A Story by Martin

A humorous tale of love between a woman and a giant snail.


                           Norman by Martin Buckell

Celia spent most evenings at home with her pet snail Norman. Norman was no ordinary snail. He was a giant snail, the size of a large dinner plate.  More at home in the tropics, the oversized gastropod now found itself in a suburban two bed semi south of Derby. 

Celia first met Norman whilst holidaying in Mozambique. Tempted by cucumber, he would glide up and munch while she read Jackie Collins on a swing chair outside her thatched hut. She named him Norman after her ex-husband’s brother, with whom she had a dalliance five years prior. He died limbo dancing on a stag do in Reykjavik. Celia had been celibate ever since.

Not wanting her holiday romance to end, Celia put Norman in her suitcase along with a bag of leaves and drilled a hole in the top. By a miracle, she got through customs unscathed and more importantly so did Norman.

Once Norman had settled in at home, she let him share her bed and allowed him full reign of the house. Friends that came over, would be shocked when they saw Norman gliding across the upholstery. They would often make their excuses and leave, seldom staying longer than ten minutes.  Friends thought Celia had become a loon and gradually dropped away but so enamoured was she with Norman that she was oblivious to their reservations.


One day, during a spell of inclement weather, high winds yanked a branch from a garden tree, which came down on top of Norman. Celia witnessed the event from the kitchen window and dashed to his aide. Carapace shattered, he writhed in despair. Celia scooped him up into her arms and took him back inside. 

The next few days were spent nursing Norman in the spare room. His shell was in a state of disrepair and gradually broke away bit by bit. On the fifth day of his convalescence, Celia came in with a bowl of greens. As she crossed the threshold the bowl dropped from her hands smashing on the floor. She recoiled in horror, looking at Norman. He lay there, shell less, like a gigantic slug. As time went on, she saw less of Norman. Once a day, she would pop her head round the door and drop off a salad.

Celia started going out more. She struck up a friendship with a local pet shop owner called Dave.


One night after a trip to the cinema, she invited Dave in. As they got to her front door, Celia felt a surge of guilt.

‘I’m sorry’, she said, ‘I’ve got a terrible headache, would you mind if we did this another time?’.

A disgruntled look spread across Dave’s features. He pigeon toed back to his car and sped off.

Celia shut the front door behind her, lent back on it and sighed. She couldn’t carry on like this, something had to change.

The next day she woke and decided to end it with Norman.

She burst into Norman’s room, grabbed the plastic sheet he lay upon and dragged it through the house and out into the garden. He lay there, weakened, exposed under a cloudless sky. Celia busied herself in the house, often pausing to look out at the garden. She noticed a hawk circling above. It swooped down landing beside Norman. Unable to believe its luck at the sight of this plump creature, the bird did a double take then picked up Norman between its beak. The hawk took off and soared above the trees. Norman vanished.

Celia fell to her knees, overcome with relief and joy. She could now move on with her life unfettered.








© 2020 Martin

Author's Note

A work in progress....

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A lovely odd story. The uniquely unflattering ending is a great way to end it!

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

Thank you Plasminus.
Clever, humorous and a bit bazaar. I love it, but of course, I'm human. Snails are bound to see it as a horror story. Do you suppose it's possible that the hawk didn't eat Norman, but was overcome by romantic feelings for the vulnerable little guy?

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

That would be an interesting twist!
Thanks for the feedback Samuel.

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2 Reviews
Added on February 11, 2020
Last Updated on February 11, 2020
Tags: Fiction, Comedy, Humor, Sillyness