Daily Archives: June 14, 2008

“Proud Flesh”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Proud Flesh



          Cut your finger, get infected, get blood poisonin’, red vein up your arm, son…yes sir. Clean that scratch…here let’s pour some methiolate into that wound. Make it burn. You killing them germs, uh huh…oooh…that hurts, don’t it? That ol’ Mercurochrome, that’s no good it don’t burn, see. Don’t cry now…blood poison’s lot worst…get to your heart, brain…kidneys, Lord, you talkin…’bout major problems, stench of gangrene—whew! You never smelled rotten flesh, proud flesh, all puckered up in a wound, Lord, all pink and purple, kinda wet…it be…it be pink that’s good but you go to to ya blue and black, bad color, and that smell of dead flesh, you wanna whiff sometime, you wait till one of the men folks cuts his finger bad, knife maybe, saw or ax…and you just wait till they pull off them gauze bandages. Pick it up and take a little sniff, smell it good, honey, you’ll never forget. Oh, that cut still burning? Now don’t dig at those mosquito bites this summer, and don’t run barefoot in the sandy soil especially, you get the hook worm and that’ll suck the blood outta you, big ol’ ball of those in ya guts, sucking up your life’s sustenance, then they get in you veins and ride around in ya body…and they’ll eat ya heart muscle till it’s like a nest of maggots. I know you know what that looks like cause all those dogs and cats you find by the highway that dead smell, that’s kinda like the gangrene smell on humans, ‘cept roadside animals, their putrefaction, big word, huh? It’s more musky than humans. Human rotten flesh, proud flesh, it smells sorta sweet and dark all the same time, something bad happenin’, neglect, filth, not taking basic precautions, like washing wounds clean, you need some more methiolate on that cut, sonny?


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