It Nags (Flash Fiction)

A splinter protruded, festered and red, right at the tip of Roy’s thumb. He digs at it ruthlessly but it stubbornly hangs on.

“Leave it alone, it’ll come out on its own.” the wife said then closed her eyes to go back to bed. He listens and lays down his head, with hopes his body will be working the throbbing splinter from his hand.

The next morning, there’s been a change. Not, though, necessarily for the better he finds. The splinter in his thumb is a centimeter longer, but still embedded and very much redder.

There also seems to be a splinter in every fingertip now. Making him wonder how he got them at all. Some plywood at work? Digging up that well? Sanding his buddies boat last weekend? Really it was impossible to tell.

Roy told his wife, over breakfast “I might head into town and let Doc Higgins have a go at yanking these sore dirty bastards from my fingers, ya know.”

The wife gave a disgusted sneer, “So we’re made of money, are we dear? Off to the Doc for every little scratch and sniffle? Not likely. You’ll be fine, just give it some time to heal natural like.”

Roy nodded, “Spose you’re right. Though it does hurt a mighty bit.”

She threw a bottle of painkillers his way, “Take two, then out to the barn to feed the cows their hay.”

He did as he was told, then came back in for an afternoon nap. He was still snoring with some much needed sleep when his wife had dinner on the table and ready to eat.

She came in storming mad, after shouting “supper!” several times as she had. “Roy! You lazy son of a bitch, wake up!”

He didn’t flinch or skip a breath.

“You better crack them eyelids Roy, or I’m gonna get my cane and beat you till your sore!”

And when he ignored her again, she did just that. Winding up hard like she did with her softball bat, she gave his bum a great smack that ominiusly echoed across the room and back.

That did the trick.

Roy rolled over and gave her a scowl.

“I..warned ya..hey what’s wrong with your eyes now?”

He launched from the bed and took her to the ground. Claws fully extended on both hands now, he sunk their sharp tips into her skull and made it so she wouldn’t make another annoying sound.

Roy licked his lips and then his fangs.

“Did you say supper? Dang, I’m so starved, I could eat a nag like you whole. Also, I suppose I should say, you were right. I am feeling better.”


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