Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Dice Games 2 - The Cleaner

My key grazes the lock, slips away.  Irritation spikes.  I try again, stabbing harder at the crooked hole, expecting it to slide in, click open.  Nothing. He’s changed the locks.

Icy fog washes over me.   I’m numb with incomprehension.  He’s changed the locks?

Stepping back I stare up at the house.  Our house.  No, our home.  A tidy, suburban pile. Semi-detached, red brick, square double glazed windows.  Always cosy, even when there’s a North wind blowing.

I kept it nice, our house.  Even when I was working.  I’d be up at 4am, scrubbing, mopping, folding.

He said, “Relax, chill out.  Come and sit down.”

As if.  Bad things happen when you neglect the dark corners.  Spiders.  Dust.  Things you don’t want to look at.  Things that scuttle and climb.  I didn’t neglect the dark corners.  I cleaned under the cooker, behind the fridge.  Then I went out to work, and when I came back I started over.

That’s how I found the earring.  Maybe another person wouldn’t have noticed it.  Or maybe they would have trodden on it in the dark, squealed a little.  It was clear as day to me, winking amethyst purple, glinting in the fading sunlight. 

I picked it up.  God knows what I could’ve caught, picking up a dirty earring. 

Not mine, but I already knew that.

I smelt it then, faint beneath the bleach.  A smell of hot salt, warm bodies.  Sex. 

No crying, not from me.  I don’t give in to things like that.  A woman has to be prepared, has to take care of her house and her family.  He’d been stupid, being tricked by whatever slut had rolled in our bed, but I would make it right.  I would protect him.

It wasn’t hard, when all was told.  I just watched. Listened.  Waited.  Lost my job, but who cares about that? No point in turning up when your family is falling apart.  Odd watching them together, watching the way she let her paw him.  Lift her skirts in doorways and cars.  He hadn’t even washed his hands.  Dirty slut, letting him do that. No hygiene.

It was easy when it came to it.

Easy to lock him in the bedroom when she went for a glass of water.  Easy to slash her throat.  Blood spurted across my kitchen, splashed against the all.  Looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.  I almost enjoyed that.  Almost liberating.  I knew I’d get it off; wipe clean paint in the kitchen after all.
Just the sound of his thumping disturbed me, his screams from upstairs.  Not very manly.  Almost off-putting. 

I enjoyed cleaning her, tidying her.  Used up all my Tupperware but that was okay. I could invest more.  It was for the family.

When the police came they said it was the cleanest crime scene they’d ever found. I was proud of that.  It’s on my record.

That was ten years ago now though, God knows what state the kitchen is in.  I couldn’t wait any longer to find out.  That’s why I broke out, came here.  Found the keys inside the shed where they always used to be.

But he’s changed the locks?

I don’t understand that.  Didn’t he know I’d be coming?


Written for the #DiceGames contest run by the fabulous Timony Souler following these rules:

This challenge will run over 3 days:-
·         Monday 4th June
·         Wednesday 6th June
·         Friday 8th June
So, the RULES:
o    You will roll a die – THREE TIMES
o    Each number you roll will give you a PROMPT (Which can be found HERE)
o    You will post a piece (between 250 and 750 words) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

My prompt:  
"keys, amethyst earring, bedroom."


Christina Krieger said...

Wow! I love the story that came out of those prompts. Great job!

Lisa Shambrook said...

Loved matter of fact, yet so awful! And your last line...brilliant!

Meg McNulty said...

I enjoyed writing from her POV - she's my polar opposite. *looks at midden around her*

Lena Corazon said...

Ohhhh, that is wonderfully terrible. She's quite calm, isn't she, with all sorts of crazy lurking beneath? Judging from the dishes piled up in my sink, she's my polar opposite as well. :P

David A Ludwig said...

Wow... Creepy delve into the crazy. I figured too much clean was bad for you.

That said, a cleanliness obsessed person could make a very interesting murderer. You do a great job of capturing the fixation and the obsessive personality where she'll do everything just so, but then throw things like her career away when another concern comes to the forefront.

"When the police came they said it was the cleanest crime scene they'd ever found. I was proud of that. It's on my record." Was my favorite part, that really just tied her personality together so perfectly.

Bullish said...

This is just brilliant!! You have captured her methodical unhinged mind so well.

Loved the line "God knows what I could’ve caught, picking up a dirty earring." That was chilling and funny in the same breath!

The Jackson Pollock reference was terrific in context!! And using up all the Tupperware?! Whoa!

That last line was the clincher.

Seriously awesome writing!!

Sophie Moss said...

OMG, Meg! This is fantastic!! Just catching up on blogs now. Been a crazy week. I LOVE how insane she is, yet so controlled. So sure of herself. I always know that when I start going on a mad organization/cleaning spree, it means my life is spiraling out of control. And I'm trying to find some superficial way to "tidy it up." Well done. Brilliant writing. Crazy character. Love the line, "It's on my record now." Laughed out loud. Write on, talented lady.