Angel by Susan Tepper

This girl Loretta comes to the house to clean up Grandma. She washes Grandma and shampoos her hair. Loretta tells me it took three or four shampoos to get all the white crud off Grandma’s scalp. They get that white crud when they get old she says. It makes me cringe and never want to be old. So I start to research death. So many ways to get it if you want it. I like the swallowing types of death where you swallow a pill or maybe a lot of pills, depending. Then you lie down looking normal and go to sleep. What could be more normal than that? I mention this to Loretta who agrees. She says all the real beauties died rather young. Then she rattles off names: Marilyn Monroe and Princess Di are two I remember her mentioning. You should do it Loretta tells me while she’s cutting Grandma’s hair in the kitchen. Sunlight pouring through the window. All the white hair on the floor is snow. When she gets done Grandma like a deranged angel.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Angel by Susan Tepper

  1. Thank you for this story. Beautifully done. I lke how it touches on a difficult and painful subject.

  2. Kelly Grotke

    showing how peculiar normal can be – nice

  3. other than life, what could be more natural than death?
    Oh, Loretta…do you really think I’m beautiful?
    Great job, Susan

  4. Al McDermid

    What a strangely compelling, and yet disturbing, story. Nice work.

  5. There’s so much of human nature here, dancing around and yet poking at the heart of life’s questions and quest. I love this, Susan.

  6. Len

    “…a deranged angel.”
    wonderful piece of work.

  7. It’s amazing how callous people become to things when they’re exposed to them constantly, how the girl is so indifferent about old age and death. Very well done.

  8. Many thanks to everyone who responded to “angel”, I love hearing what others think, and try to read most of the other stories each week.

  9. I love how you flew off from the theme to arrive at ‘deranged angel’. This scene so ordinary, yet full. Peace…

  10. Getting older, as I’m finding out, is a very indecent process. Thank you for the gift of Prose.

  11. Quenby Larsen

    Nice and tightly twisted. Frightening! I loved it.

  12. Pingback: Week #26 – bad haircut « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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