nightcenturymountain: (obscurely troubled)
nightcenturymountain ([personal profile] nightcenturymountain) wrote2003-12-10 07:02 am

Traceries [shortfic - freehand]

[rated PG or so for self-mutilation and such things]


Somehow I used to think that the scars that whispered across his limbs were from childhood accidents and cat scratches. I don't know how I can say that and not still feel embarrassed and naive, but it's true. I'm not that foolish anymore.

Besides, I walked in on him once.

I had been going to dinner, down in the cafeteria as usual, and realized that I'd forgotten my meal card in our dorm. The door was ajar, and I slipped in, hoping he'd just be asleep, and not...something else. He was sitting at his desk, arm out, concentrating so hard that the tiny creak that the door made didn't even touch him. He had just started pulling the razor across his inner arm, just barely scraping the sharp blade through the top layers of skin. I watched a moment, mystified and horrified, while he cut deeper, though not very wide or long. I just couldn't turn away, though I wanted to run. He set down the razor and pinched the wound, encouraging the flow. The blood welled up from between his fingers, red as poppies in autumn, and I couldn't move. He turned then, and I started to stammer out my excuse for being there. It felt necessary. I was cast as the interloper, even though we shared the dorm. It was like catching your roommate masturbating. You had to try to find an excuse to leave while pretending that you had seen nothing.

He just gazed at me blankly, flatly, with eyes like empty rooms. I left quickly, and went back to the dining hall, fantasizing that I could get away with never going back.

I understood then that he had lied to me when I had asked about those marks, those strange traceries on his skin.

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