Death by Paper: A Halloween Short

            Death by Paper

If I got a papercut, that’s a tragedy. If you fell down an open manhole and died, that’s comedy

                                                                                                – Mel Brooks

Millions of angry-red papercuts littered her willowy frame as she lay twitching on the floor.  Her skin burned; it tingled and stretched and colored.  The wounds open for the entire world to see, to ridicule, but never to heal.  They would fester and furiously sting until tears welled in her eyes, leaked out, flowed down her bulbous speckled cheek, and pooled in the shell of protruding cartilage hidden beneath her thick, wiry, raven mane splayed across the rough commercial carpet.

Life-giving air seeped through a busted window at the far end of the room, crept along the mold-encrusted walls, and slithered down to paint her prone figure with its comfort.  She greedily sucked it in and then choked when a ball of dry air punched the back of her throat.  Curling onto her side, she wheezed through a fit of rib-cracking coughs, allowing spittle to drip from the corner of her cracked lips and hang precariously off her jaw line.

With a moan, she dropped her head on the carpet with a dull Thud!  A low hum, beep, hum resonated throughout the room, mocking her.  Over and over again:

Hum, beep, hum.

Huumm, beep, huumm.

Huuuummmm, beep, huuuummmm.

She rolled onto her back, hissing with each brush of material against her tender flesh, and stared at the piss-colored ceiling wondering how exactly she ended up in this position.  She was always cautious, always mindful of others, and yet, here she was; flat on her back in the middle of a dark room writhing in pain.

Tilting her head towards the incessant printer going about its business, spitting out page after page, uncaring of her predicament, she lowered her gaze and glared angrily at the stack of fallen computer paper spanning the carpet like a virginal Oriental fan, cursing it to the darkest pits of hell.

She paused.  The Seventh Circle!

She eyed the loose sheets scattered nearby tinged with crimson.

“Why, oh, why couldn’t they ‘Go Green’?”

Priscilla Shay ©2010- 2013

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