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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Second Hand Stories : The Lady Cleaner

Second Hand Stories
The Lady Cleaner 

HDR - Graffiti Attack KL by mayonzz

There is always magic in the city for those who know where to look, whether it’s upon the stolen kisses of the young lovers in the generic shopping mall or whether it’s behind the alley with the rats returning home from a long day of work making its commute on the motorway made out of water pipes back into the world below.  There is always something beneath the surface of our everyday routine that we often fail to notice its magic. Take that lady cleaner for example, she may look tired or even bored from cleaning the floor all day long and many would just ignore her existence but to say she is sad of her life would be a very misguided conclusion.  There she is in all her glory, a mid thirty years old women beautiful in her apron with her yellow gloved hands armed with a toxic cleaning spray and a wet cloth wiping away all the evidence of that floor’s history. Though her face may fill with expressionless look but her mind is busy at work. Let’s listen to the magical dreams of a cleaner lady

Gordon Parks: Issues in Black and White


‘This shithole is a mess but hey that’s why they called me.’

The footsteps of her black high-heels echoed in the dimly lit diner. She stood at the door next to a black cabinet-like trolley staring at the mess that she has to clean. The chequered tiles floor flooded with the mixture of blood, Bolognese sauce, coffees and other drinks with broken plates, cups and cutleries scattered all over the small Italian diner. The furniture of the establishment has been relocated into two opposing walls of defence on each sides of the room. Most of the brown wooden tables are freshly redecorated with bullet holes and bloods. There was a pile of human bodies beside the bar, most of those deceased are mostly men dressed in fine suits of greys and browns, and all had a distinct look of an Italian descendant.  The green walls too suffered the collateral damages of this mafia gunfight showdown with half of the room burned in what looks to be a grenade explosion. She smiled as she began to open her black trolley.

The doors of her black trolley swings open showcasing the latest gadget of the cleaning technology. She carried out a big bottle of a home-made solution of detergent that will guarantee to completely remove any stains making it virtually undetectable even underneath the UV lights of a professional forensic scientist as she began unloading her equipments. Her yellow gloved hands skimmed her sexy curves almost molesting this new dream body of hers as she double checks her tight latex body suit. As she ties her long wavy hair into a bundle, a young man walks into the diner from the back door of the diner behind the bar.

‘Evening, Santiago,’ said The Lady Cleaner in a seductive new voice.

‘Ola, Miss. I’ve talked to Valtino on how they want these bodies to be displayed and he said to just get rid of them. So I’m going to use the Acid Baths for these lots if that is alright with you? ’ asked the skinny little brown young man to his superior.
‘Yes that will be fine. Did you find a parking out back for the truck?’ said the Lady as she placed a strawberry flavoured cigarettes on her lips and lights it up with a match.

‘Yes, miss,’ said Santiago as he began to zipped up his white hazmat jumpsuits. ‘What do you think happened here? A meeting went wrong between the two families? Who do think won? The Corleone or the Montanas?’

‘I do not know and frankly I don’t really care,’ muttered the Lady letting out a puff of smoke from her red lips as she walks behind the bars searching for an unbroken bottle. ‘As long they pay for my services.’

‘Haha...True, True. The more they fight among each other the more they have to call us to clean up their mess,’ said the young man in a cynical tone. ‘How long have you been doing this, miss?’

‘Far too long, love,’ she said as she poured a glass of whiskey into a clean cup she could find.

‘How do you do it? I mean I’ve been working with you for the just a year now and I’ve been thinking. I’m beginning to feel guilty about deleting the existence of all those people. Every single one of them whether they are thugs or victims,’ said the young man as he began rolling a joint on the counter of the bar opposite his employer.

‘You talking about the assignment I gave you yesterday aren’t you?’ said The Lady Cleaner who looks more like a BDSM club bartender.

‘Yes, now I’ve done some gore-y things with you miss but yesterday was the first time I felt that guilty conscience kicking in,’ said Santiago as he finish rolling his joint and began searching for a lighter.

The Lady Cleaner lights up a match for the joint and said ‘Why don’t you tell me about it?’

‘I had to bath a ten years old girl’s body in acid that had been raped and killed by our client. I had to erase every traces of her from the torn semen-filled clothes to the tiny blonde hairs ripped from her head in that fucker’s basement. The worst part of all, the Mayor shake my hand after I’m done and told me that I was doing a great service to our country,’ Santiago coughed out the smokes from his lungs as his eyes began to tear. ‘Tell me miss, whose side are we on? The Devil’s or the Angels?’

‘None. We work for those who pay us,’ said the Lady as pour another cup of whiskey for Santiago. ‘I understand if you have a difficulty to handle the moral aspects of our works but in this line of job we cannot let our feelings get in the way. We are paid to clean and that is what we will do. We are not paid to think or feel. Our clients do not want our opinion just clean and get the hell out. Understand Santiago?’

