He first noticed it shaving one morning, his head tilted up towards the ceiling, his hand pulling the safety razor over the skin of his neck. His right hand twitched, and a short bright red line appeared on his neck, small drops of blood slowly seeping. He thought nothing much of it at the time, and cursed himself for his clumsiness while he dabbed at his neck with a cold washer. Looking back, he later wondered if there was anything he could have done at this moment; any way of averting what was to come. Probably not.

It happened again several times over the next few days. Once he was drinking coffee, and scalded himself when his right hand twitched again, splashing his chest with the boiling liquid. Another time he was cutting onions for a curry, and a sudden spasm (again in his right hand) made him cut deeply into the thumb of his other hand. This time he didn’t curse himself, instead shouting at his “bloody stupid hand”. He started to think he should get this twitch seen by a doctor.

The next day he realised it was far beyond the abilities of any doctor. He was making dinner again, taking more care with his fingers this time as he cut the meat. Alexander, his cat, jumped up to the bench beside him, as it always did when he cut meat. He turned to shoo it down and his right hand leapt for the cat, sinking the knife deep into its body and out the other side. He could only stare in mute astonishment as his hand twisted and turned, finishing off the wailing cat. He had until then thought that he was developing some muscle condition, but medical conditions didn’t grant independent malicious desires.

From then he took more care, never picking up a knife, or anything remotely dangerous, with his right hand. The twitching abated for a while, as well, the hand apparently satisfied for the moment with the death of the cat. He thought, perhaps, he could adjust to this with the proper precautions.

A week or so later, it attacked his girlfriend. They were watching a video together at her place, getting a little amorous, when his right hand closed around her throat. She stared at him with wide, tearful, uncomprehending eyes while he struggled with his hand, his left hand trying and failing to prise open the fingers of his right hand. She had wet herself and passed out before he finally managed to pull his hand off and get her breathing. Not trusting his control of his hand, he’d watched from the other side of the room as she recovered, and tried to explain what was happening to him as she lay there weeping. He noticed then that the little finger on his right hand was broken, sticking out at an impossible angle. He couldn’t feel a thing.

He went home and tried to sleep, listening for a knock on the door, half hoping she’d called the police and wishing he had the courage to call them himself to get them to lock him up before anyone died. Hours passed, and he was planning what to do about his hand when he finally fell into a fitful sleep.

He woke up to a scrabbling, scratching noise. Blinking furiously to wake himself up, he focused on his bedside table, the source of the noise. His right hand was fumbling with his pocket knife, trying to open one of the blades. Horrified, he swept the knife across the room with his other hand. He stayed awake for the rest of the night, wrestling with the knowledge that part of his body now intended to kill him.

The next day, he surveyed the items arrayed on his workbench in the garage. The meat cleaver he’d had to buy, doing his best to ignore the frightened glances of his fellow shoppers at the hand struggling under his coat, where he’d managed to clumsily strap his arm to his side. The bandages he had already in a first aid kit, and the now half finished bottle of scotch was a present for his father that would have to be replaced. He smoked one more cigarette, trying to get in the right frame of mind for what he had to do. His right arm was tight in a vise, his right hand spasming and struggling, a wild trapped animal. Idly he burned his right hand with the cigarette in his left hand, checking again that there was no sensation. The skin burned, but then his left hand twitched, and the cigarette arced across the garage and rolled on the concrete floor.

“Okay, … nervous twitch” he thought to himself, and reached for the cleaver.

He raised the cleaver above his head.

His left hand twitched again.


An original story, brought to you by the E2 Scary Stories Quest.

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