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Janice Florence


Bronnie stamped down the hallway. There was menace in the tread of her heavy work boots. She wore khaki overalls and a determined look on her face. Her clothes were streaked with soil from the plant nursery.

Rose had just sat down at the kitchen table, relieved that the purposeful part of the day was over. She anticipated restful blankness and a cup of tea. Now she saw Bronnie’s face and sensed a looming tantrum. She braced herself.

“Look at this place. It’s a hole. It’s disgusting. We have to do something about it.”

“I’ll clean up as soon as I’ve had a drink. Anyway, it’s not that bad.”

Bronnie ignored this. She strode across the room. She stood at the door surveying the back porch.

“Look at this. Full of crap.”

She began to pull the haphazard structure of objects apart. She heaved them at random into the back yard. All three of them had spent months assembling this junk. Now she dismantled it with furious determination.

“If we had a roster things would get done each week. They wouldn’t pile up. We would all know what we had to do.” said Rose.

“I hate rosters!” shouted Bronnie.

Rosters were a Fascist imposition on her freedom.

Rose backed off. Alright, she thought, go on. Keep on with your slash and burn style of housework. Be relaxed for months, throw things around the house, create chaos, refuse to have any system and then throw an enormous tantrum.

“Do you have to leave this box of stuff here?” She banged between walls like a trapped wasp.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t move it myself because of my hands. I was waiting to get someone to help”. But she hadn’t wanted to ask because she felt bad about the imposition of her often aching and useless hands.

“You won’t need anything out of it, will you? I’ll put it in the shed.”

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