Molly Found A Finger

Molly found a finger. It wasn’t hers - she’d checked. It had turned dark crimson and light green. The palette of her kitchen.

“Anyone’s finger?!” She walked around the village, pointing at the finger that was pointing. “Anybody lost a finger?!” Her face hopeful and helpful. Passersby recoiled and nobody claimed it. One gentleman seemed unsure, but when he checked his hands and did a finger stock control, he realised that he had all his fingers thank you.

Molly took the finger to the police station to see if anyone needed a finger. It would be a shame to waste it if was left unclaimed. The police got her to fill in some paperwork while they put the finger in a small transparent bag and deposited it in Lost and Found. She asked, begged them to stay in touch so that she could meet the silly billy who’d lost their finger. She’d like to call them a silly billy and they could have a laugh about it.

Molly walked back home by the river, chatting to dog owners about the finger she’d found. She walked on, lost in her thoughts about the day. A happy little doggy ran up to her, bursting with joy and playtime. It had something quite extraordinary in its mouth which it dropped at her feet.

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A second finger. Molly realised, because this was the second disembodied finger she’d seen today, that both this finger and the previous finger, were specific fingers. One was an index finger and the other was a so-called ring finger. They clearly belonged to the same hand. Questions abounded. The happy doggy was dissuaded by Molly to pick the finger back up within its mouth and moved along the riverbank, with its equally happy owner, leaving Molly behind with the digit. Molly wondered, if the fingers came from the same hand, how had they been disassociated from it? Was the hand still attached to the arm? Why were the fingers not in the same location, unless the happy doggy was unusually selective? And why was it that no one was alarmed by fingers anymore? The war had been some time ago and the depredations it had visited upon the village were minor. There were stories of what the occupying powers did to the local women who refused to ‘co-operate’ with them, but they were not at all related to the severing of fingers. Molly looked up at the mountain and thought of what might be an apocryphal fact. Yakuza members cut their own fingers off when dishonoured. That had nothing to do with this! Austria is a long way from Japan, thought Molly.

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As Molly headed to the police station yet again, she was struck by how fortunate she was that of all the anatomical bits and bobs, she was finding fingers. Fingers were quite convenient really, with their streamlined shape making them easy to tuck into any crevice or holder, and the delicate swirls crooning out who they belonged to, if only someone would just read them.

Imagine if she had found an eyeball! Sure, they were usually as easy to identify, but eyeballs were so liable to pop under casual pressure. Or–or a tongue! Lord only knew how those kept themselves lubricated despite no longer being attached to salivary glands, but tongues would soak their way through any pocket and any bag. Molly shuddered to think what a tongue would’ve done to her new sundress.

So convenient, in fact, that… Molly slowed. Was it strange? That the police was so lackluster about finding the owner? Surely it was a simple task of fingerprinting the finger and pulling up its owner? After all, everyone who ever lived and ever did live was in the system. Perhaps the police wasn’t the best option for this second finger.

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Deciding against another police station visit, Molly instead placed an ad in the local newspaper which ran: “Fingers? You know who you are” and then her land-line number. She also put up handwritten flyers in shop windows, a library notice board, one upside down on a lamppost, and one on a thin silver birch tree that said “Figners know who you are” followed by the wrong number. (Her hand had grown tired writing and she got distracted by a quiz on the radio). While she was in the library, she’d attempted to use their internets, but managed to cause a scene by clicking on a noisy porn banner during an attempt to google “lost fingers”.

As she was getting into her nightie, yawning after her strange day, the telephone rang. She answered, although it was already after 9pm. She was met by silence with an intermittent buzz.

“Bernice?”

Silence/ buzz.

Meanwhile, the second digit resided in the tiny freezer compartment, unflinchingly pointing at a packet of potato waffles.

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Now, finding fingers isn’t all lollies and calliope music like one might imagine. In fact, most people who find disembodied extremities would likely feel compelled to say something along the lines of “ew”, or perhaps even “aaahhh” (or words to that effect). Benjamin Housley, of 6 Clayton Hill, Crawley, found three digits in his chips and went right off them altogether. Not even with fancy ketchup.

Molly was not so squeamish and, frankly, didn’t even like chips that much to begin with. Still, consternation ruled, and her brow developed worry-furrows so deep her eyebrows were concerned they might meet in the middle and all good brows know that two small beat one large, every time. She did not, however, gnash her teeth, as she not entirely sure what that entailed.

Still, owning a refrigerator full of fingers is not a particularly good mate-finding strategy despite what Cosmopolitan might otherwise indicate. Also, she imagined there was a particularly cross, eight-fingered person who might want those fingers back, if merely out of nostalgia. So, back to sleuthing!

An advert in the local paper hadn’t seemed to do the trick, nor did an informal polling of digit numbers (was that redundant?). This called for thinking outside the box. Molly wasn’t altogether sure what that even meant but they said it a lot on telly in circumstances such as these and the results were often good enough to neatly resolve the plot.

