Thursday, July 22, 2010

His Left Foot - #fridayflash

“Hey everybody my name’s Crustopher the Scab. I’m that best friend you just love to pick on. I come complete with a blood-stained bandage. “It’s my blanket!” Hold me, tickle me, nibble my crispy edges, just don’t forget I’m a part of you. Do you have a place in your heart for a Scab?” 
From, apparently this is the actual description of this "toy." Weird.

Sammy's foot itched.
He looked at the band-aid on top of his left foot with something akin to desire.
And then looked away.
Then looked.
Then looked away.
"What are you doing?" Sammy's mother asked.
Her voice rang from down the hallway. She was probably in the kitchen. She wouldn't even know if Sammy lifted the band-aid, just a corner of it, and peeked.
"Nothin'," he said.
He was, in fact, doing nothin'. Just sitting on his twin bed, with its hand-me-down frayed-around-the-edges Buzz Lightyear comforter. Sharing breathing space with his fat ginger cat. Trying not to think about how itchy his scab was under the band-aid.
He petted the cat.
He sure wished there was something to do. Something. Anything.
He petted the cat. And looked at his band-aid.
"Sammy?" his mother called.
"Yesssssss?" Sammy yelled. "What?"
"Could you come here and do up the dishes for me?"
Sammy panicked.
It was the old "you're bored, here's a chore" mother routine. Mothers everywhere knew this trick. It was something the storks taught them when babies were delivered. They were also taught how to work the hidden eyeballs in the back of their heads.
"I'm busy," he said. With conviction. "Really, really busy."
He petted the cat harder. 
The cat threw him a dirty look, snarled and jumped off the bed.
"Are you bothering the cat?"
Sammy was positive his mother had hidden cameras in his room somewhere. He eyed his stuffed animals suspiciously.
"Rat finks," he whispered.
Man, his foot itched.
He looked up, to make sure his mother hadn't snuck in. Then he reached over the bed and smacked his traitor dinosaur upside the head. The dinosaur tumbled on the floor.
"I'll be there in a minute," he yelled to his mom.
And checked once more to make sure the coast was clear.
He lifted a corner of the band-aid. It stuck a little. He pulled it, and it came away like scotch tape on hidden Christmas presents. He lifted it all the way and admired the perfect scab replica on the band-aid pad.
It was a mirror image of the scab.
Two scabs. Two scabs in one.
Like the inkblot cards he had to look at sometimes in the doctor's office.

Note to my son Sammy, who is nothing like this Sammy. Not at all! I just wanted to use your name, babes! Because I loves ya like crazy. And I was thinking about you, wondering what you're doing. 


  1. Hee hee. I enjoyed this. I kept looking for some deep, dark secret, was Sammy going to be suffocated by the cat or what? but yo, it's all fun today, or am I stoopid? That cute Sammy and the cat and the mother, done to a tee..:)

  2. Oh that last line, Cathy! OMG! Great POV in this story, and just superbly quirky and heart-breaking. Peace...

  3. Oh, how those scabs (or bug bites or whatever) itch like crazy when you think about them. How is it possible not to scratch them. This was a lot of fun, Cathy!

    And that toy at the top is too funny!

  4. From the weird toy up top to the pacing, to the dialogue, to that last line... greatness.

  5. The lines at the end are particularly cute. It is like an inkblot. Brownish red ink.

  6. Ouch, ant is right who would come up with a toy scab. You guys are way to close to the sun up there...

  7. The toy scab is gross, but the story was excellent, as always. Those last couple of lines really hit home, especially when you consider his reaction to the stuffed animals.

  8. You're not going to believe this but I have an itchy scab on my left leg right now! From a mosquito bite that I scratched to hell... :D

    Laughed so much at the picture and the story. Mom's do have those hidden eyeballs!

  9. Glad to hear that the hidden cameras are working out for ya! Hilarious and accurate accout of a boy and his scab.

  10. "Then he reached over the bed and smacked his traitor dinosaur upside the head."

    I thought you were a 27 year old woman and not a 9 year old boy? Moms... can't live with 'em, can't fool 'em, no matter what.

    This story rocked. This showcased your usual adept manner of finding the quirks that bring a character to life, and your gentle way of seeing the fun side of life. There's always a twinkle and a laugh behind your words.

  11. I really enjoyed the quirky edge to this story. Your observations of omniprescent motherhood, and duplicitous stuffed dinosaurs is spot on. :)

  12. Great use of pov and tone. Loved the opening flicking back and forth between Sammy looking and not looking. Great last line too, that turns the whole thing on its head and makes Sammy's almost-paranoia into something else entirely.


  13. Yeah, I always fell for that do-a-chore trick, but I learned to keep busy, sometimes doing chores.

    Wonderful tale only a great mother could write.

  14. Such a great telling of a boy and his scab, those precious war wounds you have to pick at. Wonderful sense of voice and character.
    Adam B

  15. A delightful insight into mother-young child dynamics, but that end was a real punch to the guts. Ouch

    marc nash

  16. YOU DID IT!!!! Yu pulled another one out of that hat in spite of Bleah Day. And only you could make an entertaining story about a kid tempted to pick at a scab.
    I am addicted to your stories. I knew you'd not rest till you'd written.

  17. I was afraid...very afraid to read further after seeing that photo and description. Then you lulled me into a sense of misplaced security before smacking me with that last line... :)

  18. Perfect POV!
    So, so true though - the temptation to pick at a scab is like no other!

  19. The repetition works so well in this piece and the tone is marvelous. Nicely done!

  20. Ha, love this story. Somebody simply has too much time on their hands to come up with a toy like that up there.

    This is one of those universal moment stories that everyone who's ever been a kid can relate to. And moms, too, I imagine. The voice is perfect. Great story, Miss Cathy!

  21. Clever. Voice was perfect and completely original.

  22. Rat did that ever give me a smile. This was precious and touching, and yes the end was just perfect.

    But that toy... oh my goodness.

  23. great little guy's perspective, are you making a book at all???? of you stories???

  24. I've got an itchy scab right now!

    Wonderful flash, as always. How DO mothers know what you're doing?!

  25. How in the world did you find that ad Cathy? How weird! But what a great story you made from it. Not only am I laughing but I'm now scratching - thanks a lot! :)

  26. Personally, I think she really does have eyes in the back of her head. This was funny with a punch. Not a punch line - a punch. That last line hit it home.

    Congratulations on the wedding! That is exciting news. And yes, there certainly can be happily ever after. Best of luck to you both. :)


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