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The Demise of Old Mary

The first time old Mary knew she had a problem was when she noticed the squelching in her slippers. Every time she put her foot down the warm, woolly insides became damper and damper until the liquid started to show at the seams. Then the fabric around her bra straps and the elastic of her underwear bled wet patches over her fleshy frame. Every time she handled an object her hands became damp and she would leave dewy marks where her fingers had just been.

She knew something was very wrong.

Soon, her body was leaking at every pressure point, a thin, watery red stream of blood and bodily fluids seeping from her as if her essence was draining away. Mary removed her dripping slippers and her undergarments, but her light summer dress was causing her to leak where it rested on her shoulder. She removed that too.

Mary didn’t want to call her son: she already suspected he thought she was going senile and didn’t trust him to take her seriously. But then, she didn’t feel like she could call for an ambulance either – who would believe that her life was dripping away through her skin? Besides, she had lived eighty-two years through good times and bad – very bad – and she was not going to let life seep away from her now without a fight. At least, not like this. Her body was against her, but she still had her wits and her will. Naked and defiant, her blue veins showing through her translucent-white skin that hung in folds around her once-lean body, she came up with a plan and went to the kitchen for the necessary supplies . . .

When the police found her, Mary’s body lay desiccated and naked on the bathroom floor. All around her stood flasks, ice cream containers and buckets filled with red-tinged and now rancid watery fluid: Mary had tried to collect her leaking self, desperately trying collect every drop as her essence started to pour away. If she was going to die, Mary thought to herself as she stood in the buckets and pressed the mouth of a thermos to her palm, she was not going to let any part of her get away.

The Demise of Old Mary


Abbotsford, Australia

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

This was written for a short-story-a-day challenge in 2008. The word of the day was “flasks” and for whatever reason I came up with this.

I really like the concept and I’d like to do something more with it in the future. A short story a day for a month is an amazing tonic for creativity but really crap for quality writing, but I really like the concept in this one.

  • All constructive critique welcomed!

Artwork Comments

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