A Sympathetic Charm

 Jones pulled scales off the scab until an orb of blood beaded on its cracked surface. At first it had simply been an itch. But as his nails sloughed his flesh through the weeks he felt it transform. 

 The pain had become complex and layered in ways he never could have anticipated. He unearthed memories deep in his teeth of a trainee doctor and her rack of needles. He wanted to document them all. When his fingers cracked the cornflake crust and plunged into the pus and plasma below the pangs were so great he could barely stand.

 He had regarded his wound in silence below the surgical lamp until courage swallowed in scotch arrived. The youth layered the collection of split ends and cuts of her festive bow into the channel harrowed in his arm. Jones had promised he would make her hurt like she had done to him and she had scoffed. Looking at the torn pieces of his letters, sewing his skin together felt cathartic.

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