Perhaps a psychiatrist

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“Let’s see it then,” MindReader says, walking into the bedroom in a strange combination of his suit and a hoody. He’s been to the football. I’m watching Jonathan Ross on the iPlayer in bed while Benny sleeps as close to me as he can get.

“I’m sorry about the texts,” I say.

“Hmm.” MindReader loks at me as he sits on the bed. “You haven’t done that for a while.”

“What? Wasn’t it just last week I was filming my own moles?”

“No but I mean… a proper freak out. You went through a phase of texting me things likee that a lot.”

“Yeah. So, my toe is really big and red.”

“Infected?” MindReader says. “Does it hurt?”

“Yeah, I cut the nail too short last week and now it’s still hurting but the whole toe’s gone red. So I gave it a salt bath but if it’s infected in the toe I think I should see doctor…?”

“Show me then.”

I peel back the duvet and point my foot in MindReader’s direction.

He looks down at my toes and then up at me again. “Um. Which toe?”

“This one,” I say, jabbing my third toe. I can feel the heat of it as I touch it. I imagine the infected blood working its way up my foot, poisoning my blood… I see amputations, bloody bandages, grim doctor’s faces and, finally, a prosthetic shoe which I have to wear to work.

“Are you fucking joking?”

“What? Look! It’s red!”

“It’s not.”

I grab MindReader’s phone and shine the screen onto my foot. “Look, now the light’s better.”

“The light’s fine,” he says, looking at my toe, incredulous.

“Do you think I should see the Doctor tomorrow?” I say.

“No. NO. I do not think you should see the doctor.”

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Texts sent before The Toe was sighted

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