Thursday, 22 April 2010

Cinderella's Crystal Tips - Friday Flash

His ex-wife used to say you could tell a lot about a person by their shoes.

But then Cindy hailed from the Imelda Marcos stripe of finishing school.

He himself preferred to gauge by the fingers. It's said that the whorls and swirls on them are a unique colophon. But he felt even that missed the obvious. How people wielded their extremities, was the full embodiment of their very being. How they felt the world. Truly they were pointers in the purest sense. Analogue digits. Digital analogues.

A slender few were too dainty to span him. A further spread aped callipers, surveying him like a piece of cartography. A handful, just a handful, were bucket-like, making him feel akin to clay manipulated beneath a potter's hand.

Some were clammy. Others desiccated and cracked, rasping him like sandpaper. A sprinkling smelled... divine and fair carried him away in his senses. But that only beguiled him away from his true requirement. Certainly it was a transportation that he quested after, yet to far different a destination.

There were those with long, delicate fingers. Like the veins of a leaf. Piano players all, lightly brushing his skin ivory. A caress with the pad only, as if it were an invertebrate creature lacking for the articulation of any bone within. The merest dab of pressure, apologetically excusing its trespass even as it limned it.

Then there were those with manicured talons. Fingers always part curled at the knuckles, driving the varnished keratin in to break the surface of his flesh. Being stroked like a penitent with a fraying lash. If it were mere scourging and blood he sought after, he could always shave himself with a cheap razor. Those festooned and bedecked with jewellery amounted to the same. He had no desire to be cut and polished by the facets of gemstones. Or worse, those outsized rings that ran the length between the two knuckles from midfinger to fist. Those that inevitably branded his skin with their cold steel, like a lancet. Yet their bearers were also inevitably the most ardently amenable to his need.

Others had nails bitten to the quick. Simulacra stigmata of anxiety, signposting a likely lack of conviction to carry through his request to the full. Up close, he could see those cuticles still rimmed and tainted with old nail polish. They made him feel nauseous, as he could not allow their imprecision near his exactitude demanding flesh.

For there was only ever one reach, one scope, which would fit the crystal dimensions. Match the whorls and swirls of the livid throttle outlines left by his ex-wife's diamond-like grip. Before she left him in disgust at his lily-livered weakness. No other woman could stop up his breath quite like Cindy.

37 comments:

Skycycler said...

Can't breathe... Marc, this is dark - and connected, perhaps, with the leadership debates?

If I didn't already know you to be a artist of mythic proportions and vertiginous moral rectitude I'd ask you where you got this idea from.

Love that Cindy has a shoe thing, love that you got limned in there and love - as always - your spectacular arrangement of our common alphabet into these gorgeous gyrations.

Sulci Collective said...

No, missed the debates for the boys' footie going into extra time.

I saw a woman's metal ring that spanned the length of a finger between 2 knuckles which led me to the pain-caress thing, then I just started thinking about fingers...

Michelle said...

love that last line... Take his breath - stop his breath Cindy!
Well done

PDAllen said...

I never understood foot fetishes, but this.... Yeah, I dig it.

Marc, your writing is like fine pewter: beautifully crafted and solid.

peggy said...

Sooo, what happened? Is he dead or just devastated? Or are all those fingers dead?

Whether I get it or not, WOW! The study of the fingers--I can imagine you with this idea and just watching hands for a while, learning so much. We've all seen every finger described, but I for one, never thought about how different each person's fingers are, and how they do tell so much.

I know this one will have me paying attention all week. thanks for the inspiration.

Valerie said...

I'm also a bit confused as to what went down, but it's an engaging tale nonetheless. And a very cool idea behind it.

Tomara Armstrong said...

wow. I truly love an obsession, and this one is fantastic.
~2

Eric J. Krause said...

Good story. Loved the description in this--guess it's easy for characters to describe things they're passionate about, eh?

Michael Solender said...

love the imelda reference. fun tale here. btw, Thanks for your very kind words at the not. I alternate between lengthier pieces and tiny tales, good exercise for the writer..sometimes I'll take a story of 1000 words and see if I can edit out 500 to make it super tight and compact, like killing your children I tell you but a good lesson in it..

John Wiswell said...

I read this in socks, possibly to throw off his wife. Cindy is useful. He seems like the sort who needs his breath stopped up now and again.

Marisa Birns said...

