poetry and prose

Poetry Prose Submissions Contributors Home

Runcible Spoon

heart logo Privacy Notice John Riley

Mummy Dust

 

He would not shower, or bathe, although he had a beautiful, creamy, claw-foot tub his wife insisted they buy and refurbish. Hours went by on two Saturday afternoons as he cleaned and refinished the cracked and stained enamel. He was convinced he'd botch the job but his wife said she was confident that in the end they would have an antique tub that looked new. They relaxed when he finished by drinking wine and eating shrimp grilled with peppers and onions. He didn't know why he was unable to bathe. The bathroom had become like a food he detested. His wife had grown despondent. “I give up,” she said. “There is nothing more I can do.” At night, when he finally closed his eyes, he felt the dead weight of the dust on his eyelids.