The Itch…

It’s a normal summer day, the sun is out, and the weather is entirely too hot for Bob, sitting in front of the computer, he contemplates what to do. “Should I write a story? Perhaps a poem?”. Sitting in a state of frustration he scratches thoughtfully at the side of his head. Little did the world know of Bob, he was a retired school teacher, with nothing significant to his history or his name. His interest in writing has always been his greatest downfall, hundreds of pages written, and nothing coherent, or remotely worth reading.
But damn this itch, what he thought was a harmless itch to be scratched, had become something worse, something wholly of a different place. “What the fuck!” Bob scratched harder, but all it did was make the itch all the worse. Getting up he went to the bathroom to look in the mirror, to see if he could locate the source of this horrid itch.
Staring in the mirror he tried moving his hair, but there was nothing on his skin to see. The act of brushing the hair to the side however caused a sudden rash of itching that was so powerful all he could do was scratch it again, the soothing sensation of the scratching was short lived, each pass he made the itch got worse.
Turning on the hot water, he resumed scratching with his finger nails, and tossed a hand towel under the water. Memory told him that some itches could only be relieved by a hot compress. But when he tried pressing the scalding hot rag to the side of his head, there was no relief, if anything it only made the itching worse… “GOD DAMN IT!!” Bob screamed while scratching at the spot on the side of his head with a new fervor realizing that the relief was fading, and the itching only growing worse.
Scouring the cabinets, he searched for something, anything that could scratch with a stronger sense of satisfaction. Finding a pair of nail clippers, he used the bladed edge of the jaws to scratch harder and harder. The sensation of relief that poured over him was palpable. Sighing in relief he stopped the scratching in hopes that the itch had finally been relieved, only to see his hand covered in blood, looking in the mirror, he could see the new hole that had been burrowed into the side of his head. Staring in disbelief, the shock and awe soon faded as a familiar sensation resumed. This infernal itching that must be satisfied… In an almost trance like state Bob reached into the cupboard again, this time retrieving a double-edged razor blade from his shaving kit. “This ought a do…”. With a sickened look on his face, he took the blade and began carving out the area around the itch, gasping occasionally as he made the crude circular cut. “How do you like me now mother fucker!” he screamed at the mirror in defiance as he grasped and tore off the patch of skin where the itching had been. Tears of pain, and of frustration streamed down his face as he laughed maniacally at the bloody patch of hair and skin in his hand.
But within moments, not even seconds, there it was again… The itching that could never be satisfied, slowly returned from underneath the pain. Within no time what so ever, even above the pain screaming through the side of his head, the itching would not go away.
Walking to the bedroom, he looked at the nightstand, and knew what he could do… Picking up the pistol that he kept by the bed, he aligned the barrel with the itch, and pulled the trigger.
The report of the pistol was audible to everyone in the apartment complex, several people called police, while others panicked wondering what to do. Everyone except the occupant of appt R-1, who smiled, the itch was gone… Bob lay there feeling the darkness close in around him, the dull aching in the side of his head a welcome change from the itching that had been there.
And as the darkness started to close around him completely, as he felt his limbs go limp, and could feel the pinnacle of oblivion before him, he felt something familiar, something that he thought would never be there… that itch began to well up again on the side of his head.
As the paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene, they noted that there were fresh tears streaking down Bob’s face. They presumed that it they were tears of pain, or of sorrow at what he had done. But the reality was far worse, the tears were because the itch had returned, and he could no longer move his arms to scratch at it…

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