Why Won't You (2nd Annual Dialogue Contest Winner)

by Annam Manthiram

Why won't you let us make love to you, just once?"

"I've told you before, you're not my type."

"We suppose your type is tall, dark, and handsome?"


"But we took you in, we gave you shelter."

"Had I known what you were after, I would never have come here."

"We work hard, everyday in precarious conditions, just for you."

"I work hard, everyday, keeping this house clean."

"Why won't you let us?  Just one time?"


"He says we should force ourselves on you."

"That would not be very nice, would it?"

"But he thinks you aren't being very nice. To us.  We let you stay here.  Even though you act as though you own the place."

"I cook for you and clean for you."

"What if we took turns?  Each of us on a different day?  That way, it would not overwhelm you."


"You could choose just one of us then."


"Or maybe two of us."


"We could shave our beards, so that they wouldn't tickle you?"



"You really should do something about that sneeze."

"Don't change the subject.  We have needs."

"Why can't you find women that are more suited to you?"

"There aren't many single women in these woods.  You are the first."

"I see."

"Our hands are small and soft, our privates malleable."

"I know."

"We are nimble and agile.  Don't let our potbellies fool you."

"I have suggested that you exercise."           

"And if we do?  Will you then?"

"Have you ever made love before?"

"We are unsure."

"What do you mean?"

"We have made love to ourselves."

"That doesn't count."

"We have had to make do.  It has been lonely here, that is, until you came."

"And what if you are terrible in bed?"

"We guarantee that we will not be."

"How can you guarantee me something that you have never done?"

"We will offer collateral."

"What kind of collateral?"

"We could bring you pieces from our work."

"How many?"

"One for every lay."

"Where will we do it?"

"On the bed."

"I won't fit on the bed."

"We can spread a blanket on the floor and do it there.  Or outside.  Among the animals."

"No, not among the animals."

"Are you accepting our proposal then?"

"But you are all so…. short."

"We would not have taken you to be so superficial."

"I'm not, but there is a question of how it will be done."

"Height does not matter when we are lying on top of one another."

"But I am not attracted to you in that way."

"Sex is just a physical act.  We are not asking for your hand in marriage.  Just some bumping and grinding."

"Will you stop asking me if I do it just one time?"

"But one time with each of us.  Then only will it be fair."

"But there are so many of you."

"Seven, but it doesn't have to be all at once.  A few at a time, or one each day.  We are open-minded."

"This is not the way I imagined losing my virginity."

"It will be better.  Think of our combined appendages.  Together, we are more formidable than any prince."

"I suppose."


"Fine.  Bring me the diamonds tomorrow.  We'll go two at a time."

"Perfect.  Miss White, you won't regret it."

BIO: Annam Manthiram is the author of two novels, The Goju Story and After the Tsunami, and a short story collection (Dysfunction), which was a Finalist in the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award and received Honorable Mention in Leapfrog Press’ 2010 fiction contest. She is proud of the fact that her work has been published (or is forthcoming) in many cool places. Annam’s fiction has also been nominated for the PEN/O’Henry Prize and inclusion in the Best American Short Stories anthology. A graduate of the M.A. Writing program at the University of Southern California and a 2010 Squaw Valley Writers Conference scholar, Ms. Manthiram resides in New Mexico with her husband, Alex, and son, Sathya. So far, she is quite enchanted. You can visit her online at AnnamManthiram.com.