Extract: Cleaner

Doris’s TV flickered in the dark corner of her living room as she sipped from her favourite bone china tea cup. The room was dark, despite the daylight leaking in between the walls and curtains in front of the only window in this room. She hadn’t drawn the curtains this morning or, indeed, for any morning in a long time. She was old, alone and cantankerous as she would no doubt have been described by her last domestic help who she had chased off down the corridor of her residential home three, or was it four, weeks ago? The woman was lazy and rude and Doris was pretty sure she had been helping herself to food and the change that sat in a jar on the shelf in her kitchen. She could never prove she was doing those things, and no one ever believes old ladies who struggle to wash themselves, which is why she had to chase the stupid girl away herself. Well, more like ambled angrily after her brandishing one of her walking sticks as the girl ran down the corridor crying like a child. Stupid girl, Doris thought, she was better off without her.

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