Chuck Wendig often hosts writing challenges on his website ‘Terribleminds’. This specific challenge was to choose a random song title and use that as the name of your flash fiction story. My random song was by Abba. Enjoy!
Knowing Me, Knowing You
By: Michala Tyann
Teeth slipped, scraping against the thumb’s cuticle. Megan looked at the blood pooling to the surface. The pain felt good. She closed her eyes, embracing the soreness before scanning her other nails. She chose her left ringfinger nail to bite on next.
“You are so frickin’ ugly.”
Megan looked up, bore holes in the direction of the words but refused to reply. She leaned against her bed and continued biting her nails.
“Do you even know what you look like doing that?”
A thin white sliver of the nail hung off the corner of Megan’s nail. She took a moment to consider it. A suppressed smile of anticipation crept across her face; lingered on the edge of her mouth. The loose nail was in the perfect spot; right at the bend between the root and the side of her fingernail. She had looked up the anatomy of the nail The perionychium was the most sensitive place and always gave her just the right amount of pain. It was hard to get there but when she did it was ecstasy. She would relish this next bite.
“You’ve been biting your damn nails forever. It’s so disgusting.”
Megan sighed and turned. She wanted privacy when she pulled the loose piece away; when the pain would finally be felt. She turned her head back and looked into the hazel eyes she had grown to despise. The dark shadows around them glared back at her.
Megan reached her finger to her mouth, her teeth ready to bite into the morsel but a knock on her bedroom door stopped her.
“Sweetie, I’m gonna run out for a minute. Do you need anything?”
Megan looked around her room, briefly scanning over the forlorn eyes before her. “No.”
“Well, alright then.” A soft exhale followed by a brief silence. “Call me if you think of anything. And don’t forget to…”
She tuned out her mother’s voice and refocused on the nail but looked up briefly.
“There isn’t enough blood in your finger to give you what you’re looking for. Shit, there isn’t enough feeling in your body to give you what you need. You could cut yourself up and the pain wouldn’t amount to anything along the scales of what you’re looking for.”
She wanted to ignore it all but there was truth behind the words.
“You can’t run from the truth.”
Megan turned and ran into her bathroom. She slammed the door, it bounced, and slung backwards before settling into a half-open half-closed position. She opened the medicine cabinet. The empty prescription bottle screamed ‘liar’ into her face. She glanced down at the toilet beside her.
“That toilet is one well-medicated crapper.”
Closing the glass door back she looked into the mirror meeting the gaze which permeated hate. Sadness erupted within Megan. She didn’t want sadness though; she wanted pain. A smudge of blood on the medicine cabinet mirror caught her attention.
“You only need another four pints of that blood and tearing that nail off ain’t gonna cut it.”
Megan knew the privacy, the silence would not come. It was always too much, too loud. The noises never stopped. She looked once more at the bloody thumbprint before turning away.
“Hey sis, you got mail.” A red-haired pigtail bopped along as a box flew threw the air.
“April I told you to knock before you come into my room.” She watched her nine year old sister shrug before bolting out of the room. “And don’t throw my things. You could have broken something!” Megan closed her bedroom door, turned towards her bed, and stared at the 4×4 white box with her name on it.
“You aren’t brave enough to do it.”
Megan looked into the daring eyes.
A mischievous grin crossed Megan’s face. She never backed down from a dare. She unwrapped the box slowly; her heartbeat gradually increasing. A growing heat formed inside her and anticipation rose and stuck in her throat. She tore into the smaller box and a small brown bottle slid out. She palmed it, turned it around and around in her hand. She raised her face, met the eyes, and opened the bottle.
A car door opened and shut in the distance. The front door opened and she heard her mother’s voice resounding through the halls. Megan lifted her left ring finger to her mouth, bit down, and methodically pulled her hand back at the right angle. The rip of skin peeled away with some resistance until it was finally completely separated. The finger throbbed. She looked at the already swollen-red extremity and embraced the pain.
She squeezed and twisted the white cap off the bottle making sure to use the pulsating finger and took a swig of the clear liquid. She watched the blood as she did. After replacing the cap, she stared at the word ‘chloroform’ and then slipped the bottle under her pillow. Megan picked up a blue bedsheet from off the floor and threw it over her dresser mirror before laying down on her bed.
A knock on her door and a twist of the knob happened simultaneously. “Megan, I picked up your Proxilin early. I noticed you were empty yesterday. I suppose I lost track of time. Sorry.” She laid the small white and blue drug store bag beside Megan and looked around the room. “Why did you cover up your mirror?”
Megan glanced in its direction and shrugged. “My eyes look rough around the edges; I’m tired but I think I’ll sleep better tonight.”