Day 17 – The Eleventh Toe

Chris, you got your way.


Word count: 872


Christopher wasn’t born an ordinary boy. From the moment he was born, it was apparent that there was something special about him. It wasn’t his how he was born, where or to whom. It wasn’t that he was so much more adorable than the other children born that day. No, the little wonder that he held was joined at the end of his left foot in the form of a sixth toe.

Christopher, being adventurous like his older brother Ken, seemingly never found his extra digit a problem. Indeed, at age four months old he was already walking. He astounded his parents at the speed of his mental development. He’d finished high school by the time he was six and he’d completed his first degree just after his ninth birthday. Nobody had ever worked out why he had succeeded so well; he was labelled a child prodigy, a genius and a little Einstein. But Christopher never saw anything more to it than it was: he was just being himself and that was all he could really describe it as.

Though it didn’t stop him wondering, and it was on such a rainy Sunday afternoon that his thoughts did begin to swirl and concoct once more as to why exactly he was the way he was. His brother, Ken, was perfectly ordinary. Christopher had always felt a little guilty for achieving so much at such an early age. It was partly why, at the age of twenty-eight, he had retreated into himself somewhat. By Sunday, he hadn’t been out in days. Though his friends kept on calling round, he wouldn’t answer the door. All he wanted right now was to be by himself with only his mind for company.

Suddenly he felt his sixth toe twinge. For all his life, he’d never felt so much of an itch on it. It wasn’t that he was numb, it was just that this additional piece of him was so perfectly normal. But now it was starting to ache and Christopher was growing concerned. During his medical degree, he’d researched extra limbs and organs but never found any case remotely like his own. His mobility was increased rather than hindered by it: it was almost as if it were another stage in the human evolution.

As the rain pattered hard and heavy against the window pane, Christopher massaged his extra toe and nursed his worrisome thoughts. He was glad that he’d spent the last few days alone. It had given him time to recover from his final exams for Pure Maths. Humble though he was, he knew that another degree was under his belt and soon he would be totalling at fourteen degrees and two phds. All this studying was getting boring for Christopher though. All his life he had lived in books and study notes. Where was his time for living; for holidays and fun? His toe seared with pain again. Funny, how he’d never been ill before.

Just then, the weirdest feeling shot through his left leg – right down from his brain through his heart and into his toe: his eleventh toe. Christopher could barely yell with pain he was in so much agony – it was blinding him, but he could just in no more see the end of his foot and the toe that had caused him until now no grief, began to slowly turn and twist like a loosening screw. He saw his skin folder over itself as it unravelled – he saw the toenail ping off and fly across the room. But no blood was pouring from his wound. Instead, what Christopher saw was so shocking, every language he’d ever studied was immediately removed from his memory. He had no words for it; no expressions and no way to describe how he felt for what was now staring at him with two googly eyes and the smallest set of gnashers he had ever seen.

“Hello, Christopher,” the toe said.

Christopher’s jaw dropped.

“I’m going to have to go now, I’m sorry. It’s been good, but I think I fancy a change,” the toe continued, completely oblivious to its owners reaction. “My family will be missing me too – and I ought to travel and see them. They come from Jupiter you see, so it’s only round the corner and they’d murder me if I didn’t come home at least once every twenty-eight years.”

The toe, now liberated from Christopher’s DNA, jumped off the end of his foot, leaving a small stump, and bounced over towards the window. By some means he had opened it and the rain was now lashing in with a howling wind.

“Bye Christopher,” the toe said, waving as best it could with its lack of additional limbs before leaping out the window and launching himself off up into the Earth’s atmosphere and beyond.

And so it was that from that day onwards, Christopher’s life changed. His degree count stopped at fourteen and two phds. He never sat an exam again. But this wasn’t out of lifestyle choice or wanting to move on to other things. Alas, poor Christopher’s could now only manage to make the world’s best cheese on baked tattie.

~ by S.G. Mark on October 24, 2011.

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