Just to preface, I have a lot of scars on my arms. Not because I harm myself, but because my father likes to get wasted and beat me. Sometimes with the beer bottles he smashes after he’s done drinking. So yeah, I have scars. Scars from all of the horrible shit I’ve gone through over the years. They go from my wrist up to my elbows, reminding me of all the times I had to protect myself from my father’s drunken rage. Because of this, I wear long sleeves at work, that way nobody will make asshole remarks about them.
Now, I had been at the McDonald’s in my hometown for over two years, mostly working nights. One day when I came in, I noticed a sign taped to the ice cream machine. Broken. Not an uncommon thing to happen, but we had just gotten it fixed the week previous. Whatever, I thought. One less thing for me to clean.
At around midnight, I was washing the windows across from the counter. All of a sudden, I heard a low humming sound. I turned around to see where it was coming from. It was the ice cream machine. This was weird, considering it was supposedly broken, but I had known some of our appliances to spring back to life without warning, so I wasn’t too spooked by it.
I walked over to shut the thing off. At about five feet away from the counter, I felt what seemed like water running down my arms. I thought it might have been a chill, but as I moved closer, the coolness turned to fire. I felt sharp pains wrapping around my arms, then moving up to my shoulders and down my back. I stopped walking and rolled up my left sleeve. At first, everything looked fine. Nothing unusual. I took another step forward before it hit me and then looked back at my arm. My scars… they were gone. I quickly rolled up my other sleeve to check. It was the same, no scars in sight.
I felt another watery sensation on my back, as if a whirlpool had opened up in my skin. I touched at the area under my shirt and felt it. Skin, not properly healed. Was it my scars? Freaked out, I backed up towards the windows. I watched my wounds as they slithered back onto my arms where they had been made. I froze for a moment, then took a few steps forward. My scars moved once again. I moved back and forth, towards and then away from the counter a few times. Every time I stepped forward, my scars squirmed around like worms in the dirt. When I moved away, they went back into place. How was this possible? What was causing my wounds to travel around my body?
Once I got used to my scars’ movement, I decided to search for some answers. I looked behind the counter, near the fryolator, and further back by the grills. Then, I noticed something. The ice cream machine had stopped humming. As I moved toward it, my scars began frantically snaking around my skin. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the damned thing wasn’t even plugged in. I opened up the lid, looked inside, and saw a silver liquid sloshing around where the ice cream normally was. I reached my hand towards it, if only out of curiosity. As my fingertips touched the surface, it stopped moving and my entire hand went numb. I felt a strange feeling come over me in the form of a thought. Was it alive? I put my hand in a little further and felt something within the wet metal. It was rough to the touch, but perfectly round; a metallic sphere of sorts. I tried to pull at it, but when I did, the liquid began crawling up my arm. Frightened, I pulled back, and ran right out of the store. Without even so much as saying anything to my manager, I got in my car and drove home, truly terrified of whatever it was I had felt.
The next morning, I woke up on the floor of my bedroom. A sudden dizziness compelled me to grab my head. It was warm, borderline feverish. Was the night before just a weird nightmare? Or did I smoke too much after getting out of work? Frazzled, I made my way to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I placed my hands on both sides of the sink, staring deeply into my own eyes. I then inhaled, closed my eyes, and lowered my head. When I opened them, I noticed it. They were gone. I raised my arms closer to my face, twisting them side to side to check all around. My hands then darted to my back. They weren’t there either. I quickly shut the door to the bathroom and locked it. I undressed and scanned every inch of my body. My scars had vanished.
Feeling born anew, healed from the troubles of my past, I exited the bathroom with my head held high. I didn’t know how or why, but I was thankful. Completely elated, I decided to go about my day, venturing down to the kitchen for some breakfast. As I rummaged through the fridge, I heard a loud thud come from the direction of my father’s bedroom. I glanced down the hall and noticed that the door was closed. I tiptoed over and cracked it open a bit, careful not to wake the beast. The room was pitch black. He had hung a blanket in front of the window to block out the light, as he often did when hungover. I felt along the wall for the light switch. When I flicked it on, I saw my father, laying on the floor, his face beaten in. On his arms were scars, but not just any scars. They were mine. I would recognize them anywhere. Next to him, was a metallic, silver sphere. I didn’t think, I didn’t scream, I didn’t do anything that I probably should have. I just ran.
CREDIT: R.L. Rogers