by Garrett Biggs
She was a child born to do great things. Great is only possible for a child without paper skin.
When she was in her cradle, she could hear the thick-skins laughing at her, calling her names.
To her, these words all sounded like sin.
She would lock herself inside the bathroom, clawing at her skin for hours, until her parents begged for her to come out. When she finally left, her veins would glisten like pewter. They swung from her bones, with purple-blue grace. Her parents bandaged them up but they would always heal too quickly.
Once a boy ripped the bandage off and showed the entire class. They shuddered in disgust.
Once a boy saw her in the halls and called her beautiful. She didn’t believe him.
Years later, the paper grew back and the scars faded. Her kids ask how she got them, but she never answers. She doesn’t want them to have any of their own. The only remaining artifact of her childhood is a poster hung in the hall of her apartment: “We’re all just skeletons with a little bit of skin.”