Leg by Sean Cunningham

I view the world from a window. There is a pain in my left leg. It is not because of this pain that I do not leave the house, I do not leave the house because I do not leave the house. That being said, I do not live in a house – I live in a flat on the fourteenth floor of my building. I am afraid of heights.

This pain in my leg does not subside long enough for me to think nothing of it, it has kept me awake at night so I think much of it. I am scared to leave the house. I call the non-emergency number and tell them that the pain in my leg is severe and has not subsided and has kept me awake for two nights. They tell me to go to my local surgery, but I am scared to leave the house. The man on the phone does not understand this and tells me that this is the course of action I must take. I agree but do not call the doctors.


My leg has swollen to the size of a rolled-up mattress and I am convinced that I am going to die. I want to call for an ambulance but I am propped up against the window and the phone is out of reach. I am afraid that if I put any pressure on my left leg that it will explode, or my heart will explode, or my head will explode. I look out of the window and see the smallest of cars and the smallest of people down below, travelling.


The majority of my living room is now occupied by leg, though I am still managing to keep it off the ground. I do not know how many days have passed but I am weaker than I could ever have imagined and I am starting to become unsure whether this pain has always been with me.


I take one last look at the people and the cars below and catch sight of a couple of birds – maybe blackbirds, I don't know – alternating between flying and walking as they scavenge the pavement for crumbs of anything.

I lower my leg to the floor and the pain crashes in to me like a tidal wave of sticky tar, attaching itself to each and every crevice, inside and out. I feel the individual atoms of my being exploding, imploding, one by one, in rapid succession; taking my leg, then my heart, then my head, as I am swept back to the universe.


Sean Cunningham is a writer of very short prose and poetry, from Liverpool. His fiction has appeared in venues such as Bending Genres, Gone Lawn, and Tiny Flames Press, and is forthcoming in Fugue and LOLLIPOP Magazine. He can be found on Twitter @sssseanjc

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