Don’t take your fingers for granted. I present a strange tale called:
This whole thing began, as many hauntings do, when I came across a dead body. I should clarify that, though, by saying that while this was by no means a normal occurrence, I was still not as concerned as some might have been in my situation. I’d seen some magical corpses in my time.
Now, the specialness of a corpse is not something the average person is looking for, but this one had such a blatant aura it was practically screaming for someone to pay it attention. The used-to-be-man, with his wide-open eyes and bloating feet, glowed like a fucking Christmas tree.
We called this brand of corpse in the Special Morgue an “Ostentatious Body.” One which has a soul just hanging on for the sake of being there.
And like a damn fool, like a person who forgot all his training, I brushed my ungloved finger against it when I leaned down to get a good look. I thought little of this at the time, as I waited for the team to pick it up and bring it to the office, more concerned with the maker of the corpse, and the strange way the dead guy’s fingers pointed at a tree across the yard, but the curse was there whether I noticed or not.
And, by the next morning, I woke up, and my fingers were haunted. Like, all of them. No idea how it spread to the other parts, but the curse sat there, taking all my upper body digits.
Not my palm mind you, or my wrists. I could still effectively use the heel of my hand to do things, but I woke up to the odd sensation of my fingers waving like I was in a jazz production with some seriously bad choreography.
“Oh God,” I muttered and went to grab my phone. This proved dumb, as, of course, my fingers stopped me. They continuously flicked away or used my thumb to push away my easy solutions.
Thirty seconds of failing later, my fingers splayed out and then rolled along each individual digit. Over the next few hours, I learned this to mean it was laughing.
I learned a lot of things like that in a short period of time. Like how my fingers would wave at anyone I walked by on my way to my office, so long as they were female and pretty. But also, curiously, my fingers had a slightly different taste in women than me.
I tucked it underneath my jacket and kept it plastered there until I was a few blocks from my destination where I learned the curse liked flipping people off too, and trying to hide the gesture as it did so only made people more likely to try to look at what I was doing.
This came to a head almost immediately. A guy in a trench coat walked by, and my fingers decided to be rude. He looked at me, catching the little flapping motion in my pockets.
He blinked in annoyance. “Hey, buddy, what the heck?”
The middle fingers beckoned, and rather than explain, I ran. I ran down the next few streets, shoving my rioting fingers underneath my armpits. Where the nails hurt me.
Finally, though, finally, I arrived at my place of business. And stood out at the front door. I slammed my hand on the glass a few times and waited. After a moment, I used the back of my hand to press the intercom.
No one answered this either.
I peered closer to the glass and found the office dark inside. All blackness. I banged my hand on the glass one more time, and only then noticed something moving at the desk: the receptionist’s usual space.
It slithered. Low to the ground, and large, and lumpy. The darkness, the darkness odd even if it was nighttime, obscured the thing inside. Until it slithered into the light.
And I pulled back in alarm.
The woman laid without moving. A deep bruise around her neck. But her fingers dragged her along. Like a spider with a huge web full of prey.
My gaze drifted, almost as if dragged, down to my own fingers. Which wiggled all the fingers at once. Back and forth, like sea grass under water. This continued for a few more moments before it snapped.
I jolted. My fingers snapped again and pointed at me and then pointed at the glass. Highlighting the fingers groping at the edge of the barrier trying to climb to the door handle.
And, in that moment, I wondered how I might manage in life with only using my toes. How I might make my living typing with only my feet.
Because cutting them off had to be better than having disobeying fingers.