The Clean House


“Writing is an all-consuming passion. In its wake there are casualties.” KD Frazier

Minutes turned into hours as the sounds of Beethoven filled the air. A single light bulb hanging from the ceiling illuminated the tiny office space that was home to Roy Peters more than the rest of the two bedroom ranch house on Michael Lane.

The idea had come to Roy while he was busy doing one of the things that he really hated doing. Roy loved to write. As a matter of fact there were times that when an inspiration struck the man with lightning fingers he had to write that idea down; no matter what he was doing at the moment.

Charlie Sock thought he heard something. There it was again; that clanking noise; what could it be? “It’s the master again,” said Terry Towel. “What do you mean?” Sock said. “Oh that is right you are new to the family.” “What does that mean?” Terry continued to explain the situation. “It is what we call the relief period. To understand what that is you must know something very important about the master.

Our master is a writer. He writes many things such as fiction books and how to books. If there is something that needs to be written he does it, and that causes a great disruption to many of our lives around here. I myself have not had a bath in a week. I have been lying in this pile since last Monday. “The wait is over then.” Charlie said. “Not certain about that,” replied Terry. “The last time he started in the kitchen and then went into the garage. We never saw him for almost a month.” “He has to have clean clothes doesn’t he?” “He just buys new ones and sometimes throws the old ones in the dumpster.”

Meanwhile in the kitchen. “Oh this water feels so good,” Peter Plate said as he slid into the hot, soapy water. It had been two days since the master had eaten pork chops and lasagna, and the combination of grease and pasta sauce was beginning to make him itch. Soon he would be clean again and on his way to his normal place in the cabinet. This moment was just what he had been waiting for. As Roy placed him into the drying rack Peter noticed him turn around and walk to the laptop on the counter, pick it up and then the door to the office closed. The classical music began playing and Peter knew that the dishes would not be finished today.

Terry began to sob and was soon joined by some of the other laundry in the pile? “What is wrong?” “Didn’t you hear the office door shut Charlie?” “No, I did not. I was busy thinking about the days when I lived in the clothing department.”The door closed and the music is playing.” “What is wrong with playing music? I like music.” Charlie interrupted. “It’s classical music and that means he is writing something again.” “How long could it take Terry?” “Charlie it could be hours, days or weeks till we see Roy again. It depends on what he has thought of. Then Charlie began to cry as he thought of the possibility of being taken to the dumpster.

Roy’s mind began to wander and lose focus upon what he had been writing. The thoughts that had been flowing like water down a mountain side became molasses hanging onto a stirring spoon. “Spoons,” Charlie thought. He had been washing the dishes when this latest thread of ideas struck him. Now they were gone and seemed to be lost forever. He changed music and listened to a full CD of JS Bach’s music. Nothing happened. His thoughts began to wander and in his mind Roy began to doubt if this story he was writing was worth the effort and with his hand poised above the delete key Roy made the hard choice.

Water poured into the washing machine causing the liquid detergent to become a foamy playground for the waiting laundry. A smile came across the faces of Charlie Sock and Terry Towel as they tumbled around.

Peter Plate found his way into the cabinet by the hand of his master. Once again it was cleaning day. Dishes were cleaned. Laundry was finished and packed away neatly in their proper homes. Not only was the carpet vacuumed, but the canister was emptied.

The decision that Roy had made brought peace and a sense of accomplishment to his life and he sat in his recliner. Perhaps he should relax and watch his favorite show on television.

The last ten minutes of the show would reveal who the unsub was and how the FBI would put the case to rest. He had waited for nearly two hours to see what the outcome was going to be and now…

Beethoven echoed through the house as Roy continued the story he had begun earlier that day.



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