A Cutting Secret

Posted: November 4, 2010 in #fridayflash, Short stories

The saying goes, “The first cut is the deepest”. 

Cassie disagreed. 

The deep crimson liquid trickled down the peachy coloured skin.  The contrast of the two colours and textures felt empowering, like strawberry sauce drizzled over rich vanilla ice cream, it was a combination meant to happen.  The red was thick, glossy and rich, as any healthy blood should be.  She raised the bread knife and sliced at the skin again.  The serrated edge was neat and yet made a small crunching sound against the virginal soft flesh. 

The first cut was just the beginning.  It was the last cut, the one, which bled and stung which was the deepest, and the one she could finally stop and feel calm.

*   *   *

Going back to school after the summer break was hard for any adolescent, but a teen that feared school was even worse.  Cassie was quiet but still outgoing and had a great sense of humour amongst her friends.  She wasn’t one of the genius children in her year, certainly not the sportiest and in no way was she the most popular, but she was well liked. 

Faye Mitchell was the most popular girl in school, with her best friend Drew always at her side.  The two were not a force to be reckoned with.  To ensure they stayed popular they would pick on the people who were vulnerable in order to remain popular and most importantly top of the hierarchy.  Cassie was one of these unlucky few.  From small incidents of stealing her pencil case to following her home taking it in turns to trip her or push her into bushes, they taunted her.  From the first day of school, Cassie regrettably raised her hand during the English lesson to answer the teacher’s question that was the day they had put an invisible target on her back.

The wind whispered through the trees, like an opera chorus, sweeping through the breeze.  The leaves jangled and scratched the air as the warm zephyr surrounded her gently in a hug by Mother Nature.  She was calm here, at peace and able to reflect on her feelings without the pain of feeling vulnerable.  She sat in the short grass, leant against her favourite tree, with the world around her.  Time seemed to stop here, in her beloved hiding place.  The knife she carried around in her school bag was like her best friend.  No one but Cassie would understand that.  It allowed her to open up, see the pain she felt inside and realised an agonising internal scream.  She wasn’t depressed, or suicidal, she was just realising an energy that had no other way of escaping.  Some people would lash out, other may cry or go into deep dejection, but this was her release.   If she was honest, it was her guilty pleasure.  She could never have anyone know of her secret, because people would think she was ‘mentally ill’, a suicidal maniac or worse that she was doing it for attention.  It had become an addiction, when any overwhelming circumstance or event occurred, the feeling she could experience later by releasing it, whilst alone with her thoughts, made the event almost bearable.

That evening on the way home from school her antagonists had caught up with her to tease and provoke. 

“Go away!” She said her head slightly looking at the ground and maintaining a steady pace.

“Make us!” smirked Faye

“Yeah make us!” Drew said copying her friend and idol.

Cassie continued to walk, thinking of the feelings of escape she could have, just half an hour form now, as long as she managed to shake these two off.  Before she had a chance to think any further, Faye grabbed at Cassie’s arm so tightly and with such force, Cassie’s sleeve ripped from its seam at the top of her shoulder.

“You always have been a freak!”  Faye laughed as the two girls ran off in front of her taunting her with weird stares and threatening looks as Cassie tried to cover up her visible mutilation.

The tops of her arms were covered in scars and lacerations.  Healing wounds, to Cassie meant she had survived another day and got through it amicably.  They were achievements to her but others would never see it like that.

The embarrassment, fear and exposure built into a huge ball of anxiety at the pit of her stomach.  It felt like her insides had all dropped to her pelvis, landing with a thud.  Her hands trembled and she could feel her face burn with scarlet humiliation.  Her skin tingled like pins and needles on the surface, brushing the fine hairs that protected her skin.  She ran to her place of hiding, where she could try to calm her emotions and escape some of the feelings tangled up inside of her.

As she sat, beneath the silhouette of the tree’s embrace, she pulled out the knife and began to cut.  The crunching sound of the piercing skin was a satisfying comfort.  She stopped.  She could hear giggling.  She wiped the knife’s blade on her skirt and slid it back into her bag, before rolling down her sleeves of her sweatshirt.  The raw exposed skin, rubbed angrily on the fabric.

She peered cautiously from behind the tree.  The girly laughter became incessant.

Only metres from the tree, lying on the warm grass, sat Faye and Dawn.  They seemed to be tickling and poking each other for fun.  Cassie took a step further out of the trees shadows, to see them throwing tufts of freshly mown grass into each other’s hair.  She was scared to come out of her hiding place in case they spotted her.  This was her place; she’d been coming here for years and had never seen anyone she knew.  She felt she’d been intruded upon, invaded, violated. 

She stood back again wondering what to do.  Whichever direction she ran they’d see her.  She looked back over to the pair.  Their actions stopped her, like a statue made of stone.

The two lay next to each other, the giggling stopped.  Their bodies were intertwined as they passionately kissed each other and pulled at each other’s clothes. 

She had two options.  Either confront them and have something to hold over them, which would hopefully stop the bullying, but run the risk of being beaten in the process; or pretend nothing had ever happened and sit quietly until they went home.

She took her best friend from her bag and hoped he would point her in the right direction.

  1. adampb says:

    The brutality and fragility of adolescence is well captured here. And such a sinister twist.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. marc nash says:

    the self-harm is sensitively and insightfully written. The ending was quite a shock. Well done

  3. Rebecca says:

    Powerful piece, felt great sympathy for Cassie.

    Left me wondering what would happen next.

  4. jim bronyaur says:

    WOW… twists everywhere in this one. The picture painted with the knife was amazing – sad and true at the same time.

    Jim Bronyaur
    http://tinyurl.com/statuelife-ff <— my #fridayflash this week

  5. Marisa Birns says:

    Yes, the ending brought surprising twist and turn. Do wonder what she will do, though suspect she is not strong enough to take those false reins of power.

  6. The knife already has a taste for her blood. I’m guessing it’s going to want to feast on the blood of others. Good story!

  7. antisocialbutterflie says:

    Chilling and accurate. Well built and described. Great job.

  8. L'Aussie says:

    Wow, this is so well done. Self harm, with an underlying reason why. Very graphic with a chilling twist. You created great sympathy fory your heroine..:)

  9. Sam Adamson says:

    Great job! Chilling and insightful at the same time.

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