Strange & Short Stories
by Cindy Hansen


Renata stirred in bed, shading her eyes from the morning light. So tired, but the sun was insistent.  She felt gurgling in her gut and knew that last night’s “gentle laxative” had worked its magic. Groaning, she tossed back the blanket and hurried to the bathroom.

It was important for her to start her day completely empty. She reminded herself of this as she endured the indignities of unfortunate noises and the affront to her olfactory perception.  Empty bladder, empty bowels. Check those off the list, she thought with satisfaction.

Standing at the mirror, she moved aside the glass of floating dentures, congratulating herself on no longer needing to floss every day. She set the wig stand that held her blond curls on the toilet tank, and leaned in to the mirror for a critical look at her face.  Her pores were clogged and there was eyebrow stubble. That won’t do. She took up her tweezers and pulled out every single errant hair that dared to rear its little head.  She’d take care of the stubble on her scalp later. With a quick swipe of her finger, she whisked away the crusty sleep from the corners of her eyes.

True Blue facial mask was next. She squeezed some onto her hand and spread it all over her face. While that was drying, she pulled out her Ped Egg to rid her feet and elbows of calluses. She found the grated skin inside the egg to be gross and fascinating at the same time.  Her feet needed a moisturizer but not yet, oh no not yet.

Grabbing the clippers, she cut her fingernails and toenails down as far as she could. Those aggravating little hangnails were history too. Tapping lightly on her face, she decided the mask was ready to come off. A slow peel pulled all the gunk out of her pores. Another grossly fascinating little chore, she thought as she tossed it away.

Her throat was parched but she didn’t dare have any water yet. There’s a time for everything, and now was the wrong time.

Stepping into the shower, she turned the faucet and felt the rush of cold water with a start. As it warmed up, she moved in closer. She lathered up her bald head and ran the razor over her entire scalp. She loved that slippery feel of a freshly shaved head. 

More lather for her armpits, forearms, legs, and that delicate unmentionable area. Blushing, she was going to be more careful there today than she was the last time. Thank goodness she didn’t need stitches!

Now it was time for the loofah . Goodbye dead skin, she hummed to herself as she scraped the rough sponge all over her body. No more free ride on me! By the time she was done, her skin was a raw pink.

Stepping out of the shower, she dried herself thoroughly. Towels just don’t do a good enough job, she frowned. I still feel a little damp. That’s ok. I have a few more minutes to wait until I’m completely dry.

She rinsed out her nasal passages with a Neti Pot and then blew her nose thoroughly.

Q-Tips were next according to her mental list. She cleaned out all her earwax and ran the Q-Tip along all the little folds and canals of her ears.

Is that it? Was she ready? She gathered together all the saliva in her mouth and spit it in the sink. One little demure passing of gas and she was finally ready to step on the scale.


Copyright Cindy Hansen