Annabelle Cleans House, Part 2: The Main Floor

Continued from yesterday.

Throw open every door and window of the main floor, even in winter when it’s 30 degrees below zero. Turn the heat off so your husband doesn’t blow a gasket overheating the all-out-doors.

Find your cup of cold coffee and dump it out.  Pour a second cup from the pot. Take a few sips and set it down.

Go through the house relocating clutter to appropriate places. Pile upstairs things at the bottom of the staircase. Gripe about everybody else in the family having two broken arms. Make sure they hear you. If the toilet flushes, yell up the stairs, “You’d better not make a mess in that bathroom I just cleaned!”

Pick up all the scatter-rugs and toss them out the door onto the front porch. Strong-arm the sofa and chairs around while you vacuum, to get at the dust bunnies underneath. Remove all the cushions. Retrieve anything of value—pencils, small toys, loose change—then vacuum up the Sugar Smacks, popcorn, bread crumbs, and other crud while griping about how many times you’ve told the kids not to eat in the living room. Put the vacuum away. Do the dusting.

Go outside to shake the rugs, making them crack in the wind. Wait until you are back inside to curse the damnable dust, so the neighbors won’t think you’re crazy. Be sure the kid’s here you.

Lay all the rugs back in place then go look for your cup of coffee.

The House on the Lake, the last house Annabelle ever cleaned.

The House on the Lake, the last house Annabelle ever cleaned.

Judith Liebaert is a freelance writer living in rural Wisconsin, where she is restoring an 11-foot vintage Decamp travel trailer to use for her escape with Gypsy Cat. Aside from her regular gigs writing for regional B2B mags, her short stories and essays have appeared in Aqueous Magazine, Maximum Middle Age, and Ravishly along with numerous now defunct lit-mags pre the interwebs. Her debut novel, Sins Of The Fathers, was released by Tellectual Press on June 18, 2016, a story inspired by the still-unsolved homicide of a young boy in her small Midwestern town, in the summer of 1966.