I’ve got a good start to this new short story I’m working on… what do you think so far? :)
Ethel March woke up on the morning of November twenty-first feeling weightless. This was especially significant because Ethel March weighed in at about three-hundred-ninety pounds on a good day. She didn’t know the exact number, of course, because the last time she’d stepped on a scale had been thirty years and two hundred pounds ago. And she hadn’t looked at herself in a mirror, except to get something out of her eye, since before she’d retired from the post office in the late nineties. But Ethel did know that she normally felt groggy and stiff and extra heavy in the mornings, particularly when, like today, she’d fallen asleep in front of the television slumped sideways in her worn, leather recliner.
This morning, however, instead of blearily opening her crusty eyes and licking her parched lips and rubbing her sore neck and peeling her clammy skin from the sticky leather and arduously hoisting herself from the sunken seat cushion, Ethel March found herself standing in the middle of her cluttered den with no memory of how she’d gotten there.
Actually, the term standing didn’t quite fit the situation. For when Ethel looked down toward her swollen feet, she became confused by the fact that they weren’t below her. Nor were her legs. She made to raise a pudgy hand to her mouth in a gasp of shock, but she didn’t have a hand either. Or, it seemed, a mouth. For all Ethel knew in that moment, she was a pair of eyeballs floating in midair. She turned slowly to face her recliner, or rather imagined turning, afraid of what she might find there. But the moment she saw it, she felt strangely at ease.
There, in the oversized chair, the head tilted onto a shoulder at a dramatic angle, the mouth hanging so far open a finch could nest inside it, was Ethel March’s obviously dead body. A tiny pile of ashes sat on the arm of the chair below the cigarette butt dangling limply between two singed fingers, and Ethel was glad the house hadn’t burned down. Although she would realize later that she very much would have preferred a house fire. At least then, someone would have noticed her.
Copyright © 2016 by Angie Tonucci.