The Rot

The sun sat bright and high in the sky as Zach stumbled along the road.

“Damn, I thought that finger would hold out for at least another week,” he thought, as the flesh of his left ring finger finally pulled away from the bone and dropped into the dust and gravel.

He sighed, and continued on his way.

”At least I don’t have to worry about it falling off into the soup pot now.”  He looked down at his hands.  Zach was one of the lucky ones.  His rot was slow.  He could count on losing maybe a knuckle or a chunk about every six to nine months, but no more.

Some of his friends lost flesh a couple times a month.

And it always was painful as it regenerated, just to rot again.

So Zach counted himself fortunate.


When we lose a limb?  Yeah, that sucks.

For me, I’m lucky.  I just lose little fingers.  I don’t have to worry about the bones.  They’re small enough.  I can usually leave it where it drops and just be on my way.  I’ve lost fingers on the road, in town.  Once I lost one at the Meeting.  Right in front of everyone.  I left it lie there.

I know it’s not the polite thing to do.  But man, I was so embarrassed.  I wasn’t expecting it.

I always think it will be longer before it drops off.  I never get it right.

The Old ones, they’re better at predicting.  They have lost so many limbs so many times….I guess you just get good at it.

I don’t want to get good at it.

As awful as it would be to lose a finger in the soup pot at the Feast…..I don’t want to get used to this.


4 thoughts on “The Rot

    1. Christine Post author

      Chrystal, Zach started out as a short story, but I think he’s outgrowing that format! So…probably. 🙂


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