Picture it and write: A quick wash

by joetwo

Hello everybody! This is my offering for this weeks picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway; enjoy!

A quick wash

The spray of luke-warm water from the shower-head stopped again after only a few short seconds. Sally took the opportunity to use the flannel to wipe the remaining soap off her limbs, all the while cursing John’s bright idea with the plumbing. It was one of those eco-showers, you had to keep pressing a button every five seconds to keep the water flowing. John was always doing that kind of thing, “You know! To be ecological. To love mother earth.” Sally didn’t think much about it, she just wanted a proper shower again.

I never seemed that it was going to be like this when Sally first met John three years ago. They were in a retreat, she a young woman trying to find her way in life, him an older man, trying to find answers to the big questions, at least that is what he said he was doing. At the time it seemed that Sally couldn’t understand half of what he was saying because it was so deep. He knew so much more about art and philosophy than she did and they would spend hours just talking. He seemed so smart, he said he had taken time out from his hi-flying job to write a book. He was all that Sally thought she wanted, better than any of the dead-beats that Sally had gone out with before.

Within only a few weeks John had asked Sally to come home with him. She was so taken aback that she agreed without even taking time to think about it. John had a small farm away from the city that he said he bought with a bonus one year. It was a perfect little hide-away, as far from the distractions as you could get. The perfect place, John would say, to write a masterpiece.

Sally was happy to help John. There were hundreds of little chores to be done about the place, fields to weed, chickens to feed, wood to be chopped, John would help as often as he could, but you know, he had to write. That was why he was here.

She got a part-time job in a shop in the village to help extend John’s savings a little more, it was a lot of work, to add to all the chores she needed to do. But John appreciated her contribution. He often let her proofread parts of the book he had written. She helped to light the fires when he burned the manuscripts he did not like, which happened very often. Still, he was making progress, he always said he was making progress.

Over the years John seemed to get more and more involved with his writing. His obsession with it was starting to affect how he viewed everything else. He became convinced that there was some sort of eternal factor that was keeping his muse away from him. He became determined to expunge any possible distraction from his life. First to go was the telly, followed closely by the radio, a quiet house was a productive house. No meat was to be eaten there by the end of the second year, after that, no processed foods of any kind. The tractor had to go followed by all fertilisers and pesticides. They would have to make do with a mulch pit. It meant more work for Sally. But that didn’t matter, they were creating! Perfume and deodorants both went by the wayside. Then power and water started to be rationed , something to do with electromagnetic fields and gravity gradients. Sally somehow kept going with all of it, she still believed in John.

It all came to a head while Sally was working the front field that morning. An official looking man, a solicitor from the city had come looking for John. Sally had often acted as John’s contact with the outside world, he hardly every accepted visitors, she saw no reason to change here. The solicitor explained why he was here. It seemed that John had over four years unpaid child support payments to his estranged wife and he had come with a court order, to evict John from the farm he had inherited from his uncle and sell it to make the shortfall, there was no other assets and John had little else having been fired from a security job some seven years previously. His family had reached the last straw.

A wife? A child? Sally was livid as she stormed into writer’s inner sanctum, hoe in hand, to ask him to explain himself. He seemed to trip over his own words trying to talk himself back out. His wife had never loved him, his child was a brat of no use, Sally was his one true love, his soul-mate. Sally found herself getting angrier and angrier with every measly explanation that John tried she eventually started shouting at him, he shouted back, he called her a bitch, she shouted that he was only using her, was useless and a crappy writer, he moved towards her, she remembered the hoe in her hand.

Sally let the water wash over her again inspecting her limbs to make sure all of the blood had been totally washed away. The hoe had made a satisfying thunk when it hit John’s head but there not much of a mess so only a quick wash was necessary. It was nice to be able to stand there as long as she wanted, without having John shouting for her to get out.

She couldn’t stay there forever though, there was still the body downstairs. It was still lying there like a sack of potatoes where it had fallen. Sally was trying to figure out what to do with it. Maybe she would throw it into the mulch pit, with the rest of the rubbish. Somehow; that felt appropriate.