Pseudopod 123: Bone Sigh

By Tim Pratt
Read by Alasdair Stuart.

Sponsored by CONTAGIOUS, by Scott Sigler.

I sit at the table and work on my bonsai scar. I press the silver head of the meat tenderizer into my left thigh, stippling the skin. I do not feel pain; I scarcely feel the pressure. My nerves are dead, there
on my left thigh, where I grow my scar. Matches, hot needles, knives, and time. I tend my scar, I do not control it. Skin and muscle are unpredictable– this is not like painting a picture, carving a piece of wood. The flesh knows its own logic, the bruises come strangely, the healing proceeds unevenly. I collaborate with my flesh.

January 6th, 2009 7:03 am

…there is a reason tatooing and scarification is on the fringes of social aceptability, its spam, of the worst kind. As humans we want to be able to look at people and see them… judge them as they are… ‘no’ says the tatoo ‘i controll the message, instead of seeing me you’ll now have to deal with some graphic manifestation that means something to me and absolutely nothing to you’ ..kind of like if you were to turn on the nightly news and see katie gibbering randomly and throwing feces at the camera, not entirely usefull behavior.

January 10th, 2009 11:41 am

I finally said the title aloud and realized the pun…

As someone currently undergoing a divorce, for me the really scary part was the idea of something being taken out of context and used against one in court. Everything after that was just needless fluff; in fact, the protagonist really BEING nuts in this case just weakened the thesis.

January 12th, 2009 9:37 am

This could have been better. There was an unfufilling end to this story. I did like the idea that he was going to show the face of god to his duaghter.

January 15th, 2009 5:25 pm

I love Pratt ! Impossible Dreams is still one of my favourite stories.

The Wishing Star
February 11th, 2009 2:20 am

I found the story sickeningly beautiful. I wanted it to continue, I found myself imagining what his full-body scar would grow into, what the “face of god” would really look like, as one who can’t help but look for the monster under the bed…