With Cindy gone, hope he is not reduced to auto-erotic asphyxiation. There is too much room for error.

Your words always make people sit up and pay attention to what they're reading.

And it so worth it.

Emma Newman said...

Some beautiful turns of phrase in this, I was arrested, sucked into his obsession. Wonderful stuff.

Laura Eno said...

I'm awestruck, Marc. This is gorgeous!

The first two lines made me laugh. Then you took me on an odyssey through a subject I've never given any thought to - and it was a glass slipper story of dark dimensions.

Bravo!

Heather Lloyd said...

I loved this - dark, sexy and twisted. You have a great turn of phrase as ever and I enjoyed the reference to Cindy's Imelda Marcos tendencies - something I can definitely relate to!

Aislinn O'Connor said...

Amazing use of words - I especially love "diamond-like grip"! Excellent. :-)

G.P. Ching said...

Foot fetish meets hand fetish. They were so perfect for each other! I agree with Heather-dark, sexy, and twisted. And also well written. Nice job.

Melissa said...

I found this beautiful, achingly so, in its desire--its sheer fleshiness. I think is one of my favorites from you.

Sulci Collective said...

It's funny you mention that. Most of my work always starts from the human body, or some part of it at least. Thanks for your comment.

Gracie said...

This is magnificent.

You really can tell so much about people from their hands and fingers. And the writing here is just so lush and... perfect.

This one got me. Bravo.

Deanna Schrayer said...

The hands have always been the first thing I notice about a man, so this really resonates Marc.

Brilliant construction as always.

KjM said...

So, the Prince isn't quite as charming as they would have us believe. :)

Wonderfully observed and descriptive language in this. Tactile. I like it.

dijeratic said...

What is it about hands?

We can make a fetish of almost anything - but this one reaches quite literally into another realm.

Sensual, fun - an insight into one man's idea of a perfect moment.

Well done.
DJ

Jessica Rosen said...

A remarkably intimate look at this world. Sensual even in describing what repels, it led this reader to a soft smile of conclusion. "... stop up his breath ..." Beautiful use of language. Thank you.

Take care,
Jess

Karen from Mentor said...

I like a man who's good with his hands.

Lily Mulholland said...

Am finding your protag this week not a little creepy. And eurgh to that knuckle-busting ring that was the start point. Loved 'whorls' and 'colophon' in particular this week.

And thanks also for the extra paragraphing :)

Virginia Moffatt said...

Ooh, I liked that. the minute Cindy was exposed as an Imelda Marcos imitator, I knew she was trouble. Really lovely way to express a failed and poisonous relationship. Also liked analogue of digits/digital analogue...

Linda said...

Limned!

Cool meditation of sorts on the fingertips. Cool take on this myth. Peace...

Lou Freshwater said...

Sensual and elegant, Marc. And there's a lot of truth here, about things you can tell about a person from their fingers. What is present, what is not. Well done, as always.

ThomG said...

The description in this is fantastic - and the idea fresh. You've done a great job getting the reader from A to B.

J. M. Strother said...

There is a lot of poetry in these prose. Nicely done.
~jon

mazzz in Leeds said...

Poetically creepy and creepily poetic. "Livid throttle" - nice.

I won't bite my nails for the next ten minutes (no small feat for me), just for you

Cathy Olliffe said...

*looking at my own hands and seeing where they fit*
Coolio story, Marc!

Tony Noland said...

Talk about fetishistic devotion! This was a loving indulgence in obsession - gripping!

Cecilia Dominic said...

This one dances the line between creepy and romantic. Found myself wondering what, exactly, he's having these women caress.

CD

ganymeder said...

I was confused about what happened but enjoyed your style and the vivid description. nice.

Paula Ray said...

Your close attention to hands is inspiring. I enjoyed the poetry of each paragraph. In our lifetime we all absorb the touch of other people's hands upon us and each touch is unique. I've never analyzed it quite like this, but it is very intriguing...what fingers tell us...this sense we often take for granted (feeling). The fact you name the ex: Cindy is good..it ties into your title well and the touch of a hand...the perfect fit. It could be the perfect fit about his neck like a noose as well. I think that darkness is probably what appeals the most...it isn't obvious...it slinks in like a feline predator.

Carrie said...

Another sensuous story from you Marc. Love your prose, swirling and velvet. Fantastic feast for the eyes and mind.