Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Patti Abbott's "Scarry Night" Fiction Challenge

Here's my entry into the fiction challenge posted here.


Ned knew she was sensitive about her appearance. The fire had barely touched her face but it had left her right hand nothing but a fingerless knob, sheathed in taut shiny skin. She still had the nubs of three fingers on her left hand, enough to hold a pen, enough to pull a zipper, enough to handle a fork. She was clumsy with them, though, because she had been right-handed.

Ned admired her for using her hand in public, for defying the stares and the curiosity of strangers. He knew she was self-conscious and applauded her courage. It was just one of the things he loved about her. When he took her to bed, he kissed the fingers of her left hand tenderly and then kissed what remained of her right hand.

As he stroked her from shoulder to hip, she trembled at his touch. She quivered and moaned, making noises in her throat in her rising excitement. Ned liked that. He liked a vocal woman.

He undressed her gently, delicately, peeling back the layers of clothes like the rind of a succulent fruit. The scarred skin on her torso was so textured and tortured it seemed like an alien substance, like the melted remains of some plasticized machine.

He traced his finger down the worst of the wounds, a thick, calloused ribbon of flesh that marked the edge of a graft where some dead stranger’s skin had been used to cover the raw redness left when her epidermis burned away.

“I really don’t mind the scars,” he said as she turned her head away from him as if ashamed. “They mark you as special,” he added, twining his hand into her hair to turn her face back towards him. “They are why I chose you.”

She began to cry then, her tears leaking silently down her cheeks and soaking into the duct tape that gagged her. He had stuffed her underpants into her mouth before sealing it with the tape and so the only sound she could make sounded like a baby mewling. It excited him even more than the scars.

He hadn’t been lying when he told her it was her scars had attracted him to her. Scarification was his thing.

By the time he finished with her, she would be beautiful.


  1. Now that will haunt me for a while! Nicely done, Katherine.

  2. Very nicely done, Katherine... the imagery is going to haunt me for some time.

  3. Great twist! Really enjoyed this one.

  4. Very nicely done, Katherine. The twist got me good.

  5. That's a bone-chiller, Katherine! So deftly written. You did a fine job with this challenge.

  6. Fantastic. Just fantastic.

    Trim but lush with feeling, detail and resonance.

    Loved this.

  7. Great descriptions and a very nice (or should I say nasty) twist.

  8. You described the burnt skin in heart rendering detail -- then the awful ending. Great work.