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Flash fiction: “Cleaning”

A short thing from yesterday featuring my character Zouriel, posted now because my computer had no internet.

***

Zouriel would always hide when cleaning day came around.

It wasn’t that he hated cleaning or that he was too lazy to keep his
surroundings neat and tidy. No, like most people he preferred to have
things in their proper place at the proper time.
It was just that his definition of “right place” was a bit looser
than Cassandra’s.
For him the right place for a coffee mug might be on the floor, near
the leg of the coffee table so he could reach it when he was sprawled
out on the couch watching something on DVR.
The right place for a book might be on top of a pile of other books
and things, because that’s where he left it the last time he looked at
it.

Naturally Cassandra did not agree with his definitions, which would
always create some conflict between the two. Sometimes Cassandra did a bit
of cleaning up of his apartment when he was away and when he came home
he couldn’t find anything because she had moved things from where he
had left them. From what he saw as their proper place.

As long as they were in his apartment, he could deal with her. He
could work out some sort of arrangement or compromise where she asked him before she
moved things and vacuumed around his piles of things.
But in her house…Well, that was her place and her rules.
So it was best to hide himself away instead of facing her rage when
she discovered that he had taken some of his habits with him, causing
her to find coffee mugs in the wrong places and clothes in piles on
the floor (but that’s how he finds them when he needs them!).

Cassandra’s voice could carry over quite large distances Zouriel had
discovered. As he leaned back against a tree outside, basking in the sun, he could
hear her rant and rave as she cleaned up what he had left in his wake.
Perhaps that was improper of him.

But he knew she never was as upset as she sounded. In a way she
enjoyed these emotional outbursts as a way to get rid of excess
energy. Oy could scamper and play, but that was nothing Cassandra
could do.
So she cleaned.

And Zouriel escaped outside and enjoyed the fine weather. And as he
watched the white, puffy clouds drift by in the sky he couldn’t help
thinking that it looked like someone up there was cleaning too.

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