#53 Splinter

by Precie, Guest Writer

Hissing as saliva flooded the cut on her index finger, she went to dig out the dustpan and brush. Strange that it hurts more when it’s by accident. Her throat seized momentarily at the metallic taste of blood, but it wasn’t really bad.

The last time she broke a mirror, she’d spent a month in the hospital. Hospitals. The smell of industrial cleaners still nauseated her. Organic cleaners are so much more healthful, she told Mitch whenever he tried to bring home bleach- or ammonia-based products.

“What was that?” Mitch called up from the den.

“Nothing. Your damned cat just knocked over the antique mirror your grandmother left us.”

“Crap, my mother will be devastated.” She heard him coming upstairs. “Need help cleaning it up?”

Swiftly moving into the hall, shutting the door behind her, she said, “No, no. I’ve got it. I’ll just grab the vacuum. You can help by making sure Blunderbuss doesn’t get in there and cut himself. I love him, but he’s a nuisance.”

She made a show of digging the vacuum attachments out of the linen closet while he wrangled said cat and scolded him on the way downstairs. She held her stinging finger up and out as she bagged up the larger pieces of mirror and cleaned everything up.

When she finally got around to inspecting it, her finger no longer bled. The skin was already sealing itself back together. But she could still feel something there, a sliver continuing to wound.


Sam Knight said...

Boy, talk about leaving me wondering what's going on! Is this a side story from something else you have written? The background all seems to be there to bring this world to life.

Flutterby said...

Solid writing. I liked how you can tell there is a much bigger story here, a lot of things that you didn't say but that we can read into. It gives depth to a story that takes up very little space. Great job.

Precie said...

Sam-- :) It isn't connected to anything else I've written. It just popped up for this prompt. I intended it as a psychological vignette...so what's going on in the story is really internal to he main character. Thanks for reading!

Flutterby--Thanks! It's probably no surprise that one of my favorite short stories is Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants." That story is all what is left unsaid. :)

Aniket Thakkar said...

"Hissing as saliva flooded the cut on her index finger, she went to dig out the dustpan and brush. Strange that it hurts more when it’s by accident." --- I can't think of a better way to start a piece.

That in itself is a great micro-story.

More please!

Sarah Hina said...

Great psychological portrait, Precie. The ending stings just like it should.

Precie said...

Aniket--Thanks! If anything more bubbles up from this, I'll let you know. :)

Sarah--Thanks! Coming from you, that tells me I'm doing something right. :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Really enjoyed this one, Precie. I especially like the last bit with the sliver. Gave me shivers.

Jade said...

Nicely painted Precie. You have me with Strange that it hurts more when it's by accident, and the last line really brings it home for me in the way that an invisible sliver might fester and pinch for weeks and weeks to come.

Catherine Vibert said...

This piece really makes me want more! I am dying to know all that happened, before... I could feel the tension. Great Precie!