Meticulously She Cleans

Lauren Kalasky


Meticulously, she cleaned. The constant drip from the faucet grated on her nerves and a steady pulse of blood rushed through her ears, reminders of her mortality, of the reality of the situation. Silly to clean, considering, but it was normal, mundane. At the very least, it was something to do with her hands while her thoughts raced, struggling to sort out what would happen next. 


Impulsively, she glanced toward the body lying on the threshold. Her stomach lurched, bile rising in her throat. The urge to vomit was overwhelming, but eventually the nausea ceased, and her attention returned to scouring the tile beneath her gloved hands. 


Probably, everyone should have seen this coming. Maybe some did, but no one intervened. Perhaps if they had, it wouldn’t have gone this far. Possibly, things could have worked out, they could have been happy.


Just then, he stirred. She took a sharp breath, surprised, and whipped her head around to look, still on hands and knees. He looked confused, his breathing growing more erratic as he took in his surroundings. His eyes darting around the room like a wounded animal until, finally, locking on hers, realization setting in. 


She stood, slowly, and took a few tentative steps backwards. The rubber of her gloves squeaked as she gripped the handle, her hands shaking with anticipation. The sickly-sweet aroma reached her nose then, subtle hints of chloroform still on his breath, no doubt. A smile curled her lips as she hoisted the axe. 



Lauren Kalasky is a horror-inspired collage artist and wannabe micro-fiction writer living in Omaha, Nebraska. She is not afraid of Ouija boards, the dark or the big, bad wolf. Commonly found slinging blades at open mics, her collage work can be found on Instagram: @zinebutcher.