Spring Cleaning

RDP Monday: Radical


Abbi Hardenberg has just finished loading her dishwasher.

Her kitchen is white, spotless. It shines. It smells like Bright Ways lemon cleaner and vanilla. From the windows above her sink and from the skylight above her head the sun shining into her cool, quiet kitchen is pale and watery.

She steps and her eyes shift over the granite counter tops, the clear glass cannisters full of beans and pasta dried herbs and then she turns and walks towards the kitchen door that leads to the hallway upstairs.

On her way out, as she passes the counter, in one smooth motion she opens a drawer, takes something out and  shuts it.

She hits the light switch and the door swings shut behind her.

Photo by Milly Eaton on Pexels.com

Abbi is standing in front of her daughter’s bedroom door and just before she knocks on it, she rubs a bit of dust off with the palm of her hand. She grimaces and then wipes it on her thigh.

” Marina, ” she calls as she turns the knob and pushes the door open ” have you cleaned-”

Abbi’s twelve year old daughter is standing in the middle of her room.

Abbi felt the corners of her mouth twitch.

” It’s the monster Mom. I can’t get rid of it. If I could just get rid of it once and for all, my room would be perfect. ”

Marina’s walls are the palest shade of pink, the comforter is smoothed to perfection on her sleigh bed. Her desk is polished to a mirror shine and a little vase of daisies sits on the right hand corner.

” You’ve been up her for hours Marina, what is the problem here? ”

” It’s the Monster mom. Every time I turn around, every time I think I’ve done a good job it’s there. It’s just there messing everything up for me.

Marina points to the mirror above her vanity. ” Look, it’s almost perfect Mom. ”

They both look at the mirror and then they both look at each other.

Abbi drops her left hand down in front of her and Marina sees what is in her Mother’s hand.

Marina doesn’t look surprised to see a hammer clenched in her fist.

” Let’s do something about that monster once and for all. What do you say? Let’s really clean house Marina.”

Marina  raises her hand , something  is shining  in her partially closed fist and then Abbi steps into the room and the door swings shut behind her.









Mrs. Klotz’s Window

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: AIR

Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

Mrs Klotz has an apartment on the top floor of an abandoned building down the street from where I work.

I’ve never seen Mrs. Klotz’s face, I don’t know what color hair she has,  I don’t know what kind of clothes she wears. For some reason I have taken it into my head that she wears White Shoulders perfume and during the winter she likes to wear cherry flavored chapstick.

Sometimes when I walk under Mrs Klotz’s window I can hear Mambo music drifting down to the street from a crackling radio speakers and sometimes I think I hear Mrs. Klotz singing along with it.

On Summer evenings, those cool Summer evenings that follow brutally hot Summer days I expect that Mrs. Klotz is standing at her kitchen window enjoying as the cool air as it flows in.

I have no doubt, even thought I can’t see her, that she’s enjoying the breeze with a bottle of cold soda in her hand  as she watches people running for their buses and trains.

I’ll bet she thinks we are silly, but I’ll bet she wonders where we are going and…

Mrs Klotz stands at her kitchen window and watches the empty street under her grow a little more dusty, a little more sleepy looking then the day before. It used to be such a busy street with workers and shoppers and tourists running for their buses and trains and dinner dates and ferry rides.

The street below used to be so alive with colors and sounds and smells and on the good days, music.

Sometimes on those brutally hot Summer days Mrs. Klotz  waits until the evening and she stands at her window with a cold drink in her hand looks down into the  empty street below her

and thinks about ghosts.



Word of The Day Challenge: Rumpled

” I’m telling you, ” Alivira Rust’s nextdoor neighbor told her as they stopped for their almost everyday chat at the row of mailboxes at the end of their street, ” I saw him. He was buying a Frozen Yogurt and he was standing there as real as you or me. I think he got strawberry chip and shortbread crumble toppings.

Alvira reached into her mailbox and pulled out a wad of junk mail. She really needed to get out here more often. ” Strawberry chips are gross.  Just FYI.”

” You know what else? He was wearing one green sock and one blue one.  You know what that means. ” Francie’s voice dropped to a whisper.

” It means he’s color blind. ” Alvira whispered back.

” That’s right Francie said. ” That means that the Devil is color blind. Can you imagine such a thing?  Prince of Darkness or anything else my Aunt Fannie. The elastic was broken in one sock because it was all rumpled and slouching around his ankle.”

Francie grabbed Alvira’s wrist. ” You’d never catch God wearing rumpled slouchy mismatched socks. God wouldn’t be color blind either. God is perfect. ”

Alvira thought about it for a second and then she took her handful of junk mail and tossed it all into the bushes. ” Be sensible  Francie. Do you really believe that the Devil is color blind because of mismatched socks? Maybe the Devil forgot to do the laundry and those were the only socks left in the sock drawer. And why would God wear socks? Doesn’t he fly around or ride on clouds or something?”

Francie stomped her foot. “I’m telling you. I saw the Devil in McNally’s Fro-Yo Shoppe. He’s color blind. He’s imperfect. And if you came to Church at least once every so often and maybe attended one of my Bible studies,  you could spot the Devil too. It worries me that such a smart lady like you is so lacking in Spiratual matters.”

Francie collected her mail from her box and they started to walk towards their houses.

Alvira looked down and found a little stone to kick. It plunked up and down like a gray speckled little rubber ball in front of her foot.

Blah, blah, blah. Alvira thought to herself.  Francie thought she was so smart because she was a Sunday School Teacher and her Camp Fire Troop had earned more badges then any other Troop in the County.

” I’m serious Alvira. I worry about you. ”

Alvira kicked the little stone and it sailed up and into a tree. A few seconds later a cloud of screeching birds took to the sky and two fat squirrels jumped into the next yard from one of the upper branches.

Francie shook her head and walked a little faster. She was muttering under her breath about Alvira’s naughty ways.

” I’m  am not color blind Missy Know- it- All ” Alvira said under her breath. ” I’m tone deaf.”