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A Spring Clean
by Alex Wyte



"How long does it take to write a story?" She asked.

I was a bit taken aback.

"Well, err, it rather depends upon whether I have something bouncing around in my head already."

"And have you?"

"No." I admitted. "It's all rather empty in there."

"Hmm, no change there then!" She cruelly pointed out.

"I'll get down to it right now. Something will come to me."

"You do that, I'm going out. See you later!"

"OK Bye."

So there I sat. Waiting for a story to occur.

After a few minutes I got bored and went outside to seek inspiration. Spring was in the process of springing, birds singing, insects buzzing; you know the sort of thing.

I considered mowing the lawn.

I strolled down to the end of the garden, master of all I surveyed, then noticed that I had stepped in some cat shit. I scraped it off my shoe with a stick. It stank.

I picked up some clippings and removed the rest of the cat shit from the grass by flipping it over the hedge with a trowel, It was probably from next door's cat anyway.

I looked up to see the animal in question eyeing me from the shed roof.

"Your days are numbered" I muttered under my breath.

Then I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, something of a rite of passage into summer I thought.

As I walked back into the house I heard the radio in the kitchen playing This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us by Sparks. I hadn't heard that in a while.

Maybe it's true, this town ain't big enough for me and next door's cat and his bowels?

I decided to clear out the cupboard under the sink, the one where everything that doesn't belong elsewhere ends up.

Why do we keep all this stuff? At least a dozen pump spray bottles all claiming to be the best at cleaning one specific thing. Is kitchen cleaner really any different from bathroom cleaner? What if I used floor cleaner on a cupboard door? Who knows. Who cares?

I certainly don't.

I started chucking stuff out of the back door. Make a clean sweep - a real spring clean. Bottles, tubs and tins all went flying through the door into the back yard where they rolled around in colourful disarray.

After about half an hour I had finished clearing the cupboard, given it a wipe over with a damp soapy cloth (no special spray required) and thought I'd better bag up all the stuff I'd thrown out.

Armed with a nice big black bag I stepped out of the back door only to discover next door's cat lying lifeless on the flag stones. Nearby rested a broken tub of pest killer which had spilled out it's deadly contents when it hit the concrete.

I prodded the cat. It was definitely dead.

What would be the proper thing to do in these circumstances I wondered? Should I take the cat round to my neighbour and confess all?

No, obviously not.

I quickly bagged up the evidence, cat and all, and popped it into the dustbin.

My wife returned shortly afterwards. I showed her the clean cupboard.

"Where are all my cleaning products" she asked.

"In the dustbin" I admitted.

"Can you get them back out, I might need some?"

"Err no, it wouldn't be hygienic, there are other more unsavoury things in there.."

"Oh well, we can get some new sprays when we go shopping."

"I'm looking forward to it." I lied.

"Did you get any inspiration for a story?"

"Well yes, as a matter of fact I did!"

"Oh good, I must read it when you've finished it."

"Yes, of course." I said, not meaning it.



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