Prying the case open, I saw a plethora of bandages and sutures that I had no clue how to use. I glanced back, but Connor was still busy. I took the most familiar pieces of gauze and began squeezing them between my fingers to apply pressure. I could feel my skin slide against the muscle underneath as I moved my fingers. It started to make me lightheaded thinking about it: all the sinewy tissue underneath hanging onto the small fold of flesh. The blood trying to coagulate the skin back together as I clumsily shifted and moved it. I breathed and tried to move as little as possible, letting my body do its job. I kept sitting there, breathing uneasily as I waited for Connor, for the feeling to pass, or for whatever was to come next. It seemed a long while before the door opened, and Connor hauled himself up into the driver’s side. He darted his eyes to my fingers and away, trying to tell how bad it was. It was as if he wanted to make sure I was alright, but he didn’t want me to be aware that he was concerned. Connor sat up a little straighter. He sighed, wrapping his fingers around the steering wheel.

I nodded, reassuring myself as much as I was reassuring him. “I should be fine. The cuts aren’t—They’re not deep.”

He nodded back and put the car into drive. “That’s good. We still have some moving to do later.”



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Mark Elgersma is a Senior at Central Michigan University. He’s a writer and a filmmaker alike, and he plans on attending graduate school in the fall. In the spring, he will be releasing a documentary titled Muck.