Little White Lies
by Steve Campbell
“You get those from telling lies, you know.”
She nods down at the white marks that are etched into the surface of my fingernails which, like those on my other hand, are bitten down to blunt stubs. The surrounding flesh is raw where I've gnawed and pulled at the skin. I curl my fingers into my palm, ashamed of what they reveal.
“So what have you been lying about?” she asks.
I flick my eyes towards the ceiling in search of an answer.
“Nothing,” I say, returning her gaze.
I keep my eyes wide and fixed on hers while she scans my face for something that says differently.
“Hmmm.” She blinks and looks away but not because she’s conceded.
I gather her hand in mine, taking care to avoid the drip line that's taped down across the back of it, and stoke her hand with my thumb.
“It's going to be okay,” I say, doing everything I can not to look down at my fingernails.
Steve Campbell has short fiction published or forthcoming in places such as Spelk, Fictive Dream, MoonPark Review, formercactus, Twisted Sister Lit Mag, and Idle Ink. He somehow finds time to manage EllipsisZine.com. You can follow him on twitter via @standondog and read other work on his website, standondog.com.