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Inquisitive: Part 2


By Hassan Izzo

My mind must have shut down because I don’t remember feeling any pain either – in fact I looked up at Kevin and waved. He was looking down at me, swaying from side to side and looking very peaky. I’d seen that look before. He really couldn’t cope with anything that came under his description of ‘off key’ which hanging around with me, wasn’t a great weakness to have. I knew what was coming next and sure enough, he grabbed his stomach and threw up onto the grass with such force and volume that little droplets of vomit splashed onto my legs.

The next thing I heard was my mother scream out in the purest form of distress I’ve ever heard before or since. I turned to look at her and there she was looking at me from the kitchen window, frozen with shock. I waved at her too. After that I looked at my leg again and saw blood for the first time. I passed out as a result. Clearly, the ‘soft grass’ wasn’t that soft after all.


Now my third example is one that I would have to say definitively falls under ‘off key’, even for me. Kevin and I were in my dad’s shed. This seemed to be the best place to go about scratching an itch that I could no longer ignore. My dad had all manner of DIY tools and implements, including a variety of instruments that could be used to cut things. The one that seemed to make the most sense to use was the chainsaw – principally because it was a chainsaw. It was the first time I’d enlisted Kevin to do anything other than watch. After witnessing him vomit on more than one occasion in the aftermath of one of my ventures, I worried if he’d be able to handle the responsibility. It turns out I needn’t have, as wielding a chainsaw seems to be hot-wired into young boys and men.

I placed my left hand on the edge of my dad’s workbench in such a way that only my pinkie was an offer to the chainsaw. Kevin took a deep breath before yanking the cord to get the motor running. Before anything else, he did the obligatory stances you were required to do before administering a cut so clean it could be described as surgical. My hand fell to my side, leaving the top half of my pinkie on the workbench. I raised my hand up and we watched as blood spurted like a fountain from where the top half of my pinkie used to be. What happened next was in hindsight, a rather lovely moment. We both looked at each other and evidently the same thought crossed our minds at exactly the same time because we both said ‘let’s cauterise it.’

Kevin switched the chainsaw off and I grabbed the blowtorch. I turned it on and held it over the stump. It was done in an instant. We looked at each other in silence for a moment, eyes locked on each other. When Kevin looked away, it was to look at the table and the severed finger. His face became increasingly pale and I knew realization was setting in. I saw his legs become unsteady as he looked upon my injured hand that had been raised from the table. I knew what was coming next and indeed, Kevin threw up. Something about his vomit broke the spell I had been under and the pain signals that had so far not been able to reach my brain, now flooded it in a tsunami that sent my head swimming. Going blind from the pain was the last thing I remember.

As for why I chose to do such a thing well, I’d recently read an article in the newspaper about something called ‘phantom leg pain’. It stirred my curiosity to no end, but I wasn’t about to cut my own leg off. Oh and yes, sometimes it did feel like I still had my whole finger.


Hassan Izzo


Like any other writer, Hassan Antonio Izzo is happiest when he is sat at his desk putting words down on paper; whether it be updating his blog, working on a short story, script, poetry, journalism, or wrestling with his first novel. If anything stands a chance of getting him away from his desk, a few drinks with friends would stand a good one. His biggest claim to fame is that Quentin Tarantino loved his Mr T t-shirt when he met him; which was pretty cool.

A proud South Londoner, you can follow on Twitter @Hassanizzo86

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