A Real Mop-and-Bucket Job

“A fine fucking mess you made of this one Harry” he said as he gazed down at my handywork, “A real fucking mop and bucket job”
I just sat their in silence as he began to go about his business, cleaning up after me once again. I felt as if I should speak, but I knew that there was nothing I could say to him that would make up for what I had done. And so in silence I sat as I watched as he slipped on the rubber gloves, tie the blood-stained once-white apron round his chubby waist, and then disappear into the back room before re-emerging after five minutes with a bag of cleaning products in one hand and a mop in the other.
“Fucking water’s out again. Gunna make this shit extra fun” he complained as he dumped the bag down in front of the body, “Don’t even know why I brought this fucking mop in” He tossed it aside and let it crash into the frail wooden desk in the corner; knocking a couple of dusty books off its surface as it made contact.
He produced a role of black binbags from the bag he’d brought it and began rolling them out and violently tearing them off – by now I could see that he was frustrated, but he’d never admit to it.The irony was that he had already admitted to it through the tone in his voice, as well as the way he spoke and the things he said. I still felt as though I should speak, yet I remained silent and contunued to watch as he began to pick up various body parts and dump them into a number of seperate bin bags.
Once he was done removing the body and whatever innerds had spilled out of it during the attack from the floor – a task that took up a good half hour – he then moved on to the job of cleaning the blood stains from the wooden floorboards. Using a large yellow sponge soaked in various cleaning fluids, he scrubbed the wood violently, sweating profously as he did so, with his large gut wobbling beneath the freshly caked apron. By this point the yellow gloves had been removed and placed, just as the various body parts had been, in one of the black bin bags; too bloody for further use.
He panted heavily as he worked, and it was so loud that I barely heard myself speak, and I would have believed that I hadn’t if it weren’t for the fact that he stopped all of a sudden and shot a melancholy glance my way.
“I’m sorry” I muttered feebly, my eyes that of a puppy dog. It had been a while since I had said this to him. In the beginning it was all that I could say, but over the years words had become meaningless and I had merely sat their in silence.
“I’m sorry” I repeated, this time my voice even weaker than before.
His eyes were full of pain, yet there was something else in them. Whether it was anger or understanding I couldn’t tell, and what he said next made it no clearer.
“I’m sorry too Harry” he got off all fours and sat so that his heels were stabbing into his large buttocks, “It was never meant to be like this. Things need to change”
I wondered what he could mean by this, but didn’t dare ask. Instead I just watched as he knelt back down and continued to scrub. Within half an hour, feeling that he had done the best job he could, he gave up, leaving the wooden floorboards of my underground prison just that little bit more stained.
He kept the cleaning products in the room at the back before walking over to me and placing his hand on my naked shoulder and smiling at me. I wasn’t sure how to take it. He made his way to the exit, turned to look at me one last time, then shut the door. I heard it lock, and then the lights went out.

The next day arrived after what felt like an eternity.
I barely slept that night – there was something about him yesterday that left me with a feeling of unease. I wished I knew what he was thinking, that I had the courage to ask him, and that, if I did so, he would tell me. But I knew that this was merely a fantasy – one I freely entertained until the old dirty clock hanging on the wall in front of me struck twelve once again, and the familiar sound of the door unlocking broke the deathly silence of my cell.
The heavy metal door opened slowly and I waited with baited breath for my next visitor, but what followed was not what I expected. As I sat their half excited, half feeling sick from hunger and half hating myself, I didn’t see a half naked whimpering human tumbling into the room, the imprint of my keeper’s boot on their back, but instead I saw him.
He walked in calmy, his eyes fixed upon mine. My heart collapsed.
He turned and shut the door, but left it unlocked. I returned his gaze, and in that moment, I knew what he intended to do.
“Please…” I mumbled.
“It’s the only way” he told me.
I disagreed, “No it isn’t. You know what your options are”
“Yes” he removed the white t-shirt he wore and let it drop to the ground, revealing his flabby upperbody, “And I’ve made my decision”
At that moment the pain ripped through my body like a lightening bolt, tearing me apart inside and sending all of my senses into a frenzy. I screamed in agony – a familiar sound to both of us, but he had never experienced it this close before. As the transformation took hold, I prayed that he would change his mind, that he would turn and run, take advantage of the unlocked door and save himself, but deep down I knew that it was too late now.
And so did he.

I looked at him one final time, envious of the calm I saw in his eyes.

A Real Mop-and-Bucket Job

Matt Roberts

Bangor, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Literally just wrote this from scratch – no planning, no knowing what it was I was writing. Just went from start to finish without stopping and I’m hoping that the results are something you’ll enjoy :)

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