Pins: A Horror Story
"Cactus" Erin Stammeyer
It’s time for me to come clean, to tell everyone my deepest darkest fear: pins, not needles or safety pins or even tacks. I’m scared of a small needle-like object with a flat top the size of a few slim millimeters. Anticlimactic, I know, but it is the sad and pathetic truth. I can see a spider, clown, snake, or even go to the dentist and not even break a sweat. However, the thought of trying on a single article of clothing with a pin in it makes my body slowly tense up and I can hear my heart beat in my ears with its constantly increasing thump thump. Now, I did not just wake up and decide that pins were out to get me. I went through a mentally, emotionally, and physically wounding experience.
I was in the second or third grade when the event happened. I was helping my mom with her “Get Things That Need to Get Done” day. On this day, my mom was determined to sew some new dresses for Civil War Reenacting. My family enjoys suffering with hot clothes, tightly strung corsets, and sleeping under a thin piece of canvas in order to educate people on how the Civil War affected not only men, but women and children as well.
My mom is a very crafty woman. She can make any piece of fabric and a small amount of string into an actual article of clothing. She makes Civil War style clothing for my whole family. Every year, either my sister or I needed new clothes so our scandalous ankles weren’t visible to the eye. In case you did not know, it takes a lot of time and patience to make a dress, so me being the amazing older sibling I was, I helped out. However, if I were able to see what terror lied ahead I would have just chilled. Of course, I let my pride and the chance to one-up my little sister get the best of me.
The event happened in the living room, a seemingly nice and safe room that smelled like a chemical mimic of a tropical breeze. I was going back and forth between my mom’s sewing machine and the living room, picking up new tasks that were easy enough for my petite, callused hands to accomplish. This continued for most of the day: get up, new project, sit down, and repeat. Until something stopped the production, a discomfort that was completely new to me. I slowly and carefully turn my head to see the horrifying sight of a pin half way into my butt. Automatically, I felt pain. A pain that was a ghost my mind created.
“Mom, mom, MOM!”
“What? I’m busy trying to finish your dress.”
“Mom, please there’s something wrong. Please it’s in my butt.”
She chuckled a bit. “What?”
“MOM IT’S NOT FUNNY! Mom, please, Mom!”
Finally, she entered the scene of her oldest, brightest and bravest daughter, bent over at the hips, body slumping over her slightly bent knees, and a shiny metallic pin sticking about an inch out of her butt cheek. Like any sane person, laughter erupted from her mouth, and we’re not talking about just a snicker or simple “ha ha.” It was an ab workout, minimum breathing, eyes watering laugh.
“Mom, this isn’t funny. It’s in my butt. I can’t move. What do I do? I can’t pull it out! Mom please just help!”
Somehow between her short periods of actually taking in some air she managed to get some words out.
“Audrey get in here you have to see this!”
My sister’s little feet came scampering in to the strange scene and her high-pitched screeching laughter joined in with my mom, as if from a cue from a choir teacher. My little sister who I was constantly trying to outdo. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was crying from the terror of a pin being in my butt, or the fact that my family was cackling at me as if this was a show and I was the main event.
“You guys, this isn’t funny. I can’t move. I don’t know what to do! How do I get it out of my butt? Would you guys just help me? Please?”
Finally, my mom somewhat stops laughing long enough to realize her daughter is in turmoil.
“Ok, just stand still.” I feel her gently place her warm hand on my back reassuring me that everything would be ok, but the phantom of imaginary pain creeped into my mind.
“Wait! Stop, stop, stop.” I swing my butt away from her reach, on the verge of crying.
“What? I need to take it out.” More snickering forced its way out of my mom’s mouth and rejoined my sister in a sickening melody.
“No! Mom, I can’t. I can’t! It’s gonna hurt!”
My mom struggled to stare at me blankly as my face contorted between horror, embarrassment, and fury.
“Clara, I just need to take the pin out.” She hoped to sound serious, but I knew that underneath she was just thinking about how she was going to tell everyone about this incident and that my short, blonde-haired, blue-eyed sister was going to usurp me as “The Brave One.”
“No, no you can’t mom.”
“Clara, just turn around.” Her voice suddenly cut through the tense fumes of laughter in the air and brought me back to my senses.
“Ok, ok, ok.” I slowly exposed and surrendered my butt to my mom, and automatically turned back around, “No, no, no, Mom, I can’t Mom; I can’t.” More laughter burst from those who I thought were my family.
“This isn’t funny! There’s a pin in my butt!” At my statement, the laughter got more obnoxious, and a burning feeling rose from somewhere within me, slowly making my blood boil. “This! Isn’t! Funny!”
My sister eventually discovered she has a voice: “It’s pretty funny.”
I felt my face rush with embarrassment and rage. “No, it’s not!”
She responded with a short, teasing, know-it-all tone. “Yes, it is.”
“I have a pin in my butt; it’s not funny!” My little sister continued with her irritating laughter. Forever shaming me as the scared and weak big sister.
Eventually, my mom kept a steady enough attitude to remove the pin from my butt. “I’m going to pull it out. Ready?”
“Just get it over with.” I squeezed my eyes tight and tried to distract myself from the pain I was about to endure. In a quick, swift motion my mom withdrew the pin from my rear-end, with no suffering whatsoever.
“Is it out?”
Nothing was physically destroyed, but pride. Completely humiliated in front of my little sister’s eyes. Instead of being a tough tomboy, I was a sissy that had no business in telling her what to do. I lost my dignity in her eyes that day, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to beat her in everything else.