Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy

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May 18th 2017 in Microfiction

“We’re close now,” the attending physician had said. Quietly, Marilyn opened her purse and lifted out a Ziploc bag containing a tube of lipstick, some theatrical adhesive, and a large flower. Leaning carefully over the bed, Marilyn skillfully applied the dark peach lipstick to her mother’s mouth. “This is her all-time favorite color: Georgia Summer,” she whispered to the two hospice nurses standing in the doorway. “She often said that red was for women who lacked subtlety.” “Your sister’s on her way,” one of the nurses said softly. Marilyn smiled and nodded, using her hands to caress her mother’s face. She rummaged in the plastic sack and put a dollop of the adhesive behind her mother’s right ear, placing the fabric lily on top of the goo to hold it in place. “Poor dear has about three hairs left on her whole head,” Marilyn whispered. “All the same, a woman should wear a flower.” One of the nurses sighed. “It’s important to her that she be spruced up?” came the question. “Oh, yes,” Marilyn said, stepping back and smiling. “Mother has always believed that the only decision you have to make in this life is how fancy you want to get with it.”


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