Jac in the Box (excerpt)

I haven’t done my laundry in a month.

Perhaps it is more flattering to say that I haven’t done my laundry at the laundromat in a month. I do my laundry. I make haste to wash my socks and fancy, delicate panties; I just happen to wash them in the kitchen sink. And sometimes, I use the fancy oven in the same kitchen to dry my laundry. The “warm” setting makes my underthings nice and toasty. Not crispy toasty; even I don’t care for burnt bras. We CeeBees, that is, CultBusters, have been forbidden from using the laundromat due to an ongoing investigation. My newly assigned –and hopefully temporary– partner, the infamous Darling, legal name unknown to all but The Boss, she of The Two-Headed God’s Mark, is making slow but steady progress in the case of The WordSpeakers; therefore, premium laundry washing services are hard to come by.

I wring out my red bra, pretending it relieves my stress.

Personally, I have zero trust in anyone with that many extra, willing holes in their head and large amounts of ink deposits underneath their skin. Not only is Darling pierced and tattooed, she is monetarily deficient –though I do not understand how, given the salary we receive– and her clothes are no better than rags safety-pinned together and bound up in duct tape. I am no haughty snob; I merely think it best that we CeeBees dress in a manner befitting our position, and Darling, sadly, does not.

At this very moment, up to my elbows in soapy water, I am waiting for Darling; she has agreed to meet me here, at my house, to go over the details of the case.

And she’s late.

By almost an hour.

It would be unladylike of me to grind my teeth in consternation; my mother, Bless her Soul in the Hereafter, drilled that rule into my head from the moment I had teeth. I can also bounce coins off of my bed after I’ve made it, make a mean peach cobbler, and have never met a stain I could not remove. People think that because I grew up in a Temple of Saints where my parents were priests that I am spoiled and unused to hard work. Not true; I joined my parents from the very beginning in cleaning the Temple from top to bottom and back up again. Cleanliness is next to godliness, so goes the maxim, which is another reason why Darling bothers me so much. I cringe in thought, wondering how often she actually washes those multi-pocketed pants of hers. She wore a shirt to the office yesterday with a honest to Blessed One yellowed grease stain on the collar. Everyone knows grease stains are removed with common dish detergent and white vinegar!

Testy –not angry, never angry; ladies do not get angry– I remove my hands from the soaking solution, dry them on the tasteful, monogrammed dish towel hanging over the oven handle, and flip the cover of my orange leather phone holster. I have my slim, touch screen phone in my hand when it buzzes. Narrowly, it misses a collision with the checkered tile floor; I catch it gracefully, mentally awarding myself a perfect score for poise, speed, and crisis aversion. I bring it to my face carefully, peering at the alert on the screen.

There is someone walking around in my yard.

Like it? Want more? Click HERE or HERE to purchase the full short story “Jac in the Box”, the 2nd in the “Box” series.


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