Chapter 51 - Fear
Facing himself in the bathroom mirror, Grant could see the blood dripping down his blonde hair. He wiped the blood that was still leaking with toilet paper and examined his nail. How was this possible? There was no way his nail could grow this fast to such a length. Even if it did, there was no reason for it to be as sharp and sturdy as a blade.
He reached into the cabinet to grab a nail clipper and lined it up. He squeezed, but the nail didn’t come off. Using the counter as a base and pushing his weight on the top of the clipper, it didn’t even chip. Grant’s breaths became heavy. His heart raced. What was going on?
How did this even happen in the first place? This wasn’t a normal medical problem as far as he was aware. His mind immediately compared this nail to that of the lion claw.
“You’ve got to be kidding me…” He said to himself as he panted.
Going to extremes, he went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. It shined against the light as he lined it up against his nail. He laid his finger sideways on the table and positioned the knife like he was cutting a slab of steak.
The feeling and sound it produced was the same as rubbing silverware together. He cringed and trembled. He moved the knife back and forth with all his strength, and yet, there was no damage to the nail. Sweat ran down from his face, dripping off his chin onto his nail giving it the shine of a sword.
This illusion sparked Grant’s curiosity. Just how strong was this nail? There was no way it could be as strong as the lion claw, right? He placed an apple in front of him and took a deep breath as he laid his nail across the top of it. As he put pressure on his finger, it slid all the way through with no resistance. He let out a yelp.
A permanent weapon stuck on his body? This was strong enough to deal serious damage to anyone he might accidentally bump into.
What could he do now? No matter what he tried it showed no signs of coming off. His nail had been a normal length since he arrived in Lyros. If he couldn’t cut it off, he would just have to explain to everyone that it just randomly happened. They would have no choice but to believe him. But could it just be a coincidence that the strength of this matched that of the claw?
Grant paced around the trailer, in and out of every room just hoping to find something he could use. The last people who lived here might have kept something strong enough to break it off, he couldn’t give up on looking. He walked into the back bedroom and stood gazing in each direction.
He noticed the crevice in the wall. The one he thought Zair had clawed at one time. Grant lined his fingers up with the wall, but this time, pushed his nail in, cutting a new crevice into the wall. There was no resistance. He wobbled backwards and froze.
There’s no way. Did the cat have similar nails to this too? He looked at Zair’s nails when he sat with him during the bonfire and nothing looked out of the ordinary though. He couldn’t figure out what to believe. Grant sat staring at the wall for a few minutes, realizing he had other things to worry about at the moment, he let that train of thought derail.
He pondered other ways he could possibly remove it, but none that came to mind were at his disposal at the moment.
There was always the option of going to the doctor, surely they would be able to help him. However, Grant had never ever heard of anything like this happening. For all he knew, he could be treated like a lab rat. If possible he wanted to avoid that outcome at all costs, but if they could help him, maybe it would be worth it. He didn’t want to feel like a monster.
He needed to remove it at once. He couldn’t allow himself any other option. But, if his nail was still like this for the concert tomorrow, how would he be able to hide it?
Some kind of heavy duty gloves?
Grant’s eyes widened at that thought.
Crickets chirped from behind the thin walls that separated Grant from the outdoors. He laid awake in the middle of the night focusing on his fingernail. He sat on his couch in the living room, trying his best to not fall asleep, fearing he might end up cutting himself in his slumber.
The lights were left on as he tried to force his eyes open fully, but exhaustion was attacking his eyelids. They slowly moved down, like an elevator on its way to dropping off an office worker on the main floor, signaling they could finally give up their struggling for the day and relax. Grant had searched earlier for a way to possibly sleep without worrying about causing himself harm, but found no luck. He didn’t own any gloves, and even if he did, were there any that could withstand the sharpness of his nail?
Everything he tried to slice his nail off with didn’t even leave a mark.
His eyes jolted open and his body shook every time he was about to lose consciousness. Focusing on his finger, he noticed something. Was his nail getting smaller?
Grant’s alertness doubled as his wish came true. Within seconds, it was as if his nail had never been an indestructible weapon. It returned to normal. What happened?
He sat still staring at his nail, waiting for it to dare make its return. But, nothing happened. Not even a mark of what used to be. At least he didn’t have to worry about finding a way to hide it, and worse, he didn’t have to worry about hurting himself or anyone else. At least, for now. If it happened once, Grant couldn’t dismiss the thought of it happening again.
For just this moment however, he felt relief. His mind was able to settle to a small calm and he collapsed onto the couch and immediately fell asleep.