Inspired by the Awake prompt at Writingthe200.

I wake to itching fingers on one hand. The satisfaction of itching is only surpassed by applying pressure that releases fluids from the tips, flattening each digit like I’m popping pimples.

There is overwhelming relief until the itch returns to the palm with searing discomfort that must be extinguished at any cost. Soon this hand is limp and useless as I scratch further up the arm, battling the fire line, until the limb that once held my brother in unity is nothing more than a flap of dead skin, it’s former contents pooled on the floor, a mixture of puss and blood. It feels good.

By dusk my toes are burning up. I rub away each flare of irritation, along each foot and up each leg. In the morning, I’m unable to get out of bed without rolling onto the floor, attempting navigation on the stubs of legs. I prop myself against the wall, spend the day scratching ears, nose, genitals with my still operational left hand.

By the end of the second day I’m content, a fraction of my former self, unattractive perhaps, but pleased that only the most worthy and unbothersome parts remain to reflect the real me.

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