Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Sin... the extra finger...

She went to great trouble to always keep her left hand hidden, until the fateful day when she fell and put her hand out to save herself.

Then everybody could see that tiny extra finger.

"Freak." That's what they called her after that. Or "Mutant." Not as an insult, but as a name. Like Fred or Mary or Jemima.

Granted you didn't often hear the name Jemima. Except as a Puddleduck, perhaps. We had one in here some time ago. A Jemima. She didn't last long. She kept staring at me, an accusing look in her eyes. To my knowledge I had never met her before. I'd remember a name like that, surely. I don't know what she blamed me for (perhaps her name?) but I kept out of her way. She'd just sit there, anyway. Sit and watch. Her eyes would throw their daggers like a circus act in the Big Top, and I could almost feel the balloons popping by my head and between my legs.

No applause, please, Ladees 'n' Germs! She's doing this without the aid of a safety net!

Before she could replace those imaginary weapons with real ones, Jemima was no longer. She was absent, never to be seen again. I didn't know what her particular brand of Crazy was, nor did I care. But it was nice to not have to dodge the daggers.

Jemima, apart from her obsessive malevolence towards me, was normal. As 'normal' as a mental patient can be, anyway.

And Freak? Mutant?

I preferred to call her Abby. It was her name, after all. In most cases, the names you were given in here were humorous or descriptive. Mucous Micky. Bender Benny. Nothing was, usually, meant maliciously. Even, in all honesty, Mutant Freak from Mars. It was just a nickname. Not nasty, not spiteful, just there.

But it made her cry. I didn't like that. Often, tears will fuel, rather than extinguish, the fire and people will twist the knife that the name-calling has impaled all the more, leaving a wound that will never heal. And, again, it's with no particularly vindictive intent. Not always, at least. But I'm not like that. We all know I'm no saint. Ask the dead that haunt me each night, twisting their own knives. But I could see, the way she'd hidden that hand, disguised that finger, that she'd had her unfair share of taunts in her life. Why would I want to add to that?

I was called Sin. A kicking each day and twice on Fridays (one for luck, you see). I had the standard number of fingers, toes, heads etc., but I still had a name that invited the fists and the phlegm.

So I called her Abby.

After a while, Abby didn't react to the names. Freak didn't bring a tear. Mutant failed to raise a sob. She answered to them as if her parents had had a similar sense of humour to my own and had signed the birth certificate themselves. But I knew, I understood, that the knife still twisted. The wound grew.

Eventually, it can grow so big, there's more rent than real. Rent as in gash, rather than as in dues to pay - though sometimes it might feel like that. Eventually, the wound can feel as if it's all you are. You have to be your own bandage. You bind the hole with a blind eye and hope it will heal. Sometimes it will.


Sometimes you lock yourself away in an asylum and cry havoc so the dogs of war will administer the drugs.

Trust me, it doesn't work.

Abby. She bound the wounds with herself. She became wrapped up in a cocoon of self-consciousness that created a wall between her Self and her sanity. The two gazed at each other over an abyss of Abbiness that neither could circumvent. To everyone else, Abby was just quiet. Didn't speak much. Bit boring really. To me, she was a spark extinguished.

I hoped, I really did hope, that I didn't follow her lead.

I didn't have an extra finger. I had something much less visible, yet so much more terrible.

I had me.


  1. Love it!! This is a great idea for a story. Very intriguing for sure.

  2. Glad you like it Dianna! Check out the book that this blog compliments. This is Sin's diary from within the asylum. The book tells of why he's there, and what happens when he escapes.....