Elizabeth Bedlam

Tina & the Rasp

Tina hated the way she looked. It was always getting her in trouble. Her wide blue eyes. Bouncy flaxen hair. That perky, sharp nose. Those cupid bow lips, pink and ripe as a virgin cunt. She looked down, her chest was too big for her tiny frame. Her narrow hips. That thigh gap a man could easily slip his hand through and slide his fingers up into her….she scowled, thinking about it. 

“It’s over,” She told herself. On the side of the sink sat the steel foot rasp her mother used to remove the calluses from her feet. Tina exhaled, feeling she had to choose now, before they took away her choices. Before someone else made them for her. “Fucking do it, Tina,” She said to her reflection. 

Tina reached down for the instrument, but she didn’t take her eyes from the mirror. She wanted to remember how she looked before, so if any self doubt crept in later, she could assure herself she made the right choice. She’d remember before, she’d be thankful for after. Her fingers wrapped around the cold black plastic grip. It was lighter than she expected. A long rectangle board of raised stainless steel pyramids in the center. She’d watched her mother in the living room, filing away at the soles of her feet. Shredded dead skin peppering the floor, reminded Tina of grated parmesan falling over ziti. Sometimes Medusa would wander into the room and lick up the salty flakes from the carpet. 

“Oh, damn it! Tina, grab your dog! And you let that thing kiss your face? Ha-ha.” Her mother said, a cigarette clasped between her tight lips. Tina could still hear the dragging of steel biting skin. Back and forth for the entirety of the evening news. “Tina, vacuum this up, will ya? I need to go soak my feet. Thanks, baby.” She’d pat Tina’s shoulder as she passed. 

Her mother was working tonight. She wouldn’t be home till late. Tina didn’t have to rush, but she hadn’t been able to think of anything else since the idea came to her. It had occupied her mind for close to a month. What if she did it? What would happen? How would her friends react? Society in general? 

Tina remembered Rob’s weight on top of her, and her stomach muscles tightened. She’d thought about this ever since him. She wondered what he’d think about her after tonight. Maybe he’d finally stop bragging to his friends. Maybe they’d all stop smirking when she walked past, knowing what he’d done to her. And her not doing a damn thing but laying there and taking it.  

Whatever the reaction from Rob or whoever, it would be better than the one she got now. She was only seventeen and already she wanted to be old and fat. Being thin and beautiful was a curse. A joke. A gift she was ready to grind off and hand back in pieces.

“Fuck you, God. Take it back!” Tina said. She pulled the rasp across her one cheek, then the other. She examined the ragged red lines. Soon blood found its way through. It beaded and ran down in a slow, even fashion. 

The more Tina scraped, the easier the file glided over her skin. Her forehead, down the bridge of her nose. It hurt, she wouldn’t pretend it didn’t. But it was a pain steeped in pure satisfaction. 

“These. You’re nothing but trouble.” Tina mumbled, looking down at her chest. She pulled her shirt up and held it under her chin. Pulling her bra aside, she filed down her nipple. Soft, rosy skin opened easily and wept crimson after only a few drags of the rasp. She dropped her shirt and watched heavy red blooms form over each tit.

When the handle became slick, Tina dropped the file into the sink. Her vision was mottled. She felt her high wearing down. She turned to make her way to her room, but crumbled onto the cold tile floor. It felt good against the heat of her face. For a moment, she wished she’d filed her cunt as well. She began shaking, her body throbbing. She didn’t think she had the strength or the will to get herself up off the floor. 

Blood beaded on her eyelashes. Tina blinked and looked out the door into the hallway. She could see the light changing on the walls as the sun set. Medusa wandered in. Her evening walk was late. When Tina failed to stir, the dog began lapping up the cooling blood, the curled strips of skin that littered the floor like rain and fallen leaves. Tina listened to the sound of the dog’s wet tongue running over tiles, just beside the nub that was her ear. Medusa laid down next to the girl, content to wait. 

Soon it became dark. Tina fell asleep and for the first time in her life she liked the way she looked.

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