Frank’s Habit


"Rrrraa!! Fire BAD! FIRE BAD!!" Frank screams, startling the pub patrons. He flails behind the table, trying to pull away from his own hand, still stubbornly holding onto his fiery fear. Abe and Louis slide their chairs back, giving him room. Tears stream down his face, he whimpers and sobs and pleads for it to stop. But his trembling hands bring the flame even closer, until finally the tiny terrible fire licks the tip of the cigarette still dangling from his lips.
Frank hungrily sucks in air, sending a plume of smoke deep into his patchwork lungs. He flips the lighter closed and throws it to the table. Exhausted and trembling, he steadies the cigarette against his mouth and takes a long, inhumanly long drag. He closes his eyes and holds it, until small wisps of smoke begin to escape from the staples along his throat. Abe and Louis move back to the table with their drinks.