Monday, February 28, 2011

Scar, Glenn Gray


Glenn Gray


“I really don’t mind the scars,” he said.

“Really?” she said.


She was lying on a twin bed, naked, hands overhead. Full breasts heavy at her sides. Raised scars riddled her body; straight, curved, zigzag. Her skin a matrix of contorted anguish.

He sat on the edge of the bed, caressed her cheek.

The room was dim, a single candle flickering on a nearby shelf, scented of vanilla. The room doubled as an art studio, an easel in the corner, a large canvas leaning on the wall, some half sculpted clay forms on the floor.

“But,” she said. “But most men would run. Most men would run and hide when they saw it. Them.”

“Yes, well.” He fingered the arc of her eyebrow. “I love you like no other. I love what’s inside. Deep. Where scars go unseen.”

“Most men,” she said. “They seek perfection. Adore perfection. Flawless bodies. No scarring. Not even a blemish.”

“Not me,” he said. “I’m different. I’m not like others.”

“I know it,” she said. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.”


“And then some.”


“What about you?” he said. “Do you mind the scars?”

She was naked in the bed. He knelt at her side, as if to pray. He brushed a fingertip along the carved groove of a scar that ran from umbilicus to pubic bone. His touch a wispy breeze.

“No, I don’t mind.”


“I embrace them,” she said.


“Knowing how I got them.”

“Tell me how you got them.”

“You know,” she said.

“Tell me.”

“Don’t make me say it.”


"Do you mind the scars now?” he said.

“No,” she said.


“Yes, really.”

“Even the new one?” He fingered a ragged scar that snaked from armpit, rounding the supple curve of breast, fading at areola.

“I treasure that one the very most.”

“Why?” he said.

“How I got it.”

“It really is wonderfully beautiful.”

“You are wonderful,” she said. “I love you.”

“I’m so very glad.”


“Tell me,” he said.

“Tell you what?” she said.

“That you love me,” he said. “That you don’t mind the scars.”

“I really don’t mind the scars,” she said.


“And I love you.”

“Really?” he said.


“I’m not sure I believe you.”


“What do you think?” he said.

“Of what?” she said.

“The new one.”

She was on her back. Naked. He knelt at her side. The moist tip of his tongue slid along a scar that traversed her abdomen.

“I love it,” she said. “Like all the others.”

“You love it?” He stopped, lifted his head. “Me too. It looks like a smile.”

“Yes. It does.”

His finger danced the line of mottled skin. “But do you love me?”

“Yes,” she said. “I do love you.”



He pressed his nose to flank and inhaled deeply, turned his head, met her eyes. “Liar.”


“Where do you want this one?” he said.

“Please don’t,” she said.

She was naked on her back. He stood at her side. The metallic glimmer.

“Where do you want it?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Wherever you prefer.”

“You don’t care?”


“Why not?”

“I want to die.”

“Don’t ever say that.”

“I do, though.”

“Don’t say that.” He sat. Leaned, kissed her cheek. “Don’t you care about me?”


“Don’t you love me?”

“Please don’t,” she said. The sound of a chain jingling at wrist. “That hurts.”

“Just tell me you love me.”

“I love you.”

“Is that where you want it?”

After a moment, “Yes.”


“How many will this make?” he said.

“I don’t know,” she said.

“Hundred maybe?”

“At least.”

“Where do you want this one?”

“Please let me go.”

“Where do you want it?”

“I want to go home,” she said. “Free my hands. Please, dear God.”

She was naked on her back.

He sat.

“I can’t,” he said. Caressed her face.


“Not yet.”


“When I’m sure you love me.”

“I do love you.”

A glint of metal.

“I don’t believe you,” he said.

“Please,” she said. “Please please please.”

“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“That you love me.”

“I love you,” she said.


“Please. Oh, Jesus, please.”

“I’m not like the others,” he said. “How many men possess such artistic prowess? Like Rodin. My little Camille Claudel.”

“You are special,” she said. “So so special. I know it.”

“I love you immensely,” he said. “How many men would adore the scars?”

“None. I love you. I do. I do. I do. Oh God, I do.”

“Tell me again.”


r2 said...

Wow. Very creepy. I wasn't sure what was going on until the end. Nice build.

J F Norris said...

I went the same route as this in story in my contribuiton on this theme, but with less subtlety. This was like a perfect little radio play. Very well done.

Unknown said...

Dr. Gray, you are my favorite

pattinase (abbott) said...

This is the scariest one but you did it so elegantly and with such a great structure, I have to forgive you.

Rob Kitchin said...

Very nicely paced and the unfolding is spot on. Liked the dialogue heavy narrative - as John says, would work well as a radio play. Hannibal for the airwaves!

Glenn Gray said...

r2: Thanks, dude. Appreciate that.

John: Thanks, much. I'll be checking out your story soon.

Keith: I'm feelin' the love, man. Cheers.

Patti: Yes, all this mayhem is your fault! Thanks!

Rob: Thanks for commenting. Definitely had fun with his one.

Anonymous-9 said...

Nice job Glenn. You have a way with scar tissue.

Gary Stevens said...

Very nice.

Todd Mason said...

I think this one is the one most likely to be reprinted in MS. (Well, maybe it is.)

The best part is that it still can be at least two different things even by the grim last nick...

Paul D Brazill said...

This is scary. Intense a great pace. Mega!

Alan Griffiths said...

Creepy, great dialogue and pace; classy. Very classy.

K.Herlihy said...

"Tell me you love me."

"I do."

"I don't believe you."

Like nine and a half weeks meets Saw. Very creepy and subtle. The visuals just kept shifting. Nice work Doc Gray!

Glenn Gray said...

Thanks, all. Much appreciated!

R L Kelstrom said...

Fine craftsmanship. I especially liked how you were able to keep upping the ante with just a few new words/ideas in each scene.

Grant Jerkins said...

Glenn, I wanted to give this story a second read because I wasn't sure if it was told in reverse chronology. It's excellent.

Matt said...

Now that was disturbing!

I used to read Stephen King novels and think to myself "thank God Stephen King does not live around here" and after reading this short story I am thinking "that new neighbor of mine didn't say his name was Glenn Gray, did he?"

Great job getting a jolt out of the reader. But now tell me how to avoid the nightmares?

Glenn Gray said...

Hey Grant, thanks a bunch, man. A cool idea though, kind of like the movie Memento, (based on a short story). Saw some great reviews on A Very Simple Crime. Congrats. Gonna have to check that bad boy out.

Charlieopera said...

Great stuff. Scary great. Wonderfully scary great.