By Andrew Black
It was a hot summer weekend when Ashley first noticed the clear little blisters on her left foot. She assumed they were caused by new sandals and ignored them. By the end of the weekend, they had grown to the size of dimes and spread to the top of her foot. She popped some with a sharp safety pin and milky white liquid oozed out. She decided it was some sort of athlete’s foot and bought some medical spray that was supposed to help. Instead, it burned so badly she had to wash it off moments after she applied it.
A week later, the blisters had spread up her ankle and were half way to her knee. The pain in her foot made it impossible to walk without a crutch, and her leg throbbed with every heartbeat. She wrapped her foot and leg in gauze bandages that absorbed the whitish discharge and she made an appointment to see her doctor. Before she could get to the office, the skin on her foot, now completely covered in blisters, began sloughing off. The stink of the putrid flesh made her gag, and she passed out before she could dial 9-1-1.
She awoke many hours later to a strange sensation. Her foot no longer ached and the throbbing in her leg had stopped. She looked down and screamed as she saw the reason she no longer felt any pain; her leg was gone from the knee down, with only a puddle of green-gray ooze left where she had fallen. A trail of the disgusting sludge led off towards her kitchen. She crawled toward the kitchen door, noting a splatter of the necrotic tissue on the baseboard. She pushed the door open and peered inside. Something scuttled her way and she shrieked in terror.
Ashley’s neighbor, Steve, found her three days later. It was the stench that caused him to take the spare key and check the apartment. He found her lying in a pool of yellow-green mush that had once been her flesh. Her head was half inside the kitchen and her skull had been cracked open. The coroner never found her left leg, and her body was burned in case whatever had afflicted her was contagious.
A week later, Steve heard a knock on his apartment door. He opened it to see Ashley standing there, nude and smiling at him. He blinked twice at the apparition and the woman dissolved into a puddle of milky white muck on his doorstep.
He stumbled back into his apartment, trying to convince himself he was hallucinating. He poured himself a stiff drink to calm his nerves. His foot began to itch and he pulled it up to see small clear blisters forming against the sole, a result, he assumed, of his new running shoes. He looked back at the open doorway and the weird gunk was gone. Whether it ran down the drain or crawled away on its own he never knew.
Author’s Note: Another flash fiction attempt coming in at just under 500 words. This story was rejected with a form letter, so I didn’t get any specific feedback. Because flash fiction is difficult to market, at least if you want anything more than some name recognition, I decided to house the story here for my readers.