's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"What a Color"

Submitted by Angela Shaver

IT, started when I went to the reef. The corals, the fishes! It was like a brilliant kaleidoscope in the shallows. My brain was soaking up the scene of a glorious parade of fauna. It was positively euphoric, witnessing the 80’s style fishes dance and dash around their vibrant coral homes.

I drifted down a bit, forgetting that the distance was necessary. My hand lightly brushed an orange nudibranch, a sea slug packed with stingers! I suddenly jolted. It was painful, eliciting a string of expletives. The rash took a month to heal. It was a serious annoyance, but I was warned wasn’t I. Beautiful colors are warnings.

Well, I must have the worst luck. Okay maybe not the worst luck. But come on! My hand just healed and guess what. I went out this one evening to take out the recycling bin and a mangy cat swipes my hand. A big tabby, like Garfield, is walking along the wood fence and then for no reason at all it rushes up and claws me. The flea bag jumps off the fence and dashes into the bushes. Probably pleased as a peach, hiding there, knowing I will never catch him.

So after another month of “What happened to your hand?” greetings, my hand is in working order again. I would not have to worry for quite some time later. However, when it did happen, I knew. All my hair fell out for goodness sakes!

The sun blasted through the windows at an awkward angle. I got up and went to get the mail. A slight tingling made me scratch at my scalp. I got a wad of my own hair in return. FUCK! Then my hand was burning. I shook the contents and my hair blew away like a tumble weed. I fingered through the rest of my hair. I got more hair and crunchy bits. Then burning and me screaming and flailing. I went inside and showered. Not a relaxing lavender scented shower mind you. It was a horrible ice cold fucking emergency shower. I was nearly bald by this point. And I am still bald now.

I eventually went out to go to the hospital which I lived close to. On the way the soles of my shoes melted and I somehow was stuck in place until I undid the laces. Then I was bare foot; which would not have been so bad had A. I not been filled with adrenaline and oh, B. my toes looked like bubble wrap. Blisters had appeared all over my toes. And then my arms were getting acne like sores. FUCKING LEAVES!