Not My Hands This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 4, 2013
I looked down at my hands. It couldn’t be! My mind began to distort them. They were the hands of a killer, they were not my own. These fingers were the fingers that gently clasped the knife. These muscles were the muscles that pushed that knife forward. These hands were the hands that killed, but they are not mine. I couldn’t get away from them. The hands chased me everywhere I went. I was trapped with them. I couldn’t escape. Occasionally, the image of him lying on the floor, a puddle beginning to form, also chased me. Not as much as those awful hands, though. They were forever there.

I flopped on the hotel bed. I would be safe there only for this night , and I knew it. The remote lay right next to me. Picking up the remote and turning on the T.V. proved to be a challenge; most things were when you couldn’t stand to look at the hands that were right in front of you. I managed to turn it on before I caught a glimpse of the fingers pressing the buttons. I hurried over to the sink on the other side of the room and began to scrub furiously. The already raw hands protested at the washing I was giving them. I cleaned every bit of the hands while silently mumbling to myself.

“They are not your hands! These don’t belong to you. You have to get them off. Loose the hands. These hands have killed, you have not killed. THEY ARE NOT YOUR HANDS!” I began to scream and wash and scrub, reddening the terrible hands even more.

“Early this morning Charlie Stone” the name woke me up from my terror “was found dead in his house. Several stabs to the back and one knife wound heart were found. The murderer is on the run. We ask that if you see this woman to notify the police immediately.” I stared in the mirror and then at the screen. I went back and forth until the picture faded. I grabbed the remote and turned off the news. It couldn’t be! This face must not be mine either. That is the face of a killer.

“That is NOT MY FACE!” The lips that were no longer mine screamed at the empty T.V. , and the hands that did not belong to me hurled the remote toward the screen. I began to scrub my face and hands until I could no longer find any soap. Then I put a towel over the mirror and socks over the hands that have been following me and fell into a restless sleep.

I woke to a frightened maid. She stared at my face and made a small squeak. Her duster fell silently to the floor. Muttering words I could not understand she began to pull me out the door. I had to fight hard. In the shuffle she knocked down the towel I had carefully placed the night before. I watched as someone else’s lips spoke the same words I did.

“You need help, now!” The maid was tugging and pulling, and I watched in the mirror the face that was not mine smile.

The teeth ripped the socks off of the hands that were on my arms but were not mine. I saw those hands reach for the gun that I always keep under my pillow for protection. I watched the scene as though it were a movie. I was completely detached. It was my body , but those arms that held the gun still, that face that tweaked a small grin, those hands that gripped the weapon, the finger that pulled the trigger they were not mine! I couldn’t move, but the hands didn’t need me too. The completed their task without the help of me. Then my body understood; it had to get away. Those hands killed two , and they will kill again. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, but the hands followed. I heard police silence in the background. My legs kept beating fast against the pavement. I heard as I ran the people around me shouting things like , “That’s her! That is Gina Stone the woman who killed her husband yesterday. I am sure of it!” They said my name. Gina Stone? Gina killed Charlie? I must not be Gina Stone. That is not my name! Those are not my hands, this is not my face! “Catch her she is escaping from the police!”

These legs are carrying these hands away from their judgment. They must not be mine either. These feet push forward as I will them to stop. The keep on pulling. They are not mine. The legs run, the hands form fists pushing people out of the way, the face contorts to focus, but my body is limp. My body tries to stop the hands the face the legs the feet. It cannot do so. The people around me can, however. The hands are blocked by the people all around me, and the sirens I heard catch up. I remember the terrible seen from the other day. I remember my poor Charlie looking at those hands and muttering sorry as he dropped to the floor. I see again the body, the hands, the legs, the face that killed my beloved husband. Those same legs are stuck rooted by the audience on the street, the hands thrash trying to escape. They can’t . and I am glad they are stuck. The hands and legs are forced to move toward the cop car, but my body is forced with them. I saw in the window that body, the body that killed him. It must not be mine either. I am stuck in someone’s body, I am forced to accept someone’s name, and I have to stare at someone’s hands that are not my own. They shove this body that does not belong to me into the car. They are making a mistake. They have the right hands, the right legs, the right face, the right name but the wrong person. I did not kill Charlie Stone, these hands did!

I lose myself to those hands for such a long time I did not realize I was still there anymore. I resurfaced in a room with a large mirror. The killer looked back at me. It moved as I moved , but it was not me. A man stood in the corner.

“Gina,” that is not my name! “Did you kill your husband?” Heavens, NO! These hands did! I look down at the guilty.

These hands killed him! I try to shout, but the lips that are on me but are not part of me don’t move. Those lips are not mine, that face is not mine. The hands don’t belong on me, the feet are not a part of me. The legs and body belong to Gina, but I am not Gina. Gina killed him , and I did not kill my husband! I try so hard to scream this at the officer but it is no use. All I have I put into telling the truth and all that I can manage is a loud horrific scream. And then, I disappear.

The next time I awake I am standing in an orange jumpsuit. There are many prisoners around me. I don’t belong here. I did nothing wrong. Then I look down at the hands and the legs. I see the body, and I imagine the face I think of the name. What am I left with? Nothing! I look down again, and I realize those are my hands, my legs, my body, my face. Gina. That is my name. It belongs to me. And those hands killed. My hands killed. That is what they are, killers. I guess that is what I am. I am a killer. I look at my own hands again and smile. They are killers, I’m a killer that is what I always will be. My hands make fists and I walk forward into my new life. The life I embrace.

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Kindle said...
Nov. 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm
This accurately depicts denial moving to acceptance. I like it!
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