The Anatomist’s Mnemonic

Samuel Wilson’s life wasn’t a search for love at every turn. There’d been girls he’d liked, with whom he’d managed fragile love affairs, but something was always lacking no matter how hard he tried. Something that failed to ignite.

Sam knew what it was. He knew that love and objectification weren’t the same but he had a passion for hands. His arousal in every organ, the mind, the skin, the parts he’d once been told were made for sin, depended on the wrists, the palms, the fingertips.


Hands are marvellous constructions.

I referenced “The Complete Book of Fortune” which I found in my local Oxfam. It’s a battered, stained book with a chapter on The Art of Reading the Hand as well as other such wonders as The Virtue of Precious Stones and Napoleon’s Book of Fate.

This story first appeared in Black Static 32 .It was reprinted in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Volume 6.

Black Static 32     The Anatomist's Mnemonic, art by David Gentry  The Best Horror of the Year vol 6



Priya Sharma’s The Anatomist’s Mnemonic delivers the classic short, sharp visceral shock that we all love with the story of a young man whose overwhelming desire to find a woman with the perfect pair of hands leads to an expectedly horrendous outcome when he finds himself strangely attracted to a medical illustrator whom he seeks to hire. While the finale can be seen coming some ways before it does, its impact is no less disturbing thanks to Sharma’s careful construction and a finish that pulses with violence, frenzy and perverse satisfaction.  Dread Central

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