Flashes of Sanity #144: Sloppy Skin

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Sloppy Skin


”That hat is one bad fashion choice,” Carl Messinger told Aresh.
Aresh laughed. Kara felt a laugh gurgle in her throat too. She stopped it. This was not the time.
They already look at me too much anyway.
She corrected the skin of her jaw. It still had her mouth open at all times showing her flesh under what was the real her. No one saw the real Kara anymore. They only saw wrinkled skin hanging on what once was human.
“You are right,” Dale Riderstorm said. “It is a terrible fashion choice.”
The man who had mocked the police for years smiled. He glanced at Kara. In contrast to everyone else he did not look away when she noticed him. He excused himself from the discussion and walked towards her.
He thinks I am a monster, Kara thought.
“Do you mind if I sit here?” Dale asked.
Kara didn’t answer him and Dale took that as she didn’t mind.
Here it comes, she thought.
“I am curious of what happened to you,” Dale said. “If you feel like telling me of course.”
The question hit Kara through the chest in a sharp spear. Her heart stopped. Then it broke when she realized someone could actually go past the horridness. Then she realized that he was the Reviewer, and the cold spear turned burning within her.
What was the catch?
“I am not comfortable telling you that,” she said.
Dale nodded. He turned and put his focus on Mr. Diamond and a teenage girl.
“People think they are so good at hiding secrets,” he said. “The truth is none of them are. Everything leaks out. The truth is there for those who are willing to find it. Not that long ago there was a rumor of a man walking in other men’s skin. The rumor began when a man named Bill went from Billionaire to church rat because he suddenly couldn’t handle the economics anymore. Then it spread as a house fell apart because of a faulty carpenter known for his attention to detail. I have studied you, Kara. Just as I keep tabs on every officer in our beloved country. Lately, you have lost touch with your own passion. To me this is the closest you have been to the real Kara for several months.”
Kara’s lips tasted salt as small droplets walked under her skin. The spear turned comforting within her chest.
“Yes, if you need someone to talk to, you know where I am. If you know others who could need the same favor show them to me.”
Dale arose. He walked to the teenage girl and Mr. Diamond. He talked to them like nothing had happened.
But everything happened.
Kara used the inside of her skin to dry the tears and corrected the skin of her jaw again.
Further into the sewers, she heard the same devilish laughter she drowned not that long ago.

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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

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