Translucent – by David Cook

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This hurts more than I’d thought, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Matt’s gonna love it.


See, I was flicking through this book I found on the bus, and in it a man saw a lady and was ‘transfixed by her translucent beauty’. That’s what I need, I thought to myself. Translucent beauty. Then asked my mate Sarah what translucent meant, and she said ‘sort-of see through,’ and I said, oh, and then I asked what ‘transfixed’ meant and she said something about superglue.


I’ll worry about the superglue bit later, but right now I need to be translucent. If that’s what boys like, that’s what I’ll be. Anything to get at Matt from the bike shop. I’d love to ride on his pillion. I’m not sure how see-through I need to be, mind you. I guess if I hit bone I’ve gone too far.


This really hurts, though. I’m losing quite a lot of blood. And I’m not sure sandpaper is the best way of doing this. You can get posh make-up that calls itself translucent, but I’m too skint to buy any. Then I thought a razor might work, but my dad moved out last year and took his with him. My mum used to shave her legs with it, but now she just doesn’t bother. She looks like a wookie from the waist down. Me, I just nip round to Sarah’s once a week and use her wax.


There’s flakes of skin all over the bathroom floor. It looks like it’s been snowing in here. Mum’s gonna go nuts when she sees this, our hoover’s broken. There’s even more blood now, too. Let’s have a look in the mirror. I dunno, am I more see-through? It’s hard to tell under all the bleeding. Let me wipe it off with a towel. Damn, I shouldn’t have used that white one. Our washing machine’s broken too. Right, let’s see. I dunno… maybe I’m a bit more see-through. I’m pretty sure that cheekbone’s about to pop out. And my chin definitely looks more… chinny.


I don’t think I can carry on any more, mind you, this is too painful. Yeah, this’ll have to do. To be honest, I reckon I look a bit of a state. But the book can’t have been wrong. It’s one of those really old ones, like they teach in school, not like the Hunger Games or anything. Old books are never wrong, are they? That’s all my school bloody has.


All right. Tell you what. I won’t go out and see Matt. I’m just not sure I’ve done the right thing here. I’ll send him a photo instead. I got his number from that girl Jess who’s always hanging around him. He says she’s just a friend, nothing romantic or anything, and I don’t think he’d lie to me. Okay, here we go… pout those lips and work those eyes… done. And send.




He’s messaged me back! What’s he saying?


‘What the fuck have you done to yourself? I used to think you were quite hot, but now I wouldn’t touch you with someone else’s, lol.’


And now I’m crying.


The tears sting where they’re dripping into the scars in what’s left of my face.



David Cook lives in Bridgend, Wales, with his wife, daughter, cats and guinea pig, and

writes as a way of filling in the time while waiting for the rain to stop. He has been

published in Short Fiction Break, Flash Fiction Magazine, Sick Lit Magazine and Spelk

Fiction, and was also featured in A Box Of Stars Beneath The Bed: The 2016 National

Flash Fiction Anthology.

He also publishes work at You can find him on

Twitter too – @davidcook100.


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