Crack, Shatter and Plop (A Short Story)

WAL LIKED A good crack.

First thing he did in the morning was crack. Before he even opened his eyes, he stretched his arms out in front of him and opened his hands, pausing to savour the inevitable, before clenching his hands into fists. Multiple cracks would issue forth, filling the room, as gasses escaped from between his bones.

He’d then revolve his wrists, deriving almost ecstatic joy from the rolling thunder that came from them.

That done, Wal would place first his right hand against his left wrist and then his left hand against his right wrist. Both times, a sickening crunch gushed from his elbows.

Sitting up in bed and opening his eyes, Wal would then take on the challenging task of cracking his neck:

It was challenging, because sometimes – especially first thing in the morning – it hurt. Only a trained chiropractor should have attempted the manipulations that Wal delighted in. But Wal didn’t care.

A twist of his head – with one hand on the back of his noggin and the other under his chin – produced ten or twenty ‘good cracks’ from his neck and upper spine. Reversing the process, he got ten or twenty more.

God, Wal loved a good crack.

Wal then rubbed the sleep out of his eyes before tackling his back. He placed his fists in the small of his back and punched. The sounds that shot out could have made the weak-of-stomach vomit.

But Wal wasn’t finished …

Moving his fists up as far as he could manage, Wal gave himself another punch to the back and was rewarded with the satisfying (to him, anyway) pop of his sternum. His shoulder joints got a look-in, too, popping in unison.

Pulling his legs into a cross position, Wal then placed his right hand on the bed behind him as far as it would go and the other on his right knee. He then proceeded to twist as far as he could manage.

“Lovely, oh, lovely”, he thought, as his lower back clicked and crunched with the turn.

The opposite position produced the same results, though on the other side.

Wal then stretched his legs out in front of him and brought his knees up slightly. He hooked his left arm under his right knee. He then brought his right hand down hard on his thigh – a sudden punch.

Obscenely, his right leg popped and clicked at the pelvis, the ball shifting slightly from its socket.

Again – but this time on the left.

Crunch. Pop. Crack.

Wal then lay back down and extended his right leg into the air before bending it savagely.

‘Crack’, went his right knee.

And again on the left.

He rolled his ankles around until he was satisfied at the percussion they produced, before setting to work manually pushing against his toes for the cracks they’d give him.

Wishing he had more bones to crack, Wal figured that it was time to finally get out of bed.

He swung his feet over the side, moved to stand up …

… and every single bone in his body – sick and tired of the constant abuse over the years – instantly turned to powder within him.

Now nothing more than a pile or oozing human sludge, Wal slipped from the bed to the floor in a heap of agonized flesh and blood and internal organs and screaming nerves barely contained within his twitching skin.

Nevertheless, through the savage agony that assailed him, part of him was sad at the fact that he’d never be able to crack again.

Copyright © 2006 by David Scott Aubrey
All Rights Reserved
594 Words

This short story is a work of fiction. Any and all names, characters and/or incidents are either products of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Where any such resemblance may exist to actual persons (living or dead), actual events or locales, it is purely coincidental.

Please don’t assume that my characters speak for me or carry my own opinions on various matters in any way, shape or form (though some might … you never can tell).