ON WINGS OF GARGOYLES
Published by Dwayne Albert Bearup at Smashwords
Copyright 2012 Dwayne Albert Bearup
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I woke from my third attempt at martyrdom doubled-over in the tub, the icy red water barely covering the numb prunes which had recently replaced my legs. Last night the hot, clear water had lapped at my chest a hand-span above my navel, and briefly I contemplated the surreal mundanity of a leaky drain. For the moment at least, the horrifying knowledge that my transformation continued apace was held at bay by this fantasy. I knew the brand new tub had no leaks, but didn’t want to acknowledge that the blood infused water had gone back into my body through my lips, which even now - with the water just out of reach - eagerly quested for additional nourishment.
The leathery wings sprouting from my back fluttered weakly as I raised swollen, wrinkled claws to my face, to massage away the cramps brought on by sipping bloody bath water all night. From the corner of my blue cat-eyes I saw the wide, shallow valleys of scar tissue zigzagging from wrist to elbow and remembered making the first cut. When my face had been returned to what now passed for normal, curiosity got the better of me and I turned my right arm over to see another scar on the back. My mind’s eye supplied a vision of the blunt end of my father’s old straight razor protruding there. My nerves replayed the sensation of steel scraping bone as I watched my hand yank the instrument free of the elbow into which I had embedded it in my zeal to end my life. By the time I made the second cut I was nearly unconscious from blood loss, but I vaguely recalled dropping the razor over the side of the tub so as not to accidentally cut off something I might need later.