Someone Else is Living Here – Writersdigest.com prompt

There they are again, the children, spreading that powder  over the house, those little brats. It’s forensics, Auntie June , they say in their baby bird voices, cheep-cheeping into the air then puffing out powder over all the clean furnitures like droppings squirted from their bottoms.

And I clean it up again, like I’m paid to do. I smile and pat them on their yellow heads, saying Good, babies. You so smart, babies. Try to be careful, babies. But they ain’t, those carefree doves. They ain’t never careful.

And that’s how I’ll catch ‘em.

See how they suck their bony fingers, wipe at their noses, get that forensics powder all over their good Sunday jimmies. Dusted hair, dusted babydolls, dusted beds. Moms and Pops, their big glinting smiles for their good, smart finches, cooing, Good, good. Look what you did. You’re sure to be the President, the  Scientist, the Doctor someday . And to me they say, Clean that shit up, Auntie.

So Auntie cleans it up. First, I get my hands on the strong stuff down from the pharmacy, kills city rats as big as turnips. Then I get into those sleuth kits and I do some rearranging, some switchery.

One-by-one, they drop from their perches. One-by-one, the little chirps are cut smart and the silence, clean, clean silence takes the house.

And I dust, smiling, making sure I clean that shit up.

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About Layne Tanner

Layne is a writer based in Austin, TX.
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