Lucille woke up one morning to find that her fingers were gone. Her thumbs were still there, but her long, slender digits were now only pink, rounded nubs.
What will I do without fingers, she thought. How will I live.
Beside her, a fat yellow ball of fur yawned and
How will I ever feed Fluffy.
How will I play the piano.
Lucille had found an old Hossencofft upright, cheap,
at an estate sale. She was taking lessons. She had even figured out the
beginning of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, all on her own.
Now here she was, fingerless. Fluffy meowed for
a can of TasteeTreat. She lifted the pop-up tab with her thumbnail and thought,
what am I going to tell Bruce.
They met the week before at an art show. He was
so good-looking. He was wearing black jeans and a black, loosened tie. Bruce taught piano. Lucille would not mind getting to know him a little better.
In the kitchen, she managed to get the cap off
the milk without spilling too much. She held it between her palms like a bear with a pot of honey, and drank straight from the jug.
She sat at the piano, and tapped out “Lucy in
the Sky” with her thumbs. She wanted to cry but couldn’t. She moved to the couch and soon Lucille fell asleep.
She was half in a dream about marrying Bruce when
she saw that her thumbs were now gone.
Every day after, some new part was missing; a toe or an ear or an elbow. The nose she thought was a little too wide was a memory.
Her face was smooth where her soft, pink lips had once been.
With her hands like they were, Lucille could no
longer shut the door properly and Fluffy escaped. She thought about Bruce like
an old, yellowed letter. Or an old tune that pops in your head.
Somebody called and she answered quite slowly and looked at the marmalade sky.
In the glass on the ground there wasn’t a sound from a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.