Aging is one of those things that sneaks up on us, surprising us with a wrinkle that wasn’t there yesterday–a grim reminder that we’re not escaping our mortality. I think this is why artists so often explore this uncomfortable subject, maybe as a way to test their courage for what none of us can avoid.
I certainly wasn’t comfortable with this subject in Fate’s Fables, when I accelerated the age of my character, Brune Inkwell. She had held off aging for 75 years, but when an overdose of magic compromised her protection, she degenerated to the ripe old age of 94 within minutes.
Here’s the excerpt:
An icy dread crawled over Brune’s skin. She rushed over to the mirror ball sitting atop a pile of books. Leaning in, she stared at her convex reflection in horror. Her full lips looked like shriveled rose petals. Fine lines had carved themselves into her smooth skin, while puffy folds crowded her hazel eyes. Her fresh nineteen-year-old face was gone, replaced by a stranger in her forties. She pushed away from her reflection, unwilling to watch the inevitable arrival of the ninety-four-year-old crone she’d cleverly evaded for the last seven-and-a-half decades. How was this possible? The Orb of Aeternitis should’ve protected her.
For an amazing visual of rapid, yet unnoticeable aging, you have to see Danielle by Anthony Cernielllo. Be sure to you watch the entire 5 minutes. Just as in life, you won’t realize the changes as they’re happening.