via Daily Prompt: Clean
Maria never thought she would stay in Walker’s Court, it was the epitome of poor living in her small hometown. No, she always thought that she would escape and go on to do better things in life. History has a way of repeating itself and like her mother, Maria had her first daughter at 15 years old. She knew she would never see anything outside of Chapman City Limits the day she took that pregnancy test. She is 25 now with 3 children, living in government housing, not where she wanted to be at 25. She has seen things in Walker’s Court that most only see on the true crime documentaries. People being shot, stabbed, beaten, and raped. That is leaving out all of the drug activity she witnesses on a daily basis. None of that would prepare her for what she encountered her first day of being a housekeeper.
She answered an ad that read, “Elderly couple seeking housekeeper. 5 days a week. Great pay. Contact Glorie 555-543-2121.” She called the number and spoke with a sweet sounding older lady who explained the couple’s plight. They were both in their 80’s and had been married for 60 years. Both of their children had passed already and they were having trouble keeping up with their everyday housework. Her husband was bedridden and had been for the past 4 years. Maria felt terrible for the nice older woman. She was asked to come to Glorie’s home to meet her and see if she felt capable of taking on the task of being the housekeeper.
Maria arrived at the address she was given and was greeted by a very large and intimidating Victorian home. She knocked on the door. No answer. She tried again and finally, after about 5 minutes the door creaked open and a cute 5-foot tall white-haired lady answered, “Well, hello dear you must be Maria.”Maria replied, “Yes Ma’am and you must be Mrs. Glorie.” The elderly lady smiled and nodded. They proceeded through a grand foyer with 20 ft ceilings and into a parlor room. The parlor looked like it had not been touched since 1920. The room had nothing of modern time in it. All of the antiques looked brand new and this intrigued Maria. She figured the couple must be antique collectors.
Maria listened intently at Glorie went through the list of the day-to-day tasks that would need to be done. It was all the normal household chores. Dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, and etc… The pay was going to be $5000 a week. Maria almost had a fainted at this number. She could not wrap her mind around why it would be worth that much to an elderly couple to keep their home in order. She hesitated to even ask. One thing that did strike her as odd is Glorie did not even mention her husband’s name. Maria asked, “So what about your husband? I know you said he was bedridden.” Glorie all of a sudden paused and a blank look crossed her face. “Oh, John? He had a stroke 4 years ago and till this day remains in bed. He is only to be bothered by me, but thank you for asking.” This seemed like a short, straight to the point answer and needed no further explaining. “So you will start tomorrow?” Glorie asked. “Sounds good,” Maria replied.
She would never forget her first and Last day working for Glorie and John. She reported in at 7 am and everything went smoothly until about 4 pm. She had about 3 hours left until she would be off. She was going to give this job her all because the money was more than she would make anywhere else, ever, and would possibly be her ticket out of Walker’s Court. She was cleaning upstairs when a repugnant scent entered her nose. It smelled of death. She followed her nose to where she thought it was coming from. Mrs. Glorie was downstairs reading in the parlor and she did not want to disturb. She stood outside 2 large wooden doors and knew instantly that this is where the aroma was drifting from. She hesitated but entered the room anyway. It was so dark and the smell was overwhelming. Maria turned and quickly retreated from the room. She fumbled for her cell phone so she could access the flashlight on it. She prepared herself to bear that repulsive smell once more and reentered the room, flashlight in hand. She scanned the room with her light and saw that this was a bedroom. She could see someone or something on the bed. The 20-foot walk from the door to the bed was a horrific one. The smell grew with each step. She could only see the top of a head so she slowly pulled the covers back while asking, “Are you okay?” She was already pretty sure this situation was grim. As the covers peeled back so did the flesh on Mr. John’s face, well, what was left of his face. The smell that escaped from the covers made Maria instantly vomit.
At that moment she looked up and saw Glorie standing in the doorway. “I said he had a stroke dear and hadn’t left bed since. Did you think he was alive?” Maria looked at her in shock, she had no words to say. She immediately bolted and called the police. At the very least Mrs. Glorie must not be in her right mind, living with her dead husband’s corpse for 4 years. The police did a welfare check as Maria waited across the street by her car. They came out and thanked her for calling them and they found both bodies. They must have been deceased for years judging by the decay. Maria protested but knew not to protest too much as she did not want to seem crazy herself. She just was in shock at this point and was trying to wrap her mind around everything. Perhaps Glorie was not the sweet old lady she thought maybe she murdered her husband and someone else.
Maria went home and sat in her old plaid chair. She watched the news that night and saw the story. “Elderly couple deceased for years discovered in abandoned home. Autopsies are pending.” She just stared at the T.V. and thought out loud, “Nothing stays Clean in the slums of Hell, but I’d rather be here in Walker’s Court, than anywhere near that house.”