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Bug Bones

by Starlight Tucker about a month ago in Short Story · updated about a month ago
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I'm so glad you woke me up. I was having a very disturbing dream.

Bug Bones
Photo by John Silliman on Unsplash

I’m so glad you woke me up. I was having a very disturbing dream. Clutter your mind too tightly and watch the confusion pull your dreams to the trenches where dead bugs and discarded bones lie. I do not remember falling asleep.

By Tyler Chandler on Unsplash

Deep-green walls in the early morning darken the hue of the spacious and old kitchen. My roommates block the coffee machine in quiet commotion.

I pick up a coffee mug, but gasp when my eye catches a patch of dark irregular streaks on my arm- black streaks of different lengths and thickness transparently encased underneath my skin. I thought in horror, leeches! No one responds to my gasp or the shift in my demeanor, so I wryly turn towards the sink and want nothing but to hide it from everyone in the room. My breath is short as I writhe within my own being.

The light reflecting off of a needle thin as a stand of hair catches my eye on the counter. It disappears from the counter and appears in my hand. Everyone has left the room.

By Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

I place my arm on the counter. Looking closely at the dry skin blanketing the still creatures, I use the object to gently dig away at the dry skin until a bloodless opening allows me to use the needle to push the figure towards it. It scrunches up until a black edge is pullable, so I pinch the small creature and pull, but instead of the bug, out comes a bone that looks like a long thin skeleton finger.

By Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Leeches don’t have bones. Bugs don’t have bones.

I hear it clunk to the ground, but it vanishes as I attempt to locate and observe it down on the oak floor. I look to the area on my arm where I’d pulled it out, and it appears as though nothing ever happened. However, I am petrified to notice more in different areas on this same arm.

By Sabina Music Rich on Unsplash

It remains my will to discreetly remove them and show a physician afterwards. In respect to this, Rubbing alcohol conveniently appears on the counter with four cotton balls. If these strange alien parasites were alive, this would hopefully poison them.

On the outer edge of the same left arm, I create another opening, pressed down firmly with a saturated cotton ball, and pulled out another bone that was a bit longer than the last, but otherwise identical. I threw it down but did not see it drop to the floor. Once again, the spot on my skin appeared unaffected. I found four more on that left arm, a bit smaller than the rest, and repeated the process.

By Ludovic Charlet on Unsplash

Once my forearm is clear, I walk away satisfied that the problem is resolved, and there is nothing I need to show anyone, but naturally, I look around the rest of my body to find groups on my thighs and shins. Another group rests on my right arm, but this one is different; towards my wrist, two insects cross in an X over a vertical third. Afraid to examine anywhere else, I continue the method of removal. The mirror reflects more on my shoulders and back that I would not be able to reach, but then they float out and disappear in sparkles.

Had they not disappeared on their way to the ground, I would have had a pile of bug bones.

By David Boca on Unsplash

Short Story

About the author

Starlight Tucker

Starlight Tucker creates works of fiction, music, and art. She has a BA in Communications and will graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing in February 2023. Connect with her on social media @StarlightTucker

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