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Dictionary of peril: Dab, a short story

July 25, 2012



  1. a small amount, esp of something soft or moist ⇒ a dab of ink
  2. a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
  3. often plural (mainly British) a slang word for fingerprint

“You want in or not?”

“Yeah, I want in.”

 And I did. I had been in the little leagues for too long; nicking a bit here and there, selling a bit of weed, barely getting by. These guys were the real thing, the big time. And they wanted me. I thought about playing hard to get, but you don’t mess around with these people. Yes or no. In or out. So I said yes.

The next few days were a blur. At first, it was alright. Nothing too painful. But then the real process started. They took away my dabs. First, they filed off my fingerprints, then changed my face, and irradiated away my DNA. It hurt a lot. I screamed, but they didn’t seem to care. After a while, I didn’t either. All I needed to do was hang on until it was all complete. And finally I was one of them, the dabless.

It was great. I could commit any crime and they couldn’t finger me. No dab, no DNA, no face. I once walked into Tiffany’s in London, past all the security men and cameras, smashed a cabinet, and took all the pieces and they couldn’t stop me, or shop me. It was like I was invisible.

I earned a lot of money. I was the big time. Drugs, flash clothes, flash women. I had them all.

But then the gaps started. At first it was hours I lost, then days. I couldn’t remember what I had been doing. I woke up covered in blood with a bag full of cash once. Then I started to forget things about myself. My friends, my family, my name. My character got thinner and thinner until it just… went. I would look in the mirror and see no-one there. I was dabless, see. All the dabs, the little tells that make me me faded away. My voice is starting to go, no me to think of what to…

 If you enjoyed that, check out GTW’s dab story here:

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  1. the growth (of grass) that remains or appears after cutting

From → Definition

  1. The Collins dictionary has forgotten the fish!

    (how about that – not wikipedia)

    Brilliant story – I could read more.

  2. Dammit evil fish would have been easier!
    Thanks for the nice comment!

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