Betty Donovan – a story circle

The apartment was filled with debris from years of neglect – many moons’ worth of dust accumulated on every surface. All manner of hairs – at least a half a dozen types of animal – had settled throughout the cramped and rancid space.

Betty Donovan swore she’d clean it up one of these days. Particulate swirled around her whenever she stirred from her easy chair – which wasn’t often, these days.

Plans are made and broken – made to be broken, like the proverbial rules, perhaps.

And yet she swears it’ll happen, a tidy-up, a quick spring clean, one of these springs. She tells this to herself, mostly – she used to tell visitors, when she had them.

Late this evening, after startling awake from a fitful doze, she shuffles from her chair over to a greasy mirror, smears some of the filth from it, leaving uneven streaks from her brittle fingers. She gets a glimpse of herself – thin hair loose and wild, lips dry – and the hint of a tear wells up in the corner of one eye before she blinks it away. She returns to her chair and sleeps.

Logan Bright