The Body In The Bathtub

The following submission is by Writers in the Grove member Ann Farley for a suggested one line prompt: The body in the bathtub was not one she recognized.

The body in the bathtub was not one she recognized. Doris inched closer, clasped her hands behind her back so she wouldn’t touch anything, and leaned forward.
He was naked, all right. All the way to his toes.

Not bad looking. Give him a shave and comb that wavy dark hair and he would be a fine looking specimen. Well, his color could be better.

Doris straightened and shuffled back from the claw-foot tub. Better make a call or two. She tottered into the kitchen, lifted the yellowed handset, pressed at the buttons.

“911 dispatch. What’s your location?”

Doris stepped back in surprise. Lordy, that woman was loud, startling. Down-right rude, actually.

“I’m in my kitchen,” she snapped.

“Your location, ma’am. Where is your emergency?”

“Well, you see, I’m not sure it’s quite an emergency, really. It’s just –” Oh, how she wished everything wasn’t so automated.

“Ma’am, what is your location? Your address?”

“Oh,” Doris stammered, “Why, I’m out Mercer Road, just about two miles down from the high school. It’s the yellow house. Can’t miss it.”

Doris was still annoyed at her oldest boy, Marty, for picking such a bright, garish yellow. She had asked for a soft buttery color.

“I repeat, what is your emergency?”

“You see, I’ve been trying to tell you, I’m not sure it’s quite an em –”

“Ma’am, do you have a medical emergency? A fire? An intruder? This is 911 emergency dispatch.”

Doris sighed. “Oh, never mind. It’s hardly an emergency. I’m pretty sure he’s dead already.”

She hung the handset back on the wall unit.

That, thought Doris, didn’t go especially well.

Hands on her hip, she studied the clock above the sink, the one that made bird calls on the hour, a silly thing, but she rather liked it. A couple minutes after 10:00. She had less than an hour to get to May’s bridge luncheon at 11:00, and she still had a cake to frost. The undertaker, Samuel Walters, that’s who would help her. He did just fine when Harold passed a couple of years ago. Let him come and get another one.

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