This is a bit of brevity penned for Fandango’s Story Starter #43 I would have happily married Darlene if it weren’t for her… Fun times.
I would have happily married Darlene if it weren’t for her aggressive toe fungus. We’d been dating eight months before it was discovered. Yeah, I’d wondered why Darlene slept in socks, sweaty foot prisons, but she’d always said the warmth helped her moisturize.
It was that fateful winter break when I accidentally dropped Silver Stallion on her foot. I was packing it for a night at the bowling alley with my buds when she turned, knocking the stead loose from my hands. Silver Stallion, that’s what I call my prize ball, hit her square on the foot.
Well, at first there were expletives. Then, Darlene screamed, reaching down to cradle her injury.
“I”m so sorry love. Ball just slipped right out my grip.” In hindsight, maybe I’d over-greased it. “I hope you’re not too badly hurt.”
“Well, I think my pinky’s broken.”
“Oh, no. Let me take a look.” The whole time I’m thinking, please lord, let this thing jiggle. If I have to cancel my boy’s night, I’ll never live it down. It’d been too long since Silver Stallion’d soared.
“No, I think it feels better in the sock.”
“Nonsense, Darlene. You might need to go to the hospital. Just give me a peek.”
“Okay, but promise you won’t judge me.”
“Judge you. That’s silly.” I patted her back. “Whatever for?” But as I slid off the white sock, nothing could prepare me for the horror. Her nails, wild animal talons, came into focus, and I couldn’t stop my own nails from rising to my teeth.
I quickly dropped her foot. There’s just no way to unsee something like that. Yellow, crumbly nails. Darlene’s toes looked like the hands of a forty-year smoker.
“Well, is it broken?”
l squinted at her littlest toe. Surely, I could touch the littlest one. What’s the worst that could happen? But try as I might, I couldn’t bring myself to grasp it.
“Looks alright.” I pointed at it instead. “Can you… can you wiggle it?”
Dear God, I prayed, please don’t let her wiggle that fungus free in my room. I held my breath as Darlene made a tiny motion with her toe. Her pinky, a bloated baby in a pool float, barely treading carpet back and forth.
I realized then I’d been bedding a monster. I could never marry Darlene. Not with that fungus among us.
“Okay, Dear. Let me get you some ice.” Yes, anything to flee the sight.
And I thanked my prized bowling ball, Silver Stallion, for rescuing me from Darlene’s troll feet. Cracking an ice pack from the medical kit, I wondered how to break the news to her gently.