She was really starting to worry about him now. It had been 6 days, and still he couldn't get out of bed.
His skin had turned a pallid, grey color, and any attempt at getting him to eat had been futile. Even her homemade chicken soup, his favorite dish by far, had dribbled down hid chin as she fed him. He seemed unable to swallow, the terrified look in his eyes a sure sign that he knew something was wrong.
Despite his inability to consume solid foods, she was surprised to see that he seemed to be putting on weight. It was almost imperceptible at first, but she soon became aware that he seemed to be getting bigger. He was a large man to begin with, but the sheets that covered him seemed to rise a little with each passing day. Where she really started to notice, though, was when she laid her head on his chest and sang their favorite song in an effort to make him feel better. She could clearly feel his breastbone against her cheek that first day, but it seemed to be receding further with each passing day, till the point now where she couldn't feel it at all.
It was also becoming obvious that she was going to have to start giving him a bed bath. She had grown accustomed to his musk in the 30 plus years they had been together, but this was something new altogether. The fain tang of dried sweat, coated with the blast of cheap cologne that he swore by had now been replaced by a fetid stench that seemed to ooze from every pore. Worse still was the loathsome reek that poured from his gaping mouth. It were as though every one of his teeth had decided to embark on a race to see who could decay the fastest. She had tried more than once to gently close his mouth, trying not to disturb his sleep, but the slack-jawed look would win ever time.
That wasn't the most disturbing part of it all, though, not by a long shot. What was really starting to worry her was the lack of any sound or murmur of heartbeat as when she laid her head on his bloated chest. She knew that he hated seeing the doctor, but a few more days of this and she would be forced to call him in. Just a few more days.
Walkabout (flash fiction)
4 days ago