Espresso Shots

The ironed shirts delivery: A short story

Mr. Brown was farsighted, a condition commonly referred to by an ophthalmologist as Hyperopia. That word, however, would have been at odds with Mr. Brown. No one could possibly link the meticulous and methodical man with anything remotely hyper.

Every morning, without fail, he would sit up in his bed, turn off the alarm, and take in the steady never changing sight of the row of tall pine trees that lined his backyard fence. Mr. Brown had picked this house because of the bedroom which looked out into this open trail lines by soothing trees. No risk of houses built too close.

Beyond the trees and the trail was an imposing beautiful mansion, with its own tennis court and wrought iron patio furniture. Mr. Brown never saw anyone on the tennis court or the patio while he heard the daily news on the radio, looking out of the bedroom window, drawing the sheer linen curtains closed or open as the weather demanded.

Next, he would take out one of the many crisp checkered ironed shirts that Mrs. Brown always stacked in their closet shelf. Following this morning ritual was a breakfast of toast bread and an over hard fried egg cooked by Mrs. Brown. He would then take the leather bag Mrs. Brown would always have ready for him and leave the house like clockwork at 9:00 am.

Mr. Brown never took a day off. He followed the same routine on weekends as well. He returned home daily at 4:00 PM. The couple had amicably decided that this timing left more than enough hours in the day for anything that needed to be done at home.

It was no wonder that this morning was a strange one for Mr. Brown. You see, he did not have to go into work today.

A bird had crashed into the shop window. That alone was not a big enough reason to close the shop, but the glass cleaners had brought a tall ladder to clean the mess. The ladder had swayed, unfortunately for Mr. Brown, and ended up crashing into more windows.

In spite of the shattered glass windows, the shop could have remained open, but the two cleaners sweeping the broken glass from the narrow dusty aisle had both bumped into each other causing their brooms to fly off, knocking over glass cases and causing more general mayhem than an open shop could withstand.

So, it was that Mr. Brown found himself standing confused in his closet deciding if he should remain in his pyjamas for longer or button up the familiar checkered shirt lying on top of the stack.

“Do you dress now or later in the day, my dear,” he called out halfheartedly to his wife. Mrs. Brown stayed at home, so he could follow her schedule for dressing.

Mrs. Brown walked into the bedroom with a huge pile of dirty crumpled shirts. “I dress for the day after the milkman comes on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Thursdays and alternate Tuesdays, I don’t bother to dress till the maid leaves, because there is always dust when I help her clean. On Fridays I don’t really care to dress after all Saturday is approaching and Sundays I do as I wish.”

“I see, dear,” said Mr. Brown, not seeing at all. He did not find the answer the least bit helpful since he wasn’t really sure what day of the week it was. And even if he did find that out, Mr. Brown did not know the milkman well enough to ask him whether he would care about the state of Mr. Brown’s attire. The cleaning process and the possibility of the maid alarmed Mr. Brown a bit, but rather than react to the looming chaos if it was whatever day the chaos of cleaning was to be, Mr. Brown stood at the window of his bedroom to enjoy the view.

The faded fence was there. The branches of these trees, never entirely lush, gave a good imitation of swaying in the breeze. Beyond all this stood the mansion with its tennis court and patio.

“Oh dear!” Mr Brown softly exclaimed. The patio was not empty today!

A giant monstrous creature stood in it. A cross between a sumo wrestler and a basketball player covered in a red brocade robe with golden imprints. The humongous creature appeared to be staring towards Mr. Brown’s house.

Mr. Brown sucked in a shuddering breath. He blinked rapidly. Still there! The monstrosity stood like an unmovable statue.

Mr. Brown hurried to the kitchen. “My dear there is a giant alien in the deserted mansion behind our house. I saw the monster right now from our bedroom window. What in the world should we do about it?”

“Well that’s perfect,” said Mrs. Brown as she vigorously clapped her hands to shake off the flour from the bread load she had been slicing.

The shake must have been a long one, because at the end of it along with the flour, Mrs. Brown’s apron, clothes and skin lay on the floor. In her place stood a tall fat creature with skin the colour red. The skin slithered and pulsed with a life of its own. Huge boils with sickly yellow coloured pus blotched this massive expanse of the red surface.

“A little early in the day, but 123washer765 is right on time. You were running out of ironed shirts my dear. I’ll run over with the clothes needing washing and get the new ironed lot back from the space ship. See you in a while, dear. Your breakfast is on the table. Enjoy your day off!”

AARWEN’S INDEX

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    indrani robbins
    October 11, 2019 at 10:10 am

    aaaargh. gah. what a neat turn, no a crazy zzzwing. loved it. will not be looking for iron shirts in awhile. and will share this tale with a man who loves his shirts well ironed.

    • Reply
      rhea sinha
      October 26, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Hehe Indi Di I was so excited for you to read this. Super excited you enjoyed.

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