Under My Nails

INSPIRATIONAL MODAYS PROMPT FLASH FICTION presented by Stephanie at Be Kind Rewrite.

The guidelines for this flash fiction challenge are as follows:

Keep the story between 200 & 500 words, and choose one of these prompts –






Under My Nails

I like to pick scabs.  I can’t help it; they’re scabs, they’re supposed to be picked.

I keep a wad of toilet paper handy so I can dab at the blood.  I don’t use it often, I lick the blood mostly.  I can’t do this around others you understand; they don’t get it really.  I’ve seen a few people smile when they catch me do it, but they’re not really smiling.

I know it’s kind of gross, but what am I supposed to do?  There are scabs everywhere.  Some of them I recognize like old friends; this one looks like Italy, except without the toe on the boot, and this one’s kind of like a smiley face; I’ve picked it a lot, and this one … this one always gets a good yelp.  I don’t know why, it just does.  There’s a lot of them I know and pick at, but not because I know them, just because they’re there and need to be picked.  Not my fault.

I go to the doctor and he says things I don’t understand. Most people wouldn’t.  Most people never heard of Dermatillomania.

It’s too bad my dog and cat have it; I would stop picking their scabs if they didn’t.



Word Count: 207

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  1. You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I to find this topic to
    be really something that I believe I would by no
    means understand. It seems too complex and very large for me.
    I am looking ahead for your subsequent publish, I’ll try to get
    the grasp of it!

  2. Some truly quality blogs on this site, stored to my bookmarks.

  3. Mangsgirl.

     /  January 30, 2014

    I ate my own scabs as a child and would still give it consideration if I weren’t in the medical field, having spent considerable time in wound debridement.

  4. writingsprint

     /  August 7, 2013

    Well done… sometimes the best writing comes from walking through places where it’s hard to go!

    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  August 7, 2013

      Agreed. Or diving in, as the case seems to be with me. Thanks for reading and your comments.

  5. That would be a horrible disease to deal with. I can just imagine the disfigurement.

  6. Interesting! I’ve never heard of that either (haha). This didn’t gross me out…but then I do a lot of writing for medical clients, which sometimes involves looking at gruesome wound photos whilst eating lunch. You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen…
    My favorite line in this piece is the one about smiling, but not really smiling – oh, so poignant, so true.
    Sorry about the video not working. YouTube apparently deleted all my videos in the switch over to Google+, and my various Google/YouTube accounts caused some confusion, I guess. I’m really frustrated about it. But all you’d do differently from what you did here is to link directly to the blog post instead of my home page – so I’ll see the linkback. Of course, since you commented with the link to this on my blog, I saw it anyway. : )

  7. Christopher Shawbell

     /  July 31, 2013

    Okay … this is a really great, albeit, f******g sick story, so I don’t blame anyone for not commenting. Except Leanne, with her adamantine spine and angelic nature; she’s predisposed to deflect such deviltry.

  8. Ew. This story is well-written, Chris, but it grossed me out a little. 😉
    I confess, I Googled Dermatillomania. What a terrible disorder.

    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  July 30, 2013

      It grossed ME out. You have no idea! I saw the prompts, read down, and thought “That’s the one.” when I saw the last. The I wrote ‘I pick my scabs…’
      One of those rare time I thought, “What’s the matter with me?” Haha.

  1. Inspiration Monday: Silk Prison | bekindrewrite


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