Phew. I was initially dreading the third prompt because the last one was so bloody difficult! But I’m pretty sure, those folks thinking up the prompts like to keep us unbalanced and this week it was by taking it easy and choosing something less intimidating.
Beer cans litter the top of the coffee table and also beneath it. She dutifully picked them up and threw them into the garbage bag she was hauling around the living room. Bags of chips beckoned at her from between the sofa cushions. She sighed and fished out close to 10 bags. Ants had made their home in most of them. She looked at her almost full bag and shook her head in disgust. She was tempted to just upend the garbage bag into his beloved classic Jag, the only place he considered worthy of cleanliness.
Her husband was a world-class slob.
The first time she reminded him to throw out his bags of Cheetos he’d been snacking on while watching TV, he’d left a bruise on the left side of her face and a split lip. She started dialling 911 but he grabbed her, apologised and said that it was the stress of work that day. He cried in dismay. She hung up.
The second time she asked him to wash the dishes he’d been using because she didn’t have the time right then. She ended up with a dislocated jaw.
She eventually learnt to shut up and clean up. This was five years ago.
The carpet was peppered with bits of chips, hair (ugh) and other unmentionables. It was a sty. Later that evening, her husband returned from trekking with his friends. She watched aghast, eyes wide, as he tracked mud through the hallway and onto the carpet she had painstakingly cleaned and vacuumed.
She snapped, like a twig, rushed to him, lifted the vacuum and brought it down on him with as much force as she mustered.
He collapsed to the floor and held his hands up to ward her off. Still she continued hitting, satisfaction coursed through her. Then she grinned, put the vacuum on full power and pointed the nozzle at his face.
His skin peeled off from his face, sucked into the cylindrical vacuum pipe. He reached out towards her and his fingers went in too. Then his entire arm. She stayed steady. Bones broke her husband’s body as it resisted the pull. He held on to the sofa with his remaining hand, the other lost in the suction. But it was futile. The vacuum was determined. His other arm succumbed. Soon, both arms up to his shoulder were in the pipe. Eyes wide, his head flattened then narrowed into a point into the vacuum. His ear-splitting scream arrested. His head in, the rest of his body soon followed. Cracking and breaking.
Then, there was no more. Not even a speck of blood remained. Hmmm…a neat freak at death. She powered down the vacuum cleaner and headed into the kitchen. She mixed herself a cocktail, settled down on the sofa and switched on the television. Aaahhh…She sipped her drink. I love a clean house.
(word count 482)
Comparing the two pieces (from my AtoZ and this one), I feel that I have journeyed some in my writing, in a positive direction 🙂