Margaret clutched tightly to the cold porcelain edge, bracing against the clenching beneath her ribs. She felt the familiar burning gather in her throat at the hollow between her clavicles. Acrid tentacles had slithered up from her stomach singeing the flesh as they went, leaving their bitterness upon her tongue. Her mouth pooled with never ending streams of tasteless saliva that she periodically spat into the sink. She had hated spitting, it was common, but now it came to her naturally. Heat gathered at her neck and spread like wild fire until her cheeks were ablaze and sweat glistened on her forehead. She breathed in, long, deep, breaths of cold air against each wave of nausea. Yet the knotting in her stomach persisted until her grip tightened, turning her knuckles bone white, and she had no choice but to brace herself. Her body lurched forward expelling a meagre breakfast of grapefruit juice and the barely digested chunks of half an apple. She’d eaten the bare minimum, just for show and yet there it lay, mocking her, such a pathetic culprit for all that suffering.
Still, Margaret couldn’t deny the relief that had befallen her. The heat and pain had subsided, releasing her mind from their inferno. She turned the cold water on allowing it to wash away the evidence and that putrid odour which had long stopped bothering her. She cupped water in her hands noting how it slipped through the gaps between her skeletal fingers and splashed her face, rinsed out her mouth. Recognising that some semblance of strength had return in her limbs, she finally dared to look up and gaze upon the stranger before her. Her skin, once lightly tanned, had a pallor that was dangerously close to matching the beads of her pearl necklace. It sagged in dark furrows under her eyes and seemed to hang like melting wax upon her now prominent cheek bones. Water drops patted intermittently against the sink as she surveyed her shining scalp; a terrain that had once been a mystery under swaths of thick auburn hair that had been expensively permed into the perfect loose curls. Margaret stared at this ghost that had taken to haunting her life and saw that she was smiling, for today she had heard what she hadn’t dared to hope for. Remission.
I wanted to practice writing descriptions so wrote this to the prompt from the yeah write #278 weekly challenge. The prompt was the wonderful phrase ‘I was haunting my life’ penned originally by the extremely talented Amy Bee who I highly recommend checking out.