A Thousand People Just Like Me
A Short Story by K. L. Tabor
Written using the suggestion ""a thousand people just like me" "island" "teeth" "wrong" "shame" "underground""
Originally featured on 07-27-2009
As part of our series "Stories Written for Mel Favara’s “1,000 Words” Reading Series"

I sat on the curb.  An island to myself.   My knees to my chest, my head to my knees, and I told myself simple things like, “Remember to brush your teeth,” and, “My life is better without you.”  I drew a circle around me and named it shame and buried my feet into it.  Deep underground.  

I saw a child on a bench and noticed he looked like you.  I felt bad for him, but didn’t think much, until I saw that the mailman also looked like you, and the grocer, and the doctor, and the nanny, and an entire world of people passing by.  Just like you.   

A woman walked by wearing your grin.  I thought of screaming, “Take off his face!” But instead I jumped up from the curb and sunk my nails into her head, just at the hairline, and in one quick motion, tore her face off.  She tore his face off.  Dropping it, laughing, “See, nothing’s wrong.  It was only a joke.” And the policeman was laughing, and the doctor was laughing, and the nanny reached up and tore off your face. And they said, “See, we don’t look like him at all, we look like you.”  And underneath your face was my face.  Once you were gone.  A thousand people just like me. 

So we laughed and threw all your faces into a crate with instructions to ship somewhere cold.  And we danced on the box, and we nailed it shut.  Writing in caps, “Send far, far away.” 

 

Read More By K. L. Tabor

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