Pointer Fingers are a Nuisance

The child’s howls merged with the mother’s shrills. The infant hammered the ground and rolled into a ball like a fearful armadillo. I forced her metallic shell open, removed the blood-soaked bandage, and cleaned the wound. A smile unfurled when I hung my white coat for the last time and slipped on a smock. 

Pointer fingers lifted out of their holsters. I squatted just in time —phew—and dripped paint like Jackson Pollock. A mélange of cinereal, cobalt, and claret cascaded over stethoscope/paintbrush debates.  


My ex-husband pushed me in front of a mirror, grabbed my plump breasts, and won an erection. His fingers curled when my left breast died, and the right sagged. His fingers extended to sign divorce papers.

Pointer fingers scurried down dictionary pages, but I wrote to the editors. Beautiful can also mean scabs, stitches, and survival.


Summer dresses didn’t disguise unevenness. Scabs and stitches littered the space where my left breast used to live. A woman brushed her fingers gently across that space and planted a kiss where a nipple poked out like a cuckoo clock. 

Pointer fingers drew XX+XY on misty morning windows. Vinegar mixed with dishwashing liquid works wonders on stubborn streaks.

Flash fiction by Isabelle B.L

Illustration by Adam Strong

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