I sit in a building that has numbers for each floor and my name, in small black letters, right next to the door. I walk between people; call their numbers; smile and laugh. The laughs don’t linger. Those rare visitors, their smiles don’t stay; their smiles, when they leave the room, fade away. Between people; friends with all. And yet, at heart, connected with none.
For a change I took part in a friendly little writing competition (please don’t comment on my post over there). It’s just for fun and practice, not for any price or profit.
Here’s the prompt I had to write about:
Trigger warning: This short story contains episodes of graphic sexual violence.
Gray tiles, some already chipped, all with greenish stains. Large sinks, rarely cleaned. Showerheads, large and too high to be reached.
Push the button. Wait for the water to get warm. Jump inside and quickly wash. Make sure that no one else sees too much. At that age it’s scary to be seen. What if the others have more hair or bigger things down there? Just don’t be seen.
Scary age. You grow into it and you when you think back you can’t see when you got into it. Maybe it was that first PE lesson after the summer; the one with the new teacher that said that we are soon men and will start to smell and all have to shower.
I was always one of the first. We all rushed in there, quick in, quick out. Not be seen. Continue reading
On my sixteenth birthday, just after I had blown out the candles on a fairy cake, my mother told me that I was born dead.
“I’m so happy that you made it,” she said.
I pulled the fork out of my mouth.
“Oh,” she said. “I guess we never told you. If not for aunt Kirah you wouldn’t even have made it through your first day.”
Aunt Kirah. Nurse Kirah.
My mother’s contractions started in her lunch break, two months early. She was at the hospital twenty minutes later and another hour after that she pushed my head out of her body.
Like most babies, I didn’t breathe. The doctor gave me a light slap, like for all babies. Another light slap, like for some babies. Then a stronger slap. Continue reading
They say it was me. They accuse me. Me!
They say I was too obsessed with those bones.
This is an outrage. This is insanity. I told the director weeks ago that there was somebody else; again and again I told im that somebody was fumbling with my bones – but he wouldn’t listen.
I knew he was special the moment he arrived. Eurasian male, definitely an adult, that’s all we knew for sure when the delivery came.
A blue plastic box with foam padding, and when I took the first layer off and saw his skull I was barely able to hold my excitement back. That’s something you read a paper about, not something you ever see yourself, not something that you get to have in your own museum!
The others, of course, didn’t realize the treasure. They knew he was unusual, but it’s not their specialism and so they don’t remember a thing they were taught at university – if they were ever taught a thing – and so they don’t understand. Completely white. Bright white, like your grandmother’s best Sunday china. Every single one of those bones looked like a piece of porcelain, just not as smooth and shiny. But even the skull and even the teeth, fully white without a single spot of gray! Continue reading
A light cough. Then a heavy, throaty cough. I still go to class. Still do sport. Still have too much to drink. The pain starts. Itching and a scratching sensation inside my chest and throat. The cough syrup makes my throat explode in flames of pain. A morning with a throbbing headache; two or three weeks after the first cough. I am eating cereal rings. Another cough. Something liquid and the taste of iron in my mouth. Another cough. The red slowly mixes with the white of the milk. Two hours of plastic chairs and blood in my mouth. I open my mouth and he presses the wooden ladle so hard on my tongue that I gag. “Wow.” Doctors should never say “Wow.” Continue reading