Short Story. Bathtime. ( conclusion)

All I had in the kitchen that might work was bleach. I took the two tea towels from the oven door and soaked them in neat bleach, trying not to get any on my hands. Then, holding the dry ends, I rolled them up and pressed them under the bathroom door.

Then I pushed the waste bin up against the towels and put the kitchen stools in front of it. Only a strong, determined, creature could get past that lot.

I left the bedroom door open while I dressed – in more layers than I had intended, and put on heavy shoes instead of my fluffy slippers. As I did so I heard Bert’s key in the door. What would he say when he saw the barrier I had erected in front of the bathroom? He could be in urgent need of the toilet. I shivered at the thought of his anger.

“What the hell’s all this?” he shouted from the hall.

“Don’t go in there – there’s a snake loose. It was in the bath.” I called out to him as if I cared- but something was making me feel the fates were on my side. My mean spirited husband was about to meet the devil monster and all I could think was that he deserved it.

“You’re senile, woman. Why did you do that?”

“I thought it might get out.”

He shifted the stools and kicked the material away from the door, flinging it open.I didn’t know whether to stay and watch or hide in the bedroom. I took the coward’s way out and waited, and waited. At first all was quiet.

Then there came a horrible scream and lots of splashing. I blocked my ears. Was this what I had expected or had I thought it was my imagination, or the result of the pills I had to take?

I shuddered and pushed open the bedroom door. The smell of burning intensified.I remembered what Bert had said, “What the hell is all this?” as I tiptoed towards the bathroom.The brown water had drained away leaving a nasty stain on the enamel but there was no sign of my husband, or the snake – just a pair of brown boots by the side of the bath.

I can’t imagine what had happened to him but he hasn’t come back so, you see, I no longer have a carer and I really can’t manage on my own.

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juliecroundblog

I am a retired schoolteacher now writing novels on the Sussex coast where I live with my husband. I record for the Voice of Progress talking newspaper and am the publicity secretary for the Worthing Friendship Centre. I also give talks on my life and works to local groups.

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