Manny’s Hands- Conclusion
He locked the door behind him and crashed onto the couch. He knew he would have to relax and catch his breath. It would only be a moment, but it was necessary. And while he lay there, thinking too many horrible thoughts, he brought his hand up to his face and saw that the bump had grown full again. It was dark red now, smooth and swollen. Manny cursed his luck and sat up. He gave the bump a gentle push and watched something hard roll underneath his skin. He knew then that the eye had returned. He slammed his fist onto the coffee table, and an explosion of puss and blood squirted out both sides. He slammed again, harder this time, wanting nothing more than to smash his entire fist into the table. Another slam, this time causing one of the table legs to buckle. More blood oozed out.
Manny brought his hand up to his face and saw only a gory mess on the side of his hand. But there was no eye, and that alone was worth something. He pulled a loose flap of skin aside, looking into the bump. Something was moving in there. He wiped away the blood with his finger, and that’s when he felt it, like a thousand tiny needles ripping into him.
There were teeth in there now, gnashing away the intruder that his finger became as it probed around the open bump. Manny screamed as the teeth ripped the tip of his finger off, leaving only a bony stump like an ivory toothpick, sticking out. He pulled his hand back quickly, bringing his foot up and putting it on the offensive wrist, pinning his own hand to the coffee table.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Manny screamed. A glass jar of potpourri tumbled from the table and spilled out onto the carpet.
He held his hand in place with his foot, looking down at it, but disconnected somehow. It looked like his hand, a hand that he had used his entire life. But now it seemed foreign to him, alien. It didn’t move under his foot. Instead, it just lay there. The gnashing teeth no longer visible in the open flap on the side of his hand.
He remembered his finger then and screamed louder than he had ever screamed. Manny raised the finger to his face and saw that awful chunk of bone sticking out. He felt his stomach turn, and then he lost it, puking on his legs, and the coffee table, and the mess of potpourri on the carpet. That was when the darkness stole over him, and he fell unconscious.
It was the terrible ache in his finger that woke him. He felt it throbbing and sat up from where he was on the couch. The smell of dried puke and blood filled his nostrils immediately, and he thought for a moment that he would puke again. But he composed himself and went right to the torn finger. When he brought his hands up to his face, he noticed that both hands were now covered with the awful bumps. Red and swollen and filled with moving fluid. Something was under the surface of each one, rolling and bumping and driving him mad.
“Oh my god! Oh my god!” Manny said, staring only at his swollen hands and wondering for the first time if maybe this was the end. The white bone sticking out of his fingertip was barely visible now as the fingers around it had grown so swollen. But he felt that wound more than anything else. It sang to him so loudly, like nails on a chalkboard. He was going mad.
Manny stood up, still staring at his hands. He pushed them together, putting pressure on every red, swollen bump. He felt things moving under the fragile pink flesh, like barbed marbles ready to rip through his skin at any moment.
There was silence then, for only a moment, but beautiful in its simplicity. It held tight as Manny’s mind made sense of what was about to happen. And even though he was powerless to stop it, he felt like he at least understood it. Not so much why this was happening to him, but what was about to happen. He would never know the why, nor will we, good reader. When the silence ended, there was only blood.
It started with a small rip that moved across the largest bump near Manny’s right thumb. It opened with the sickening sound of torn flesh. Blood oozed out of the rip, leaking onto his wrist. And then another rip followed on a nearby bump, letting loose it’s own juices. But when the third one opened, there would be no more ripping. Manny pulled his hands apart, unable to move; simply watch. The rest of the bumps popped open with terrible ferocity. Yellowish puss exploded outwards, splashing Manny in the face. But he was still frozen in his spot. He decided that madness may have settled in.
Both of his hands, held out before him, looked terrible. They were ragged, bloody, and dripping with a slick coating of whatever it was he was infected with. But within each open, ragged bump, a set of sharp, gnashing teeth were chomping away. The teeth were moving back and forth within their small enclosures. And then his hands started to move of their own accord. Manny’s right hand went to his crotch. The small gnashing teeth ripped through his jeans and tore out a chunk of his testicles. Manny screamed and fell to the floor.
The left hand went to his face. Manny was powerless to stop them. He had no more use of his hands and nothing to protect his face. He knew he was about to die.
The hand on his crotch continued to tear into him, ripping a huge chunk from his thigh. The teeth chewed on his flesh, feasting until his hand was burrowing into his leg and eating the muscles there. The other hand continued its assault on his face.
His cheek ripped open, exposing the strong pink muscle of his tongue. The teeth chewed, going into his face and ripping apart his mouth. They chewed his tongue off and burrowed upwards through the roof of his mouth. He could feel his teeth coming loose in his head, falling into his shredded, gaping maw. The gnashing teeth bit into his exposed gums, chewing on raw nerves and driving him over the edge.
There was only madness then—only a dark void where his life used to be. Manny Trinsic held on for only a moment longer, but it was at that moment that he saw his parents again. They were in that awful river, drowning. But this time they weren’t screaming for help. This time they were just laughing at him. We told you, that laugh said. Bad things happen to bad people, son. Manny thought they might have been right.