‘Yes, Miss. I understand. It’s alright,’ said Santiago as he sipped on the whiskey and smokes another puff of his joint.

‘Look dear, to you it may look as if we are only servicing the bad guys but trust me, we are working for the angels in the long run. As long as you remember what I taught you,’ comfort the Lady.

‘Yes, always document all your works. Keep a small token of evidence, a few photos of the incident without the client’s attention and lock them safe for insurances,’ said Santiago in a rehearsed manner.

‘And for all those faces that haunt your dream every night, get a journal. Write them down and give them an afterlife in your words. That’s all you can do right now,’ said the Lady.

‘Haha, I’m not much of a writer. I got no stories to tell and we don’t know anything about the stories of those who we clean. All we have are our clients,’ wept the young man.

‘My dear Santiago, this world is filled with pain and darkness, every corner we make in this life is filled with nightmares and sorrow. This doesn’t mean it’s always bad. Yes, our job is in the deepest darkest shadows of this fine city with only silence as our witness but even maggots have a purpose in this circle of life. We clean the dirt of secrets for our clients just as how maggots eat out the dead but without them trees won’t be able to absorb the nutrition for life. Though you can’t see the tree that we will be feeding now but one day you will,’ said the cryptic Lady.

‘You’re talking about your big plan aren’t you?’ said Santiago.

‘Yes, I have a plan in which I have been working on all this time to serve justice and bring back some balance in this bloody city,’ smiled the Lady.

‘What is it then?’ asked the curious stoner.

‘You’re not part of this plan. I am preparing you for something bigger,’ said the Lady. ‘There is so much that a woman can do in this society of ours. You shall learn everything about hiding secrets and gathering blackmails, cleaning evidence and hiding your identity. And once you’re ready you will understand the bigger picture and see the tree that we are supposed to feed in our foul destiny.’
‘Sounds great, Miss but I don’t think I can continue if we have to do more of what I did yesterday,’ said the young man. ‘My soul can withstand plenty but I don’t have the hearts to help these monsters out with their dirty deeds anymore. I don’t think writing it or making up stories about these victims will ever clean these bloods from my hands.’

‘I understand. ’ She puts out her cigarette.

‘Look Miss, I’ll help you out with this place but this is the last job for me. After this I’m out.’
 She fastens on her mask and nodded an approval.

‘Thank you, Miss,’ said Santiago as he smokes his last joint.

With just a blink of an eye, The Lady Cleaner sprays a bottle of her home-made air refresher up Santiago’s nose letting loose a black smoke to crawl up into his brain and down his throat into his lungs and intestine as his internal organs began melting in the corrosive respond. Santiago timbered down from the bar stool with trails of black smokes oozing out from all opening of his body.

‘Such a pity, he was very handsome and would have been a perfect fall guy,’ she said.

She walks out of the bar and unzipped her mask. She took out her phone and ran through her contacts and calling a name called, The Garbage Man.

‘Sir, Santiago failed the test,’ said the Lady.

‘Understood. I’ve deployed The Window Washers on your location to help you out,’ said a deep voice from the phone.

‘Sir, how is the plan going? Do we have enough ‘dirt’ to proceed to the next level?’ asked the Cleaner.

‘I’m afraid not. Reports from the Plumbers are negative while the others are steady. I have assigned you a new apprentice,’ said The Garbage Man on the phone.

‘Someone from the Ghettos again?’

‘Nope, a normal middle class kid from the richer part of the city. In fact he might be a little tougher to persuade than the rest. I’m sending you his profile. Good Luck.’

She looks on her smart phone staring at a handsome neat young man’s face and smiled.



Now this may not be exactly what she is dreaming about right now as she wipes the tables but again she might not need to. Who are we to say that she doesn’t freelance as a ‘Cleaner’ for other things? Or perhaps she is just dreaming about earning some extra money to ensure that her youngest daughter stays in school. Trust me if someone come up to her and tell her that they will pay her a small amount of extra cash and all that she has to do is grab some thrown out credit card bills or other details of the client’s house she’s cleaning, she would not hesitate to take up the offer.
Of course not all cleaners would indulge in such deeds but in this society where we barely even turn notice these lovely ladies, I doubt that they will be faithful to a snobbish rich dick. Maybe we need to treat them with more care; they are the ones who know our dirtiest little secrets. They know if you masturbated in your bed or if you shat in your pants, they know more about you than your husband knows about you. They know that you brought home a skanky whore that your mother would never approve but yet she hides that bitch was even there for you. So think twice about making her angry because who knows whether she kept any ransoms for a rainy day. I know I would.

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