Monday 15 July 2013


Debbie Lechtman

The office is large but all I can see is how it’s caving in. From the ceiling and from the walls, and I feel the heat rising up my throat, tickling me, like a mild allergy to kiwi or strawberries. Hmph, hmph, I try to cough, itch it from the inside. It’s not working, though.
 The shrink stares at me and her yellow eyes burn holes right through my skin. I want to spit on her, say, look away! Look away from me! You’re hurting me! But then she’ll really think I’m crazy, really think it.
I can’t go back there, to the hospital. The loony bin. I can’t go back. So I chew the inside of my lip until my mouth tastes like metal, raw, and maybe this is how I’ll forget about my skin, how it burns and sizzles every time she looks.
             'You’re chewing your lip,' she says, and her square, thick-rimmed glasses slip an inch down the bridge of her nose. The tip of my tongue swells, and I clench my teeth so I don’t say it. D’oh! I’m chewing my lip! I’m wearing shoes! My therapist just really likes to state the obvious.
            I’m crazy, not stupid.
              'Tell me, Lana,' she says, her voice like syrup. Sticky. My throat itches again, like ants crawling from the inside. 'Tell me what’s wrong.'
            I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know I
don’t know I don’t know.
            I need some air.

About The Author

Debbie Lechtman is a 22-year-old writer and aspiring novelist currently living in Connecticut. She posts her flash fiction at:

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