Thanks again, that’ll be grand.”

“God bless so. G’luck, g’luck, g’luck.”

Johnny Cash and U2’s “The Wanderer”, I put that on once after collecting him. I was taking the piss. I had to. It was the only way of coping. Ya had to laugh. He’d us all going half loopy. He was worse than any cat or dog we ever owned. It’s a blessing to know it’s over.


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