Brand-new Blue Sponge to Clean Up After a Memorable Dinner for Two

S.A. Greene

The man is sitting facing the window. The woman sits down, facing the man. The man has assembled the salad. The woman has cooked the steaks. The man pours the wine. The woman butters the baguette. The man straightens his placemat, carefully aligning its bottom edge with the margin of the table. The woman lights a beeswax candle and watches its flame flicker for a while. The man finishes eating. The woman stops eating shortly after he finishes, leaving some of her steak. The man rises and takes the plates into the kitchen. The woman strokes the oiled mahogany tabletop. The man fills the kitchen sink with water. The woman fondles the ribbed glass salt cellar, dragging her fingertip unhygienically across the hole in its silver top. The man pours washing-up liquid into the sink. The woman drains the bottle of wine. The man turns on the radio. The woman calls out to him loudly, silently, urging him back to her, here in the dining room, here in outer space. The man, washing up, laughs out loud at the comedian on the radio. The woman’s head droops. The man wipes down the kitchen surfaces. The woman’s head sinks into her own arms, which are folded on the table. The man sweeps the kitchen floor. The woman’s head drops down through her own folded arms, down through the dark, loving brown of the table. The man walks into the dining room holding his brand-new blue sponge. The woman has disappeared, leaving only the wide yellow sweep of her hair on the table. The man wipes the table clean.

S.A. Greene writes flash and micro in Derbyshire, UK. Her words have appeared/will appear in Sledgehammer Lit; National Flash Fiction Day’s Flash Flood, and her entry in Retreat West’s May micro competition won the People’s Vote. She hopes it won’t be all downhill from here…