Will Fawley – The Black Sp.t

The Black Sp.t

When he first noticed the black spot he wasn’t sure how long it had been there. It was small and black and solid and on the palm of his hand at the base of his thumb. It looked like this: . It was the same size too. It was only a speck really, that’s why, at first, he thought it was just a pen mark. But when it didn’t wash off three days later he began to worry. He began to suspect that the spot was growing, though he still could not tell if it was under his skin or above.

He scratched at it as if hoping to dislodge it. He visited Dr. Angee, the man who had taken care of he and his wife and all three of their children until they left for college. He wasn’t satisfied when the Doctor told him it was probably nothing more than a freckle. He also wasn’t satisfied when the dermatologist told him it was a blood blister, or when the oncologist told him it could be a number of things but definitely not cancer.

The black spot was growing, yes he was sure of it. He couldn’t prove it to Dr. Angee when he went back for another checkup, but he knew it. When the doctor saw him again he said the spot was nothing to worry about and said he could prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or cut the spot off whichever he preferred.

It was not in his head, he knew it, so he asked Dr. Angee to cut the black spot off. The doctor made a show, pumping the anesthetic into the syringe, pushing the air out, flicking the tube, and then squeezing it into his thumb, he needed to believe this would work.
His hand bled red, clear and healthy, and then scabbed up into a new black spot. In the back of his mind he worried that the new black spot would never go away, even though he knew that was ridiculous, the black spot was gone for good.

But the new black spot did not go away after three days. It did not go away after a week. Or three weeks. It did not go away after a year, and none of the doctors would see him about this new black spot. He watched the new black spot every day, sure it was growing. He watched the new black spot until he died.

Bio: Will Fawley holds an MFA from George Mason University where he worked as a fiction editor for Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art.

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