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No One But Her

September 20, 2012

Photo by Ian O’Neill

She leaned over the sink, the last of the towels draped across the edge to dry. Rust colored drops trickled down the white porcelain reminding her she wasn’t finished yet. She arched her back, stretching out her muscles and cracking the last few vertebrae, but it offered little relief.

She couldn’t relax, couldn’t slow down, not until the job was done or she knew she’d never have the strength to finish. Anxiety and adrenaline pricked every nerve, spurring her forward. She rinsed the rag again and grabbed the bottle of bleach. The fumes seared her throat, scorching her lungs, but she slopped it over another section and scrubbed and wiped and poured and scrubbed and wiped.

It would eventually be enough.

It had to be.

Every splash, every swipe of the rag, burned a little more of him from her mind. There may never be enough solvents to erase the stains he’d left on her; there weren’t enough rags in the world for that mess. But his memory would be wiped clean of this house, of this floor, of this rag.

No one would ever understand. No one would ever know.

No one but her.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2012 12:02 PM

    You’ve done it again, you captured so much emotion in such a little time. Great work.

  2. September 20, 2012 12:05 PM

    Subtitled, “Lizzie Borden does housecleaning”? Yup, gotta clean up your messes. Especially those kind. ;-)

  3. September 20, 2012 1:48 PM

    ooh, another sinister one. ;D

  4. Chrissey Harrison permalink
    September 20, 2012 4:48 PM

    Really good. I like the way you infer so much beyond what is actually written which is, I think, the real key to good flash/micro fiction.

  5. September 20, 2012 7:15 PM

    Awesome! I loved this. You pack so much emotion into a such a short span. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. September 20, 2012 9:43 PM

    I agree there’s a lot of emotion. Some slathered on top of others, one perfect cover-up.

  7. September 21, 2012 12:39 AM

    Beautiful, you caught the hurt, that drives one to be rid of the memory. Well done!

  8. September 21, 2012 5:19 AM

    You write the kind of flash fiction that I love: pieces that can subtly change during each reading. Is she scarred and making it through some jerk the best way she can? Or is there one less jerk in the world and there’s some evidence needs disposin’ of? Reads either way and that, my friend, is awesome.

  9. September 21, 2012 7:11 AM

    A great piece of flash fiction, Danni. There’s a real sense of compulsion, tension and pent-up emotion there. Nicely done. :-)

  10. September 21, 2012 1:26 PM

    Nicely done Danni, originally I thought that she’d cut herself but the twist was nicely done. Congrats.

  11. September 21, 2012 3:58 PM

    Nicely done. Short, sharp, and packs a punch.

  12. September 22, 2012 10:35 AM

    The phrase “Rust colored drops…* conjures images of blood-streaked tiles.

    dirty deeds can leave traces that are difficult to cleanse.

  13. September 22, 2012 12:23 PM

    Evocative and sad. Beautifully done, as usual.

  14. September 23, 2012 11:21 AM

    In a scary way, I often feel like I can empathise with your characters.

    But I’m always envious how much you manage to pack into so few words.

  15. September 23, 2012 11:43 AM

    Great emotion :) lots of backstory to that act, very cool. Thanks for sharing!

    Julie/Firewolf

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