Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ava is a face licker. This isn’t some extravagant term that carries some double meaning. The eight-year-old licks faces and that’s the tall and short of it. She may have been born with the annoying habit, but her mother can’t vouch for it. At the age of two, the brown-haired girl started with her mother’s cheeks and her father’s forehead. It was an infrequent act that escalated into an hourly undertaking.

At first, Ava’s parents had found it cute and silly, laughing every time Ava’s small, pink tongue left a trail of saliva on their faces. But when the girl wouldn’t stop with the licks, parental sternness confronted the little girl’s weirdness. And it wasn’t a pretty scene. There was crying and swearing, and crazed bouts of hairpulling. No not Ava, but her parents exhibited the bizarre behavior.

The young girl simply gawked with her hazel eyes and when things seemed to settle, she would slurp the sides of her parents’ disgruntled faces. There was nothing Ava’s mother or father could do to deter her. And Ava’s absurd habit soon widened its scope of licking. Close relatives and friends became easy targets. Their stays and visits were accompanied by a sticky moistness which either smelled like peppermint or unemptied garbage. It all depended on the time of day and Ava’s last meal.

Some smiled, a few cringed, and the rest simply went quiet. They had never encountered a face lick from another human. Such conduct was only befitting of pets or kinky courtships. But Ava was unaware of this and made sure her tongue visited different facial landscapes.

Ava is now in the third grade and has only one friend. A boy who doesn’t mind having his cheek licked on a regular basis. Some may brand him a loner or a cheap thrill-seeking rascal. But for Ava he’s the only one who doesn’t look at her with contempt and wipe his sticky face with his hand after.

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46 Comments on “The Face Licker – Flash Fiction Story

  1. I love this story for many reasons. Mainly I love that this person who is different does not change. Instead she finds and stays with those who love her. Her uniqueness was her way of expressing love. ❤️🤗🥰

    • I love your words and the purity of thought behind them, Joni. Yes, she was expressing herself in a way that made her feel nice and comfortable. Though, others may not have understood this. Such are the ways of life and this world. Thank you so much.
      Received your emails and will get back to you soon. Take care and keep smiling and writing. 🙂

  2. Hahaha. So she licks and licks. I am just thinking that you are doing a symbolism here, aren’t you? I guess the requirement is that women are asked to lick, but in a special way that she conceals her art of licking. I still remember what my grandmother told me–women have to pretend that she’s not too interested in the food even if she’s hungry; women have to laugh discreetly; women have to sneeze in a certain way… Basically in my grandmother’s view, if a woman doesn’t put herself mentally or physically in a cage, the world will be in disorder.

    • I simply love this perspective, Haoyan. There’s so much a writer can learn from a reader’s take on their writing. I agree, in many Asian cultures a woman is expected to curb and refrain herself from certain behaviors and actions. There’s that fine line that shouldn’t be crossed and if it is, then all hell will break loose. I think you’ve touched a very important and sensitive topic. Thank you so much for your wisdom. 🙂

  3. I was thinking it will end in a strange way but you kept at it and let it dangle. Its probably the first time i read something like this and it was a little repulsive at times for me as i found the act to be a litle gross, and kudos to you for prompting these thoughts and feelings with your writing✍ 👍 👌

    • Thank you so much, Deepak. Children often act with innocence and a certain amount of curiosity. I’ve seen this myself. I think the little girl was either expressing her friendliness or marking her presence felt. It’s tough to say which is truer. haha! It is a little distasteful.

      • That’s true, could be anything, i think we all have our eccentricities which may not be so obvious but the kids are kids afterall, they dont care much abt the social norms or may be don’t want to be tied by them!!

  4. Aren’t we human beings just too weird? The weirdest thing, however, is that we are not alone in our weirdness. There is always someone out there who is even weirder than you. Just like that weird boy who was putting up with her weirdness. It was both endearing and a little unsettling. I wonder what you had intended the face-licking to be a metaphor for? A brilliant story, Terveen! 👏👏

    • Thank you so much, Aaysid. I think for the girl, the face licking was a simple act of love and friendliness. Why this particular action? Who really knows? Haha! There’s so much to human behavior that we’ll never understand. 🙂

  5. What an awesome story of true human beingness, full of expression, and, in this case, stickiness. Well, expect for the boy. A beautiful write, Terveen. ☺️

  6. Maybe she was a reincarnated dog who had moved up in life!😊 Or maybe she was just being her own special self. Your stories really make me think. Keep them coming, Terveen!

