The Man Who Heard Donuts by Oliver Buckram is one of those strange examples of fiction that grabs your by the face the second you start reading it and holds you down until the last word, before slamming your face against the book and going ‘Any Questions?’
“I was in a hurry to get to the crime scene, so I only stopped twice for snacks”
Claude Plunkett is a Candidopath, which means that he can hear candy and pastries talking to him. Most of the stuff they tell him is, of course ‘eat me’, but sometimes they divulge interesting snippets of information, making him the ideal pastry investigator when it comes to matters of industrial confectionery espionage. But when the CEO of Artisanal Toroid calls him to investigate the matter of a stolen batch of priceless donuts, Claude finds himself caught in a situation that’s way over his head.
“The Maple Walnut Cruller was friendly, the Sea Salt Caramel Twist swore like a sailor, and the Kobe Kona Javabeef Doughnut spoke several languages.”
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I can’t say no to a donut. I drink 3 very tall glasses of frappe coffee each day and I have lost count of the times where I have microwaved donuts that were stale to the point of them being inedible, just so I could have them even though the filling sometimes burned hotter than the surface of the Sun. Olive Buckram somehow manages to write a story that presents the superpower I wish I had while also telling me the secret language of donuts, presented in a delightfully outrageous (but still matter-of-factly tone) manner that keeps you glued to the page.
Claude Plunkett, I salute you. You are a hero to us all.
- 3000 words
- Oliver Buckram teaches social science to undergraduates, in between writing fiction like a boss. Visit his website, here.
- I would trade being a candidopath for being able to spontaneously make donuts materialize from thin air.
- This story is included in UFO Publishing’s COFFEE! Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic.
- I couldn’t help but imagine Claude talking in Homer Simpson’s voice for some reason.
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). He’s also hard at work writing a book about Mongols in Zastavas, tearing through Asia all the way to your back yard. He has been offered a chance to know the moment of his demise, which he described as ‘hilarious’.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org