something in the water

I haven’t cut my nails since we arrived here. They haven’t grown much. Perhaps it’s something in the water.

I wondered if I should cut my nails when we arrived here. But in the subsequent month they’ve hardly grown. Something in the water, perhaps. That’s what F thinks.

I remember looking at my nails the day after we arrived here, and wondering if I should cut them. In the subsequent month, though, they’ve hardly grown. “Something in the water, perhaps,” F suggests when I tell her. She looks down at her own nails.

I looked at my nails the day after we arrived here and wondered if I should cut them. A month later, they’ve hardly grown. “Something in the water,” F suggests when I tell her. She shrugs. She won’t let me look at her nails, but later I catch her examining them carefully.

I remember looking at my nails the day after we arrived and asking F if she thought I should cut them. A month later they’ve hardly grown. F shrugs. “Something in the water,” she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails, but later I catch her at the bathroom sink, washing her hands, spreading her fingers, washing again. “What’s the matter?”

The day after we arrived, I remember, I asked F if she thought I should cut my nails. A month later they’ve hardly grown. F shrugs. “Something in the water,” she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails–though I am always up for inspection, F never is. But later, passing the bathroom door, I catch her at the sink, washing her hands, spreading her fingers hands held flat above the water, washing again. “What’s the matter?” I ask. “Nothing,” she says, smiling and closing the door. “Nothing’s the matter.” Then, from inside: “Nothing, nothing, nothing’s the matter.”

The day after we arrived, I remember, I asked F if she thought we should cut our nails. A month later mine have hardly grown. F shrugs. Something in the water, she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails. I am always up for inspection, F never is. Later, passing the bathroom door, I catch her at the sink, washing her hands; spreading her fingers, hands held flat above the water; washing again. What’s the matter? I ask. Nothing, F says, smiling and closing the door. Nothing’s the matter. Then, from inside: Nothing, nothing, nothing’s the matter.

Nothing will ever be the matter again.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “something in the water

  1. anzanhoshin

    Dude, just like cut your nails, man.

    Looking up, he shook his head at the screen. Dude, just like cut your nails, man.

    His hand lifted from the mouse. Looking up, he sho…

  2. anzanhoshin

    (Actually, this was a nice example of a process.)

  3. I prefer what I think is the 5th version,
    The set up is cleaner, but the detail of her spreading her fingers is somehow eerie. It works best – even if you added that nothing would ever be the matter again:

    I remember looking at my nails the day after we arrived and asking F if she thought I should cut them. A month later they’ve hardly grown. F shrugs. “Something in the water,” she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails, but later I catch her at the bathroom sink, washing her hands, spreading her fingers, washing again. “What’s the matter?”

  4. Brendan

    Wait, isn’t this about using the illusion of “process” to create horror?

  5. uzwi

    Hi Brendan. That was the plan.