Flash fiction
Short story

Spring Cleaning

“Where should we start?” I ask.

“Maybe at either end,” shrugs the nurse.

We glance at each other – my love and I – and nod in agreement.

She takes the head, I take the feet, working towards each other.

“Nice and warm,” I say.

“Microwave,” says the nurse. “I can put in more if you want.”

“We should be alright,” I say. “She’s not very big.”

I pull her toes apart and clean in between.

“Wonderful!” she had sighed as I massaged hand cream into her soles, marvelling as her bird-like toes unfurled from their spasm. “Why didn’t you tell me you were so good at this?”

Tarsals. Metatarsals. What’s the anklebone called?

When the wipe cools, I drop it into the bedpan.

I work my way up her hairless shins and calves.

See my love lifting my mother’s breasts to clean places unseen.

I  work my way up her thighs. Left and right. Front and back. Lifting her legs at the knee. Taking my time. Summoning courage.

I glance at my love.

When she nods, I take a fresh wipe and dive down the crease, deep into my mother’s groin, pretend I’m spring cleaning the house of my birth.