by Paul Liadis

note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2007. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.

“Do the dishes yet?” said Gavin.

“I told you I’d get to it,” said Samuel. “Get off my back. I’ve got a Calc final Thursday and a Chemistry paper due Friday. Besides, those dishes aren’t even mine.”

“I know,” said Gavin. “I’ve seen your cup. Wouldn’t hurt you to wash it every once in a while.”

“I rinse it,” said Samuel.

“You pledges need to know your place,” said Gavin, ignoring the freshman. “My mom’s visiting this weekend.”

“She’s visiting me this weekend,” said Samuel under his breath.

“What’s that?” said Gavin stepping forward.

“Nothing,” said Samuel. “I’ll do it.”

“Good,” said Gavin, tossing a half-eaten plate of nachos into the mess. “I better see a clean sink soon.”

That Friday, following dinner at the Olive Garden, Gavin escorted his mother around the house, visiting the kitchen first.

Little punk’s lucky, Gavin thought. The sink looks better than when we moved in. He’ll have to do the dishes every week.

“Let’s see your room,” said Gavin’s mother motioning upstairs. “You must be hiding those textbooks someplace.”

“Sure,” answered Gavin. He had made sure to prepare his room for such a drop in.

Opening the door, nudging his mother inside, Gavin’s jaw dropped. Strewn across his bed was every single dish from the sink, filthy as ever. Spread prominently on the floor was his secret stash of magazines, open to the most revealing pages.

Placed neatly on his pillow was a note from Samuel which read, “I quit. Find another maid.”

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