Author's Note: This came out of nowhere and has very little direction so far. I'm planning on developing it into a story later, but I would love reactions to this first little fragment.


He couldn't feel anything but contempt for the other doctors and nurses. Pain was merely something they had learned out of a textbook. It was a blurry illustration that, if he would please calm down and cooperate, they could prevent from closing its pages around him.

He could immediately tell that she was different. Pain was a place where she had lived. It was she who constantly traced its boundaries for others to see in atlases of the body. Like this, she would say, knowing that no one ever took the words literally. They never realized that it was only a miniaturization.

He could see her handling a pen with the delicacy with which she held a scalpel, authoring the books they read and half-understood. Her gaze downcast, every blue-veined tributary neatly labeled in her heavy eyelids, every gaunt valley and sharp mountain range chiseled into her pursed cheekbones and flowing wrists, she would draw pain to scale in convoluted strokes. Like this, like this, like this, until she died of it and the medical corporation was forced to seek another interpreter.

He wanted to seize her hand so it drew a line of negation across the page. First do no harm, doctor. Let them find someone else to explain. He wanted to tear the glasses from her face and kiss the bruised eyelids shut. He wanted to cover her naked shoulder blades, like ingrown wings, with his hungry hands. He wanted to grab her by the delicate wrists and throw her on the table on top of the flat depictions of the anatomy and fuck her until the papers fell to the floor, and they moaned, This, this.