Home About Works Books Events

The Dirty Hands

“You must remember to wash your hands before you sleep,” the Mother said, “else the Devil will slip into your room and lick them to bloody stumps by morning.”
Truthfully, it was very late, and time for bed, but her son, crafty and eager to dodge the chore by his craft, did not wash his hands, but set to work stuffing his keyhole and the crack beneath his door with bits of paper. Then he slept peacefully.
The next morning, he left his room to find his mother standing very awkwardly, her back to him, and huddled over so intently that he could not see her head or most of her arms. And he thought he saw, from the corner of an eye, small and red bits of something strike the floor every so often at her feet.
“And perhaps I should have added,” came her voice, but cracked and strange, “that if he were to get the scent of filth in him, though find himself unable to reach it, he won’t leave, but, in a mad frenzy, seek out the closest available pair of hands to satiate him.”

Next Page »