Aunt Laura

Hair once red is now a color that's hard to describe. Blue eyes are still blue, less blue, but blue, set past the brow, partially hidden back beneath the skull. Lips are surprisingly supple, kept moist with small but steady trickles of drool. Few teeth, more than you'd guess, and those that are, still set straight and strong. Ears oversized for a head that seems to have shrunk. The skin and tendons and fluids all withered. Do skulls shrink?

Skin hangs taut topside of the biceps muscle, that is attached loosely by tendons to elbow and shoulder bones. Upper arm skin and muscles bow low, sway to and fro: Conjure a chicken wing you'd flick aside for lack of good flesh.

Hands still grip with power, they feel and are made soft, tender, and smooth, by the type of persistent erosion that turns ledge to stone. Finger nails painted, look perfectly in their prime; they are ten little egomaniacs ready for the ultimate Homecoming Ball. Interesting information; fingernails continue to grow after death.

Veins plump as Slim Jims run arbitrarily like rivers from the forearm to the tips of the fingers. Arms and hands tell the age and the story as much or more than the face. More. The arm is an old lady horror movie arm. It's ultra defined. It's freeze dried, shrink-wrapped. All its components are visible, which makes for an easy study. Arms are sexy, even these one hundred year old arms. The face, not so much.

Below the neck, which resembles a turtle's, a soft baby blue dress lies draped, unfulfilled, over a body that has worked fluidly and effectively for ninety-nine years. It can't and won't last much longer.

The old body stroked, forsaking a long-lived collaboration between itself and the spirit and soul of Laura Wallace. The brunt of the stroke left Laura's left side dead, still, and out of commission. Nice to see her right arm could still move, and she could still force un-intelligible sound out the right side of her mouth, which she did periodically throughout my thirty minute stay.

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