Going to Pieces

The first thing I saw when I woke was Chris’ face. It had been carefully peeled off and placed on the lampshade.

His feet I found in the fridge. His intestines in the toilet. The rest of him was gone.

You ask how such a thing could happen? It’s not as diabolical as it sounds. It started one morning when Chris sat in bed next to me and said, “Darling,” (He talked like that, in a slow Texas drawl—he was from Wisconsin.) “I’m falling apart.” And he meant it just like that. He held out a hair.

“It’s just a hair,” I laughed. “Lots of men lose their hair.”

“It’s not a hair. Look closer.”

I took the hair, smirking. My expression changed instantly. It wasn’t a hair. It was a blood vessel.

“Chris!” I wailed. “Have you seen a doctor?”

“No point. I’m falling apart.”

That was it. Each day several more parts fell off. By Wednesday he had only one arm and one leg, half his teeth, his right ear and a testicle. It was gross. I called in a slew of doctors but they couldn’t tell me anything except that he was “falling apart”.

Chris just shook his head (what was left of it).

By Friday, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was tripping over ribs, stepping on eyes in the kitchen. I left, not even saying good-bye. I admit it. I ran away when Chris needed me most.

I stayed away one night, when reason returned. I ran back to him in the dead of night. I threw open the door and yelled, “Chris! I love you! I’m not leaving!”

I heard no answer. I turned on the lights and saw a kidney on the hallway stairs. I followed a trail of parts upstairs to my room. What I saw there frightened me so badly I fainted. Yes, people really do faint, even nowadays.

When I woke I had forgotten what I had seen. Only when I saw Chris’ face on the lamp did it all come back. Chris was gone now. Every last piece of him.

I got up. I went over to that thing that had frightened me so badly. A piece of paper and a pencil. Beside it lay a finger, the last finger, the last part of Chris. The digit no longer moved.

I picked up the paper and read the two lines written there in scrawled handwriting: “All things fall apart. Some sooner than others.”


G. W. Thomas  G. W. Thomas's website has appeared in over 400 different books, ezines and print magazines, including Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and Black October Magazine. He is editor of FLASHSHOT and Dark Worlds Magazine.

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