The Chore



Scene Title The Chore
Synopsis Melissa takes care of a chore, and ponders some important things.
Date May 12, 2010

Little Green House

Finally the house was quiet again. Or as quiet as it got nowadays. The wind still blows outside, and the fire crackles merrily in the fireplace. And Melissa certainly can't forget the sound of her house guest snoring in her living room.

Okay, so it was far from quiet, but it was peaceful again. For the moment.

Mel padded downstairs, her feet kept from the chill of the wood by bright pink socks that sported little black and white skulls on them. Socks she never would've worn if anyone else was awake. After all, they were pink, and she prided herself on wearing only black. But they weren't awake, so she was free to deal with her errand on her own.

Grabbing her coat, Mel slipped it on, then grabbed a lantern, trudging silently down to the basement, avoiding the fourth step down, knowing, by now, that it had a tendency to squeak, and she didn't want to wake Tony. He'd probably hit on her again if she did.

It was chilly, but not as bad as outside. The heat from the fireplaces above helped. Still, she was glad for the coat. The lantern was set down and her hands settled on her hips as she considered the out of place red brick wall, with the crude opening caused by sledgehammers.

And the nasty 'present' that lay just inside.

Melissa moved over to it and knelt on the cool earth, wincing as a chip of brick dug into her knee, nearly ripping her pants. But that wasn't important. Methodically she began picking up bricks, stacking them neatly against a wall, while pieces of bricks went into a pile against the opposite wall. Both the mess and the body that lay behind this wall had been bugging her. Like a buzzing in the back of her brain that she just couldn't shut off, no matter how hard she tried.

Slowly the piles of brick and rubble grew, and the mess that lay in the middle of the floor cleared. Her hands were cut by sharp edges, but she hardly noticed them. The cold was good for something, anyway.

The bricks that remained in the wall had been loosened by having their neighbors slammed free, and she was able to pull more out, enlarging the hole, bit by bit. Finally it was more than just a little hole, big enough to look into. Mel was able to lean in, straddling the short wall that remained at the bottom, and she held the lantern up to look inside, even as she pressed the sleeve of her shirt against her nose to fight against the smell.

What was inside stirred her pity. Cans of food, some opened and empty, a few waiting to be eaten, were strewn about. Empty water bottles were their company. She saw an AM/FM radio, a lantern that had long since burned all its oil. There were books, the pages faded and stained by water, or worse things. And in the midst of it all was the man who had died here.

The space couldn't have been more than ten feet square, and it reeked of bodily fluids, earth, and death.

The lantern was set down and Melissa moved back upstairs and into her room. She grabbed one of the blankets from her bed, then went back downstairs, not noticing, or caring, that she was tracking dirt and blood along her path. That didn't matter at the moment.

When she got back into that little hole beneath her house, she carefully laid the blanket over the remains of the person, covering them as if afraid they would catch a chill. Or shrouding him, as people so often did with the deceased.

Melissa straightened and sighed, looking down at the blanket covered body. “I don't know who you are or what I'm going to do with you. The living come first. But I'll do what I can for you, and your family,” she murmured

She struggled to think of something more to say, to do, something respectful and appropriate, but came up blank. So with another sad sigh, and shake of her head, Mel picked the lantern up, and went off to clean the mess she'd made in grabbing the blanket.

But as she went, she thought, I wonder if anyone's mourning his loss. I wonder who will mourn mine?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License