Daily Dialogue: Bad Leg

Forty minutes a day, I play in the chaos of the mind with two made-up women and see what they come up with.

Gwen
I’ve been going through some… changes lately.

Dawn
So have I.

Gwen
Have you had the nightmares, too?

Dawn
Ever since Tuesday. What changes have happened to you?

Gwen
I don’t… What about you?

Dawn
My leg. It’s…

Gwen
Like my leg. See?

Dawn
Your growths aren’t as bad as mine.

Gwen
But mine are more green.

Dawn
Have you gone to a doctor?

Gwen
Have you?

Dawn
So I can be locked away? Or worse, told that they don’t know what’s wrong?

Gwen
Does your leg go numb? Mine doesn’t.

Dawn
Sometimes. Other times, it hurts like–

Gwen
Like someone twisting a knife.

Dawn
What could’ve done this? What did we do wrong?

Gwen
I don’t know. We haven’t seen much of each other lately, and we don’t eat the same things.

Dawn
Do you think it’s STDs?

Gwen
No, I’m… still a… a…

Dawn
Oh.

Gwen
I looked online for help, but I only found more questions.

Dawn
What do you mean?

Gwen
There are others this is happening to. Different body parts, but they’re all women. And all since Tuesday.

Dawn
Fuck. Did any of them go to a doctor?

Gwen
None of the others heard back from them.

Dawn
I can’t be locked away or killed.

Gwen
What are your nightmares like? The others said that they have them, too.

Dawn
I’m being eaten and… Why can I remember this? Why can I remember this so vividly? I don’t ever remember my dreams, no matter how bad they get.

Gwen
I remember, too. I’m here for you, Dawn. Keep telling me.

Dawn
I’m being eaten by this… thing. It has three mouths and… and long claws that… oh fuck.

Gwen
That pull you apart, piece by piece.

Dawn
Yes…

Gwen
And you’re afraid.

Dawn
Yes…

Gwen
Not because of the monster, but because of how good it feels.

Dawn
It felt so good, Gwen. Like being in a warm bath and an orgasm at once. Am I crazy for that? Am I horrible?

Gwen
No. I don’t know what any of this means, but what it doesn’t mean is that we’re bad people. Did the thing start with your leg?

Dawn
Yeah.

Gwen
Mine, too. The others say that their growths appeared wherever their monster first devoured.

Dawn
Where are these other women?

Gwen
All over the country, and they’re different ages, too. Some are our age, some are older, some younger.

Dawn
And there’s nothing that connects us apart from these tumors and nightmares?

Gwen
Nothing yet.

Dawn
So what are we supposed to do now?

Gwen
Does it hurt when you touch yours?

Dawn
Only when I feel that twisting pain.

Gwen
No feeling at all?

Dawn
It’s numb like yours probably is. Why are you asking these questions?

Gwen
I’m gonna try to cut mine off.

Dawn
What? You might die!

Gwen
This isn’t natural. The others and I talked it over and I volunteered to cut mine off first. If it works, I’ll tell the others to do the same.

Dawn
And if it doesn’t work, you’ll bleed to death!

Gwen
Not if you help me.

Dawn
Help you? Why would I do that?

Gwen
Because you’ll need me to help you if this works.

Dawn
I’m not gonna cut off my flesh. You’re fucking crazy.

Gwen
If the growths don’t go away, what then? Or if they get worse? And what about the nightmares?

Dawn
They’ll go away eventually…

Gwen
What makes you think that?

Dawn
Because they have to! Right? They just appeared, so they can just disappear!

Gwen
And what if they don’t?

Dawn
What makes you so sure that they won’t?

Gwen
Before I show you this, I should warn you that it’s terrible. There’s a woman who doesn’t have anything wrong with her, but she talks about her sister. Unlike the rest of us, all of her dreams are nightmares. Even her daydreams. The woman figures that the nightmares have something to do with the cause of the growths because… this is her sister.

Dawn
I’m gonna be sick.

Gwen
This started on Tuesday, like with the rest of us. She can’t leave the room now because the tumors are so violently malignant. Her sister wants to kill herself, but she can’t even move her arm to pick up a razor. The bed is her toilet. The most she can hope is either she starves or chokes, or the woman takes mercy on her.

Dawn
What do I… What do I have to do?

Gwen
I’m gonna use a knife and you’re gonna burn the wound closed.

Dawn
With what?

Gwen
There’s some paper in the bathroom. Have it lit when I’m almost finished so you can be ready to rush in. Then you pour some alcohol on it and I’ll wrap it up.

Dawn
Then what?

Gwen
Then we wait.

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