The 5 Stages of Grief

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 3, Holly

“Well, this is a fine pickle you’ve gotten us into, isn’t it mother?” Holly stared at the body lying in front of her on the floor. There was water everywhere, the smell of Mr. Clean burning her nostrils, its remnants tingling on her skin.

She had been washing the piss-stink from her mother with such vigor, she’d somehow failed to notice the old woman’s last breath. There was no sorrow, she felt cheated. If anyone, it was she who’d earned the right to watch the old woman die. She sat back on her haunches, her pants soaked through to the skin.

“My nightmare is over.”

Again, she looked at the decrepit body in front of her. The red splotches where the bristle-brush had brought the blood to the surface of the skin slowly fading in death, except for the places where the skin itself had been cleaned away. Even with the evidence lying in front of her, stiffening, plain as day, she still found it hard to believe. The one constant, suddenly obsolete, the whole thing seemed surreal. She did not know what to do.

She had no idea how long she sat talking with the naked body of her dead mother as if it were just another day. She’d become quite accustomed to the silence, on her mother’s part anyway, ever since the stroke. It was Mr. Clean who finally got her attention. Having soaked through, who knows how long ago, it had begun to burn her skin, demanding her attention.

“Well, that’s it then. I guess I’d best get us cleaned up. After all, it’s against the rules to leave a mess lying about – isn’t it mother?” Holly stood, stripped off her wet clothes, socks and all then walked to the kitchen to retrieve a new cloth and a fresh pot of soap and water. It didn’t make sense to dirty another room when this one was already in such disarray, she reasoned. So she carried the washing materials back to the first, marveling all the while at the way her breasts jiggled as she walked.

Even her body had become new to her over the last few weeks. Or has it been months since mother’s stroke? Whichever it’d been, Holly had brought down the mirror from her bedroom so she could explore herself. After all, she could not leave her mother alone in her state. That would have been cruel.

She washed the burning cleaner from her body, being extra careful to wipe away even the slightest trace. After all, Mr. Clean could seriously irritate the tender bits, she knew this first hand after years and years of mother’s thorough cleanings.

Once spotless, she put on a well-worn tracksuit, along with fresh shoes and socks, then attacked the mess surrounding mother. When all was done, her mother lying on an old blanket in the center of the room, she poured herself another coffee, lit a cigarette and sat down on the chesterfield to decide what to do. She was on her second cup of coffee and third or fourth smoke when the idea finally struck her.

She went to the back window, peeking around the edge of the curtains. After all, there was no sense in advertising. Peering intensely through the dark, she confirmed it was there. Funny how the mind plays tricks on you. She giggled for some unknown reason, probably excitement, release. She’d known it was there. It had been there her entire life. And yet, she’d felt the need, the urge, to check. It’s not as if it could’ve moved or anything. Again, she giggled.

After a quick run out to the backyard, just to make certain, she went searching in the crawlspace to see what tools they might have. “After all, this is definitely a do-it-yourself job,” she said. All the while pulling and piling anything she thought might assist her in removing the cover of the old, unused and forgotten well, out back.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.