The Cawhill Sisters

RDP Wednesday: Trickle

Patrick William Adam


Malvina and Marinella Cawhill live in their Father’s  house on Leaning Birches Road.

Their Father’s house is solid house, it was  built and crafted with skilled hands and  steady hands. When it’s raining not as much as a drop of water finds it’s way into the attics, nothing that creeps or crawls or demands the attention of poison or traps ever finds it’s way into the basement.

All of the rooms in their Father’s house are painted in the softest shades of blue and each of the rooms are filled with the rarest and most expensive antiques that money can buy.

The money, oh the money.

The armored trucks full, the titles and bonds and jewelry by the trunks full all of it earned, stolen and connived for by their Father and left to their Mother on the day he went to the guest bath upstairs, got into the tub and blew his brains out with a revolver that their Mother said he had purchased years before for the occasion.

” He named that gun  Little Bertha. ” their Mother told them. ” He used to say that he knew that he and Little Bertha were meant to be together. Do you know he put rose petals in the bath before he and Little Bertha got into the tub?  What a mess. He filled the tub up and when he got in  of course the  rose petals and water poured out onto the bathroom floor. Then the water trickled down from the seal around the tub into the tea room for weeks, maybe months. Sometimes it still leaks. But of course there’s more then water and rose petals leaking down from the ceiling now.”

Malvina and Marinella had not known about Little  Bertha or the ceiling that was still leaking bathwater from their Father’s suicide six years after the fact until their Mother told them just before she took Little Bertha shopping with her one day.

On that shopping day their Mother  shot the clerk between the eyes because the clerk didn’t look grateful  enough for their Mother’s patronage at the makeup counter at Fountain’s Department Store.

Shortly after that shopping trip their Mother ended up at a facility in Eastern Washington that cared for the criminally insane because well heeled women like Mrs Cawhill didn’t go to ‘Prison’ for cold blooded murder.

At any rate all of that money, all of those jewels and deeds and bonds went into Malvina and Marinella’s eager if not slightly nervous and trembling  hands.


By nature the sisters were quiet and reclusive and they hardly ever left their property.

It’s not as if the people in town ostracized Malvina and Marinella for their parents dubious and  dark natures and they were forced to stay behind their fence.

No one drove by their Father’s house in the middle of the night and threw garbage on their lawns or spray painted nasty words on the walkway leading up to the porch or hung small dead animals from their trees.

Malvina and Marinella would do those things to people they disliked, but no one knew, nobody suspected that was going on because all those two ever did was hobble  around their garden in big floppy hats with wine glasses in their hands and cigarettes dangling from their lips.

The minute the shadows pulled back and the Sun broke through they would scurry back into their house and slam the door shut behind them.

They would stand there in the hallway and then one would ask the other, ” Meet in the tea room in a few minutes?”

And of course the other sister always said yes.


The sisters weren’t sure why their Mother called the yellow room at the back of the house “The Tea Room ” because nobody drank tea in there. No one in their family  even liked tea. The sisters would grab a bottle of scotch and a few packs of cigarettes- as had their Mother and Father, and they would smoke and drink until their livers and lungs screamed for mercy.

Which of course their poor internal organs never got.


It was, as Malvina about to chortle about Scotch O’clock when something on the table caught her eye. She reached out and rub the table cloth and the little stain smudged just a little.  She held her finger up to the light.

The tip of her finger was wet.

Marinella pulled the chair out from under the table and slid into it, all while freeing a cigarette from it’s black box and hitting flicking her lighter.  She looked into her Sister’s face.

” What’s wrong? ” Marinella asked.

” It’s nothing. Nothing. Just a little water. ”

Both Sisters looked up at the ceiling and then they looked down at the table.

Marinella took a long hard drag on her smoke and Malvina poured herself a liver rotting dose of Scotch and they both ignored the water stain on the ceiling and the growing pool of water on the table between them.





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