Cinderella's Crystal Tips - Friday Flash

His ex-wife used to say you could tell a lot about a person by their shoes.

But then Cindy hailed from the Imelda Marcos stripe of finishing school.

He himself preferred to gauge by the fingers. It's said that the whorls and swirls on them are a unique colophon. But he felt even that missed the obvious. How people wielded their extremities, was the full embodiment of their very being. How they felt the world. Truly they were pointers in the purest sense. Analogue digits. Digital analogues.

A slender few were too dainty to span him. A further spread aped callipers, surveying him like a piece of cartography. A handful, just a handful, were bucket-like, making him feel akin to clay manipulated beneath a potter's hand.

Some were clammy. Others desiccated and cracked, rasping him like sandpaper. A sprinkling smelled... divine and fair carried him away in his senses. But that only beguiled him away from his true requirement. Certainly it was a transportation that he quested after, yet to far different a destination.

There were those with long, delicate fingers. Like the veins of a leaf. Piano players all, lightly brushing his skin ivory. A caress with the pad only, as if it were an invertebrate creature lacking for the articulation of any bone within. The merest dab of pressure, apologetically excusing its trespass even as it limned it.

Then there were those with manicured talons. Fingers always part curled at the knuckles, driving the varnished keratin in to break the surface of his flesh. Being stroked like a penitent with a fraying lash. If it were mere scourging and blood he sought after, he could always shave himself with a cheap razor. Those festooned and bedecked with jewellery amounted to the same. He had no desire to be cut and polished by the facets of gemstones. Or worse, those outsized rings that ran the length between the two knuckles from midfinger to fist. Those that inevitably branded his skin with their cold steel, like a lancet. Yet their bearers were also inevitably the most ardently amenable to his need.

Others had nails bitten to the quick. Simulacra stigmata of anxiety, signposting a likely lack of conviction to carry through his request to the full. Up close, he could see those cuticles still rimmed and tainted with old nail polish. They made him feel nauseous, as he could not allow their imprecision near his exactitude demanding flesh.

For there was only ever one reach, one scope, which would fit the crystal dimensions. Match the whorls and swirls of the livid throttle outlines left by his ex-wife's diamond-like grip. Before she left him in disgust at his lily-livered weakness. No other woman could stop up his breath quite like Cindy.