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“Woah! Hold on, don’t hit me, I need my jaw Rain!” I held my hands up to ward off her vicious left hook.
She lowered her fists, “Well what do you want me to do?”
“I don’t know, there has to be some way to hurt me that won’t leave me unable to talk or eat for a week.” I rubbed my jaw remembering the last time she decked me.
We sat staring at each other; the burning in my brain was maddening.
“I have an idea Q, you might not like it though.” Rain was looking at me with a half smile on her face. “You ever get into body modification?”
“Body what?” I didn’t like that smile.
I should have known that a girl covered in tattoos was going to be into some weird shit. After a short lesson in the aesthetic values, and her assurance that yes it would hurt a lot, and instead of broken bones, or busted teeth it would leave me with a nice little memento, I agreed.
“Ok so once the wire gets hot enough I am going to press it into your arm and it’s going to hurt, a lot. Eventually it will burn away the nerve endings and you will only feel the normal burning pain, which is still going to hurt.” She looked at me with a sick sort of excitement.
“Don’t worry Q I have three of these and they all healed up just fine, you will love the look.” To emphasize her words she tugged her shirt up to show me three star shaped scars burned into her ribs.
“Can I…can I touch them?” They felt like scars, rough and raised. Delicate pink lines created by the bodies own response to injury. Running my fingers over them caused her to giggle and twitch. The skin around the stars was soft, even the scar tissue seemed somehow feminine. I pulled my fingers back, embarrassed again.
“Ok, well I guess its better than having you break my jaw” I couldn’t believe I was going through with this, but the hornet’s nest in my brain demanded that I do something soon, if not I was going to go crazy.
“What do you want? What shape?” She had gotten a thick wire coat hanger from the back room and was already heating it up over a Zippo, burning off the paint and getting it ready.
“You pick, I can’t really think right now” The feeling in my head was out of control, it was all I could do to talk.
“Alright, give me a second.” I heard the sound of hot metal being put into water. She began bending and shaping the wire, a couple of times she held it up to a reading light to make sure it was perfect.
The flick of the Zippo made me look up; she was getting the brand red hot, heating it evenly holding the end of the coat hanger between rolled up newspapers to keep from burning her fingers.
“Alright Q get ready, cause we only get one chance to make this look good.” She was smiling, still heating the end of the brand with her lighter.
I sat at the table one hand on the mouse, one on the keyboard. Browsing sites, looking for more data keeping in mind everything that Rain had told me about her friends and family, trying not to think of the burning hot poker Rain was about to push into my arm. She placed one hand on my right arm, holding it down on the table.
I smelled it before I felt it. The acrid smell of burning arm hair, then pain. It was strong, and clean. Unlike the throbbing dull pain of being struck in the face, this was more like being cut with a sword made of ice. The sensation sent tingles down my spine, before it caused it to tighten in a jerking spasm. Rain had my arm in a steely grip, she wasn’t about to let me go.
My eyes watered with tears blurring out the computer screen. I could feel something crawling up the back of my throat, trying to claw its way out. It was then that I felt the now familiar feeling of letting go, like some vital blockage had been removed, releasing the flood.
I started screaming because of the pain, but I kept screaming because of what I saw after that.