Perhaps she had taken the wrong approach with her advert, Molly mused. Some might think she was just a weirdo with a finger fetish, or, worse, a mad, cleaver-wielding finger collector with buckets of previously unsuspecting fingers which, mere hours previous, had been drumming impatiently on a shop counter or deftly exploring a nasal passage.

Yes, a change in tactic might be just the thing. Molly visited the local paper’s website and began furiously typing her new, strategic advert:

SWF (single, white finger-finder) seeks eight-fingered (or less!) person for fun and, potentially, surgery. No drugs, please. Non-smoker preferred.

There! Now she had merely to wait for the magic of the internet to resolve the mystery. Should that plan work, it would be a feat of true prestidigitation. Molly chuckled at her pun, accidentally dropping finger #2 in her milky tea, where it bobbed about like a fleshy submarine breaking surface.

Molly was, for the moment, optimistic. She could not possibly have foreseen just how wrong things would, in fact, go.

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The Fingers actually belonged to Molly, herself.

A conjuring from behind the grave she didn’t exactly know she made
because she didn’t know that she had magic

and so this little test
was actually an awakening.

but it was very loud
and there were those who wanted her fingers for their own accord-ion playing.

DA DA DA DUUMMMMMMMMM!

That night she dreamt of Billy Goggins cutting his right index finger in two with the jigsaw in woodwork class and Mary Stokes fainting on the sawdusted floor, and the man who ran the corner shop next to her student flat who lacked the little and ring fingers on his left hand, of a video she watched on youtube with a man who played Spanish guitar with just two fingers on his plucking hand. She remembered in the mist between consciousnesses her dad telling her to be careful cutting that orange as she drove the serrated edge deep into her left hand thumb and you can still see the scar in her fingernail growth. She wondered where Janet from maths class was, who sat next to her and one day revealed, in the strictest of confidence, that she actually had five and half fingers on her right hand; a deformity from birth that she did well to hide in secondary school.

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The morning after, Molly padded down the stairs in her bed socks. On top of her mail, all bills, oh and one postcard from Barry and his wife (cunt), was a third finger. This one was properly godawful. It was fresh. It was warm as a croissant and had left a crimson snail trail on the postcard from Skegness. Molly pulled her dressing gown around her modesty and opened the front door. She couldn’t see anyone except a child on a little scooter, that had two prongs for each foot that made it go faster or slow down.

“Nice dressing gown, you old twat!” the child giggles loudly.

“I had your dad and he stinks of piss!” Molly yells at the toddler, who scarpers at the sight of a crone holding up a disembodied middle finger.

Molly found a finger was what she thought, but she was beginning to suspect that the fingers were finding her. In a bit of forensic science, a testing of hypothesis, Molly wound her arm back, and flung the finger out into the street.

In great arc of blood and sinew, the finger flew through the air and plowed into a passing crow, bounced off its wing to land on the hood of a passing car, whose momentum ricocheted the finger right towards her. It skidded and skipped across her walkway before finally coming to a halt in front of her.

The way the fingertip dipped towards her toes was quite petulant.

With a great sigh, Molly scooped it up, but not without a disapproving look. “I suspect you will want to join your brethren? Come now, my pet.” She had quite the collection now. The fingers found her. Perhaps the fingers wanted to be hers. How to break it to them gently that she already had a full set of ten?

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She now had all ten fingers. There was some satisfaction to be found in that. Having laid them all out in the order they would sit around their hands, Molly felt fairly confident that they all belonged to the same set of hands, to the same person. Laid as if hands pressed onto the table top, fingers splayed. The hands had no real distinguishing features, but a consistency of aged skin and finger tip shape.

It had sort of come too far now, and Molly felt that, rather than hiding something, something potentially horrifically gruesome, criminal, the fingers had found her, she did not own them, nor did she own this situation. She had tried to go to the police, she had tried putting out adverts, she had asked people in the street, she’d been landed with them. Ten extra fingers.

“This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed home
This little piggy ate roast beef…”

The refrain seeped into her ear in her sleep that night. Her mother used to sang it to her. She would hold Molly’s little finger tip of each finger until she came to the last line. At ‘wee wee wee’ the pinky finger was wildly shaken. Molly would laugh and say ‘Again!’

It suddenly occurred to her in sleep that one little piggy ate roast beef.

She sat up. Sweating.
Up to this point, the fingers had seemed innocent enough. But something was now beginning to gnaw at her, from fingertips to toes. She felt a tingling sensation in her hands.

She walked to the window and looked out. It was still nighttime but there was a air of daytime in the room. A separation of time. The room seemed a room on its own. It wasn’t a part of the neighbourhood anymore.

The quiet, deep breath of night was punctuated by the yapping of a dog. There was nothing on the streets to cause the dog to bark.
Her mother had said that they saw things, animals. They saw spirits hovering around. People born with a light film over their eyes could see them too.

Her hands were beginning to burn, like nerve endings inflamed.

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