Author's Notes: Hello! Thanks to everyone who's been reading this -- I really appreciate the reviews I've been receiving. Unfortunately, after this one, my inspiration for these is... nonexistent. Anyone with a cute story is welcome to share, and I'll see if I can work with it. Just leave it in a review or send it in a PM, or you can email me. Thanks again, and I hope that you enjoy this chapter!


Chapter 5

Blythe House was a firm believer in spring cleaning. It was her preparation for the summer, the time when she could get rid all the damages done by her rambunctious child, who had been contained to the house all winter long with nowhere to spend his energy. Scuff marks on the walls from bouncing balls against it, a mess of a bookcase from it being knocked over so many without the books inside of it being properly reordered, dried paint on the kitchen floor… She loved her son, but some days, she was grateful for nothing but the fact that they lived next to a baseball park.

Right now, she was on her hands and knees in the kitchen, scrubbing a spot where Greg had dropped a pitcher of grape juice and left the white floor sticky and splotchy with purple. She had finished doing the living room carpeting (somehow, there had been melted crayon embedded into the carpet underneath the rug) and hosing off the front porch from the dead leaves that had been unable to decompose on the concrete. After this, she planned on tackling her bedroom—possibly the most unaffected area of the house—and then her son's room. She shuddered to even think about that.

"Mom!" she heard Greg scream, clearly from outside.

Blythe paused, rag in one hand, and then sat back on her knees. She was about to answer, when Greg shouted again.

"Mom!" Now he sounded annoyed.

"Greg, you don't need to yell!" Blythe called. He did this everyday, shouting from the front porch because he wanted her to come and see a new shell that he'd discovered. "Just come in here and tell me!"

She heard Greg sigh, and then the screen door banged as he opened it. She bent back over and continued working at the purple stains on the floor, listening as Greg's sneakers came closer to the kitchen. When she heard him stop, Blythe didn't even look up as she asked him, "What is it?"

"I stepped in dog poop. Where's the hose?"