This piece below was birthed by a flash fiction prompt by Chuck Wendig for his April 15, 2016 writing challenge; However it morphed into an added chapter for WHEN A RAVEN PECKS OUT YOUR NORMAL. Regardless, I think it stands on its own and gives you great insight into my protagonist’s mental health state. So although this is flash, it is now an excerpt of the novel I’m currently shopping. It’s just a mere 434 words, as the challenge was to do ~1,000 words. I will likely flesh this out even more and stick at a spot in the book that needs to bring the reader back to the fact that the protagonist’s POV is very unreliable. Please comment your thoughts below. Thanks for visiting and reading. ~C.
The Gray Nothing’s Scar
By Casondra Brewster
I didn’t like looking at it in the mirror. I didn’t like mirrors most days. How did they work? Is it a wonder that tales of old made mirrors magical tools? Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Nothing Monster down the hall? It’s me. I am the monster, the boy with a scar that looks like a third nipple. An accessory nipple. It’s hereditary thing. Two of my cousins have it as well. I think the raven pecked out their normal, too. I poke at it. I pretend that someone stabbed me there. It looks like the skin swallowed up a knife wound. I had a fight with the colors black and white. I am Gray. I’m caught in the middle. White wants to kill Black. Black wants to kill White. But they both have to destroy me first to get the other. I stare at the scar. Poke. Twist. I make death gurgling sounds.
There’s a knock at the bathroom door. My mother’s voice calling my name: “Nothing?” I hear her. But I cannot speak. The words are stuck in the scar, what’s left of my bio father’s bloodline. Further proof he gave me nothing but shit.
“I am nothing!” I scream. There’s a pounding in my head.
“Nothing, Open the door!”
I see the colors merging. White’s icy hot kill shot aimed right below my left pec. Meanwhile Black’s flamethrower of darkness hits from the other side.
Perhaps I should just lie down and let them consume me, the Gray Nothing that I am. They can deepen the scar, for no one sees me. The Universe sliced a piece of Black and White and created this broken nothingness called Gray. Broken. Nothing. Scarred.
I look back in the mirror. My face winks at me, both frightening and comforting. Black is comforted. White is frightened. I poke the scar again and imagine my bio father sucked into this star-shaped scar. The anger comes then and my fist breaks the mirror. I bleed and wipe my hand on the scar. I put my shirt back on. I sigh and open the door. My mother is standing there. She looks so sad, her eyes exhausted with concern.
“Are you alright?” she says quietly, looking behind me at the broken mirror.
“I am the Gray Nothing,” I say. I walk past her feeling the scar bleeding.