by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
***Editor's Note: Adult story.***
I don't know how many of us are in this head. I just got here, and I'm ready to leave.
We have to take turns using the eyes, face, and mouth. Simon the repeater has been telling me the rules. The core personality gets to hog the eye time, because she's the one with a job, and we need that job if we want to have our own apartment. Otherwise we'd have to live with her parents, and whenever that happens, it gets more crowded in here.
Simon says he moved in when Core was tasked with saying, "I will not touch myself there" a thousand times. Core did the first fifteen times, but every time she stuttured, the father pressed a lit cigarette into her arm. Core can't say the word "touch" without a stutter, but Simon can. Touch touch touch.
Toby has a high pain threshold. Kevin does the jobs that need us not to pay attention to what's going on around us. Annie takes care of things that involve blood, wounds, medical treatments, or body emergencies. Core throws up when faced with that stuff.
Me, I can talk to the little kids in the daycare where Core works without scaring them. Simon says I'm the fifth person Core developed just for that, because the other alters keep telling us what else Core knows, and we get polluted, and the toddlers can tell.