Do Not Touch

by - February 18, 2019

His hands were stained with his mother’s blood. Yet only one man believed it wasn’t his fault.

“He didn’t touch her.”

His hands held out in defense. He couldn’t let the police apprehend the young man.

“Look, Doc, the mother’s bleedin’ in A & E now and you’re sayin' he didn’t do it?” barked the Sergeant as she pushed her men aside.

“I - I didn’t touch -” A whimper behind them.

The young man stared at them with sad eyes. He sat hunched on the floor, disappearing deep into his baggy hoodie. Feeling their stares, he turned away, clutching his thin stained hands to his chest.

“Ok, I understand.” The psychiatrist assured him.

But the teenager flinched when he tried to touch his shoulder. And when he stepped even closer, the young man trembled more, desperately pulling on his clothes to hide as much as bare skin as possible.

“I promise I won’t touch you.” He held his hands high. And the surprise in those eyes confirmed it all.

Carefully, the doctor offered a glass of water. As the frightened teen reached out, his sleeves slipped revealing badly bruised wrists and bright red slashes on his forearms. But quickly they disappeared and he swallowed his water desperately.

But the glass flew out of his hands. He was pinned down, multiple pairs of hands groping him to keep him still. He screamed.

“Let go, you fools!” The psychiatrist pushed them off. “Don’t touch him. He’s hurt!”

He glared at the Sergeant.

“Are you deaf? I said he didn’t touch her. The boy has haphephobia, a fear of touch. You should be arresting his mother, not him.”

“For what?” The officer scowled.

“For assaulting her own son. And I can vouch for him that she’s been doing it for a long time.”

Part Of The Anthology: Minimal 2019

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