Meredith reached up to turn off the tap, the shower spray was hitting just underneath her ribcage. Her fingertips were a good eight inches short, and when she overstretched the gripping pain shot across from her arm to her chest. She tried to untwist the ankle which had jammed itself underneath her other leg. Another pain elsewhere, buttock? Maybe the soap bar lodged between her and the tray? She cried out, asking for help, but she knew; the gentleman in the flat next door worked abroad, the flat below her had been empty for the last month, and she’d fired her cleaner the previous day. There would be no one to come to her aid.
She pressed her forehead up against the shower door. Through the glass her phone sat on the windowsill six feet away. On the other side of the door, her cat Moschino, sat nonchalantly on a fluffed-up rug, her head tilted in curiosity at the crumpled heap within the shower cubicle. After a while she lifted a leg to clean her behind, then got up and left the bathroom. The water kept coming.
Meredith tried to slide the door open, but one of the castors had come out of its runner when she fell against it. The harder she pushed; the more pain seared through her chest. The water kept coming. The steam started to slide down her throat, depriving her of oxygen. Swirls of darkness circled above her; she closed her eyes to try reset her equilibrium. She never opened them again.
In the kitchen, Moschino, weighed up her options at her automatic dry-food-feeder. It would take her a week before she’d need to break into cupboards. She scraped by clawing open various boxes for the next month.
Six weeks later, and two floors below, Mr Tillerson called his landlord when the water started coming through his ceiling lights.
When the police broke down Meredith’s door, they were met by the sight of an emaciated Moschino. It would take a month at a cat shelter to regain her strength. The vet estimated that if she hadn’t been found for another few days she would have died. Fortunately for her, Meredith’s heart attack and slip in the shower was what saved her. That, and the constant running water which would have ran forever down the plughole, if it were not for the disintegration and decomposing of Meredith’s body which eventually started to shed skin, which in turn blocked the waste, flooded the flat, and the two flats below.
Mr Tillerson visited the cat shelter and decided to take in Moschino, he’d always wanted a cat. One day, he was taking himself a shower. On the other side of the shower cubicle door, Moschino sat nonchalantly on a pile of dirty clothes, her head tilted in curiosity…
Brief #8 Like the Prose 2021: Start as near the end as you can
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