A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Stacy Willingham
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available for Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
My throat tickles.
It’s subtle, at first. The tip of a feather being trailed along the inside of
my esophagus, top to bottom. I push my tongue back into my throat and
attempt to scratch.
It doesn’t work.
I hope I’m not getting sick. Have I been around a sick person lately?
Someone with a cold? There’s no way to be sure, really. I’m around people
all day. None of them looked sick, but the common cold can be contagious
before ever showing any symptoms.
I try to scratch again.
Or maybe it’s allergies. Ragweed is higher than normal. Severe,
actually. An 8 out of 10 on the allergy tracker. The little pinwheel on my
weather app was solid red.
I reach for my glass of water, take a sip. Swish it around a bit before
It still doesn’t work. I clear my throat.
I look up at the patient before me, stiff as a wooden plank strapped to
my oversized leather recliner. Her fingers are clenched in her lap, thin, shiny
slits barely visible against the otherwise perfect skin of her hands. I notice a
bracelet on her wrist, an attempt to cover the nastiest scar, a deep, jagged
purple. Wooden beads with a silver charm in the shape of a cross, dangling
like a rosary.
I look back at the girl, taking in her expression, her eyes. No tears, but
it’s still early.
“I’m sorry,” I say, glancing down at the notes before me. “Lacey. I just
have a little tickle in my throat. Please, continue.”
“Oh,” she says. “Okay. Well, anyway, like I was saying … I just get so
mad sometimes, you know? And I don’t really know why? It’s like this anger
just builds and builds and then, before I know it, I need to—”
She looks down at her arms, fans her hands. There are tiny cuts
everywhere, like hairs of glass, hidden in the webby dips of skin between her
“It’s a release,” she says. “It helps me calm down.”
I nod, trying to ignore the itch in my throat. It’s getting worse. Maybe
it’s dust, I tell myself—it is dusty in here. I glance over to the windowsill, the
bookshelf, the diplomas framed on my wall, all of them sporting a fine layer
of gray, glinting in the sunlight.
I turn back toward the girl.
“And why do you think that is, Lacey?”
“I just told you. I don’t know.”
“If you had to speculate.”
She sighs, glances to the side, and stares intently at nothing in particular.
She’s avoiding eye contact. The tears are coming shortly.
“I mean, it probably has something to do with my dad,” she says, her
lower lip trembling slightly. She pushes her blonde hair back from her
forehead. “With him leaving and everything.”
“When did your dad leave?
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