an overstretched tendon; a muscle built around scar tissue

Posted on Posted in ficlets

The last knuckle on the little finger of my right hand is inexplicably fragile.

There's nothing visibly wrong, but then I can only see the surface of it, and the problem lies deeper, as it always does, as it always must. I can feel its weakness when I grip, especially in the cold: there's a sensation of bending in the joint, of negative flexion.

I amuse myself with explanations. There's a cavity in the joint, perhaps, a nest threaded into the ligaments between the intermediate and distal phalanges. It was carved out by some kind of blood-swimmer, a creature with bulbous black eyes that can see through the haemoglobin spectrum and bristling with cilia allowing it to taste, touch, and move, weaving its way past the corpuscles. They take their sustenance from the blood, the salts or the albumin, and excrete lassitude. And they find a pocket, when their time comes, some void in muscle tissue or hollow fold of bone, and there they lay their young and so crumple into death, their cilia drooping, their black eyes fading.

I wonder how many micro-hollows I sport, this nibbled-through body that is their universe.

I wonder how long until that day when I grip too hard and the distal phalanx snaps backwards. And I shall have to learn to touch-type all over again.