Brittle

Reads: 176  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a kite-shaped insect.

Submitted: May 18, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 18, 2016

A A A

A A A


Two weeks ago I took my fiance, Faith, on a hiking trip in Banff National Park’s lesser-known Caldron Lake area. I was informed by a few locals that the hike was difficult and could take approximately six to eight hours to complete. Fortunately, Faith and I were avid hikers and up to the challenge.

On the morning of August 2nd, 2014, Faith and I hit the Caldron Lake hiking trail. We hiked all morning, only breaking for short hydration breaks as needed. Everything was going well until  we decided to stop and have lunch near an old collapsed bridge by a small creek. Being near a body of water at this time of the year meant more insects, but the view was undeniably beautiful and worth a few mosquito bites. I sat on a large stone nursing my thirst with a sports drink as Faith captured our surroundings with her camera.

I vividly remember the taste of my sports drink. It was grape flavored. This may seem like an insignificant detail to you, but for me it was profound. Artificial grape flavoring was the last thing I remember tasting.

Faith was carefully planning her next panoramic shot when it happened. The entire event was over in mere seconds. I instinctively swatted the insect away after being bitten.

The insect was approximately the size of a golf ball and shaped like a kite. It was brown in color and adorned with intricate designs on its carapace. I had never seen anything like it.

I howled with pain and Faith rushed to my side, nearly dropping her camera in the process. I told her about the strange insect and showed the accompanying bite. If it wasn’t for the three symmetrical puncture wounds on my forearm, I don’t think Faith would have believed me.

The initial pain only lasted a few minutes. The skin surrounding the puncture marks turned purple and became extremely itchy. I told Faith that I felt okay and she laughed nervously. I had a habit of downplaying pain to keep the mood light and calm and she was fully aware of this. After much discussion we came to an agreement that I was stung by a wasp or hornet and that my imagination had created this mysterious kite-shaped insect. We couldn’t form a reasonable explanation for the symmetrical puncture wounds on my arm so we chose to ignore them. I now realize how foolish that was.

Faith and I continued our hike while I struggled to hide the fact that my entire arm was going numb. The deep purple bite marks had quickly faded into a dull grey tone. My bitten limb looked completely sapped of life. Despite my best efforts to conceal a growing discomfort in my arm, Faith could see that I was straining to keep up. She made the decision to turn around and head back to town.

As we made our way back to Banff, I began to notice that my arm swung from my shoulder like a sack of meat. Traversing the rough terrain only made this to and fro motion more apparent. The skin on my arm was losing elasticity at an alarming rate.

I pressed the tip of my finger against the hardening flesh of my forearm. The skin did not indent from the pressure and felt remarkably similar to leather. Stiff leather.

I obsessively poked and prodded at my arm throughout the journey back to town. I was equally terrified and fascinated at my withering limb. Without warning, my hardened flesh finally succumbed to my finger’s constant pressure and caved in. My finger pierced the skin with a sudden quickness; like a man falling through ice. My finger slipped deep into my brittle skin, piercing the bone at the center of my arm. The bone in my arm appeared eroded and frighteningly hollow.

Peering into the self inflicted void of my arm I could see veins, tendons and other fibrous material. But, surprisingly, the empty chasm of my arm was devoid of blood or fluid of any kind. Instead of soft, pliable flesh, my innards looked petrified and frail.

At that moment, I lost consciousness.

I awoke in Banff Mineral Springs Hospital; alone. I immediately noticed that my arm had been amputated while I was unconscious. Losing my arm was difficult to accept but I managed to show gratitude towards the medical staff for performing the lifesaving procedure. It was at that moment that I learned the truth. My arm shattered into fragments of hardened flesh when I struck the ground. I collapsed on my own arm, crushing it like eggshells.

I requested a small vanity mirror from the nursing staff and witnessed, for the first time, my extensive disfigurements. Whatever caused my arm to decay had quickly spread throughout my body. The left side of my face had caved in, exposing the grey husk that formed my gums and teeth. I informed the doctor that I didn’t want Faith to see me like this and, to my surprise, I discovered that she didn’t want to see me either. I guess the wedding is off.

I’m writing this story as a warning. I don’t know what happened on the hiking trail that day. Did I fabricate the kite-shaped insect? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don’t have a reasonable explanation...  Nobody does. But please, for the love of God, don’t go down there. My entire body aches. I’m dying. I’m brittle.


© Copyright 2017 Ty Payant. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Ty Payant

Brittle

Short Story / Horror

Popular Tags