Spin Cycle


by Catherine Cable

Oddly, she didn’t mind the blood so much. There was an extraordinary amount of it though. She had read somewhere that an adult male has about 7 litres of blood and when this was spread around her usually pristine kitchen floor, it was, surprisingly, quite impressive. She knew she could clean it up; it was one of her strong points, cleaning. She had had more than enough practice recently.

It wasn’t his fault, this she knew. Unfortunately, he was paying for the incompetence of others.

They shouldn’t have sent delivery men not qualified to plumb in a new washing machine.

The head was the most difficult. It was extremely hard to sever this from his body, but it made an interesting specimen in the new machine. He gazed out of the large Perspex window, with somewhat of a quizzical look. Once it was nice and clean, she would bag it up for the bin men.

They shouldn’t have allowed her to pay extra for installation if they had no intention of plumbing the new one in.

The legs were a challenge. She had hoped a whole leg would fit in the drum. She had opted for the 8kg wash capacity model after all. Unfortunately, no matter how she bent it, it would just not fit and required chopping in two. There had been many times she had thanked Aunty Jenny for the wedding present of a set of Sabatier knives; this was no exception.

They shouldn’t have kept her on hold for 45 minutes whilst they tried to wriggle their way out of sending someone to plumb the machine in on a Sunday.

Luckily the arms went in together. Each cycle took 35 minutes; another reason for choosing this model had been the daily quick wash. With three children and a rugby playing husband, it was a useful option. It had proved to be very handy today, considering the number of body parts that needed washing. The 35 minutes between loading and unloading was just enough time to clean up some of the blood. The towels would have to go, but she was suitably impressed with how clean they were getting in the new machine. Excellent choice.

They shouldn’t have made her wait in all Sunday afternoon for the, now dead, employee to finally arrive to plumb the machine in.

To be fair to him, he had done a good job. He was polite, not a bit smelly and had been very apologetic for her inconvenience. He had also slumped to the floor with a satisfying thud when, having plumbed the machine, she struck him. She had always felt there was another use for her Le Creuset griddle pan than cooking steaks, and when it connected with his skull, she realised it was almost made for the job.

They shouldn’t have messed her about when she had not slept for three nights due to her baby daughter having the vomiting bug.

It was not her fault that she had six loads of washing waiting to be done when her old machine gave up the ghost. If an item hadn’t actually been vomited on, it had been used to mop up vomit. Her house smelled, her daughter was ill, she was tired.

They shouldn’t have made her ring back to check where the man had got to after waiting for 4 ½ hours.

She had had second thoughts about the torso, all those internal organs may damage the shiny new washer, but, “in for a penny” was her conclusion. They had come out pleasantly par-boiled. Granted the smell wasn’t appetising, but she had put up with many unpleasant smells in her time and at least there was a sense of justice attached to this one.

She took the 12 washed and neatly bagged body parts to the boot of her people carrier to be taken to the tip when she next had a moment. The blood had now been removed from the kitchen floor, thanks to the new Lakeland Plastics mop.

Feeling satisfied with her day’s work she poured herself a very large gin and tonic. The only thing now was what to do with the Comet van in the driveway?


Catherine Cable is new to this writing lark. She lives in Lancashire with her husband and small son.

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  1. #1 by Fran on April 8, 2009 - 9:26 pm

    I absolutely loved this! You say you’re new? Then you’re good! I was hooked from the opening lines and you kept the narrative very tight, building up the whole picture at just the right pace. The way you hold together the terrible crime and the domestic scene is just great. Keep writing.

  2. #2 by fiona on April 15, 2009 - 8:34 pm

    wow, this was amazing, write more!

  3. #3 by Steph on April 21, 2009 - 2:00 am

    This is brilliant! I laughed a lot. Especially at the par boiled internal organs…

  4. #4 by spacemonkey on February 2, 2010 - 8:48 pm

    That cheered me up……thankyou x

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