    • Thank you so much, Diti. I like that reincarnation logic. Some habits pass on to the next life. And definitely she was special in her own way. Thank you so much for the kindness and encouragement. 🙂

  7. Love this story. Ava is a face licker. That’s just who she is. Not easy in today’s society, but I reckon, Ava will be okay.

  8. An enjoyable story… everyone has weird quirks, just that they’re not always public like Ana’s weirdness. I like that she found a boy who doesn’t mind it. A good friend 🙂

    • I think we all need a friend like that, Dave. Someone who accepts us for who we really are. And you’re right…many weird quirks stay behind closed doors. Weird is more common than we think. 🙂

    • Lol. Now that’s a great question, David. Will need to write another story to answer that. I think you’ve inspired something here. Thank you. 🙂

  9. Little known fact: Since the pandemic, Ava’s titled changed from Face-Licker to Super-Spreader.

    And if the old saying is correct, “I licked it, so it’s mine,” Ava just staked her claim on her future domestic partner. So what if he’s a cheap thrill-seeking loner rascal? Pobody’s nerfect.

    And if I’m being totally honest here, her affliction is only a problem due to her age, When she’s older, she can start an OnlyFans account and make a mint. The things some people pay for is astounding.

    • LOL! Ava’s asking if you could be her future agent. I think you could give her a few pointers and make her fit in better. And the things people will pay for is a whole other story. (High on weirdness and things best left unsaid.) Let’s hope Ava switches to lollipops and gummy bears. Thanks so much, Rhyan. Your comments always make me laugh. Much gratitude. 🙂

      • Tell Ava, once she’s of legal age (you’re not catching me in that trap, kiddo), she should give me a call. I’ll get her set up across multiple platforms in order for her to lick the paywall competition, and teach her how to tickle her fans’ tastebuds and have them drooling in anticipation for their next tongue lashing.

    • Haha! That’s so true. In a crowd of people, even one true and loyal friend can mean the world to someone. Acceptance is the key to this. Thank you so much, Patricia. 🙂

  10. A great story. I expected the parents to help her stop such behaviour beciase first of all it’s socially unacceptable and unhealthy for her as well. But then I realized they tried. It’s a behavioural condition which she couldn’t curb – an impulsive behaviour. It’s something she would probably live with all her life. I also felt pity for her because normally, losing friends could have forced her to stop but..she would rather lick faces than stop for friendship’s sake. That’s touching for me.
    I like the way it ended and left me wondering why the issue wasn’t resolved. It shows story end don’t always have to satisfy the reader, They just have to end the way they should.
    Well written.

    • Thank you so much for such a lovely and thoughtful comment. I like how you analyze this. It’s difficult to curb certain habits no matter how bizarre they are. As many children grow into adults, they manage to keep such things secret. And a story sometimes takes its own course. There’s not much the writer can do about it either. 🙂

  11. I admit, I have never been a victim of a face-licker except from my Australian Shepherd. It would sound cool to be a “face-licker survivor/warrior”. But… oh, well. 🤣

  12. Yikes. Where did you even find this girl Ava??? I pity her social circle!
    Another very unique story Terveen. You seem to be naturally very good at coming up with such off-beat subjects 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Vignesh. Your comments encourage me to write about even stranger and more offbeat topics. And Ava is that side of us that we often keep under wraps. Haha. 🙂

  13. This story tell us how uniqueness is often shunned. A face licker is a face licker , I guess, you either accept it or you don’t. Well done, Terveen.

    • Things that don’t comply to a majority of minds are often labeled to be wrong or simply unacceptable. I guess that’s the way of the world. Accept it or not… Thanks Shobana! 🙂

  14. Wow! this is one weird story — I’ve never read anything quite like it — daring and imaginative and you carry it off with conviction —-

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