Arm(s) – Francine Witte

I liked Morey, but he had an extra arm. Radioactive thing, he said.

I tried as hard as I could to ignore it. Looked up at the ceiling a lot.

We never made it to sex. I would take a look at his extra arm stuffed in his sleeve along with his real arm. I knew this was not going to work.

When I tried to break up with him, his anger was electric, like I flipped on a switch I hadn’t noticed before.

He said it was his extra arm and he knew it and don’t try to lie. I asked him if he had thought about plastic surgery. He looked a little upset, then said, “I guess.”

“Let’s take your arms out,” I said, ripping his sleeve. The real arm, the one that belonged there shook with sudden freedom. The extra arm reached out for me. It was a tenderness Morey hadn’t shown me before.

“Sorry,” Morey said. “It likes to do that.”

“Don’t be,” I assured him. The extra arm now stroking my hair.

Meanwhile, the real arm was busy now, dealing a hand of canasta.

“This is where it get’s tricky,” Morey said, looking this way, then that, as if trying to decide which arm to follow.

Francine Witte’s latest publications are a full-length poetry collection, Theory of Flesh from Kelsay Books and the Blue Light Press First Prize Winner, Dressed All Wrong for This. Her flash fiction has appeared in numerous journals, anthologized in the most recent New Micro (W.W. Norton) and her novella-in-flash, The Way of the Wind is forthcoming from Ad Hoc Fiction. She lives in New York City.

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