I turned my eyes to the left and to the right. Naturally the classroom was surrounded by four walls. They were too close for my own comfort. The professor had not stopped lecturing, not even for a quick sup of coffee, for the past thirty seven minutes. I didn’t want to write anymore. Blue ink on white paper no longer appealed to me. My handwriting was skewed.
I glanced at my cell phone. Another hour before we would be dismissed. My mind wandered. They say magic is supposed to be the projection of the will to impact the physical world.
My eyes closed and I silently willed myself to appear beachside, alone with the seagulls, with warm sand and a cool breeze against my skin. In my mind I saw the clear sky, smelled the ocean air, heard the cries of the gulls, the movements on the water against the earth, my own breathing.
The slamming of the classroom door caused my eyes to involuntarily flick open. I was assaulted by the artificial light reflecting off the white walls and the pasty skin of my classmates. Artificial light terrorizing my own skin, burning and stinging. I wanted to rip the fucking skin off of my bones, peel and shred it and let my bones breath on their own.
The vibrations of the phone in my bag interrupted me from my sadistic reverie. I reached down, but instead of the phone I took out the book I had read from the class. Professors words still polluted the air, individual letters tearing around the room disjointed and recombining in midair, stuffing themselves in my ears, clogging my throat. I coughed.
The class book had a soft white cover. The lights above rippled across the plastic coated spine like clouds reflected in a pool. With a grimace I carelessly let the book fall out of my hand, landing on the tiled floor. The resulting smack of book on floor seemed to send up a mushroom cloud of opaque smoky sound, chasing away the letters in the air, hovering a moment before evaporating. Nobody noticed or cared, no eye blinked in acknowledgement of my slight disturbance. Bastards.
I clenched my fists, squeezing an imaginary cloth bag of plastic pellets. A red cloth bag sewn together with black thread. I imagined chucking the bag at a wall, perhaps knocking it down in a cloud of plaster dust. Enough, enough.
I traced the lines of the lips on my face, the hollows of my eyes, the curves of my brows. Though my fingernails were short clipped, I dug them into the skin by my left eye, deeper and deeper, slowly breaking through. I felt the blood start to fall down my cheek.
My skin peeled off amazingly well. The left side of my face was now bare, the bloody skin on the floor by my shoes. I’ll save the rest of my face for last, I thought to myself. Immediately I peeled the skin off my lower and upper arms. I struggled a bit with the hands, but found that I could just pull it off easily by tugging on my fingertips.
The smell did not exist. One would have thought that the disengaged human flesh lying on the floor, bloody and raw would have some awful stench, but no. Again no one seemed to notice.
The shoes came off. The pants came off along with my shirt. Once all the skin below my waist was gone, I unwrapped the skin on my neck, and finally lifted the final patch on my face. My scalp came off easily enough, and once my hair was on the floor, I sat there completely exposed, a sitting and breathing skeleton, bare bones absorbing the fluorescent lights. I got up, stepped over the maze of skin surrounding my chair, and stood before the wall. White painted brick, not cheap plaster. Strange. I inhaled, and threw myself full force against the wall. I felt it give way from the impact of my body and together we fell with a crash to the floor.
I heard screams piercing through the sandstorm of brick dust and paint chips swirling in the air. My bones became disjointed, my arms together to the right of my skull. I didn’t know where my legs were. One of my eyes had fallen out and probably lay crushed somewhere. Somehow I summoned the will to rotate my eye all the way around so I was staring into my brain. My vision darkened and I saw nothing.
The shouts and screams faded to a numbing silence, a faint ringing and buzzing sound. Then nothing. I hummed quietly to myself and discovered I couldn’t move, couldn’t feel. Then music.
My favorite song was stuck in my head.


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