It was cleaning day at Fossil’s Mansion, and this was never a simple or easy affair. Everything, and I mean absolutely everything, got scrubbed, polished, washed, swept, rinsed, soaked and generally cleansed—to the last inch of its natural existence—by the Mansion’s battery of domestic staff.
Cleaning Day came about on a monthly cycle.
This was not to say that no other housework took place between each of those special occasions. In fact, each day had its own routine of “spotless checking”: where Matron Sylvia went about the house inspecting the work of all the scullery, kitchen, laundry, and other house maids, to ensure that neither a gleam was left off of any utensils nor a speck of dust was visible on any surface; including, the uppermost ridges of the chandeliers and fancy ceiling skirting.
Even the deepest darkest corners of every room got their share of becoming bright, what with all the scrubbing that took place. Nary could a cobweb nor spider survive in the Mansion, never you mind any ant, cockroach or mice; the latter of which the cats also took some credit for chasing out.
So, you see, Cleaning Day was almost a superfluous situation.
And yet each object in that grand old house knew the gravity of the event too well; particularly, those items that got into daily circulation - like the crockery and cutlery. They were severally scoured and shined—so much so that their sides were rubbed bare and appeared to ‘glow’, all as a consequence of losing too much of their enamel or silver.
The cleaning in Fossil’s Mansion was such that it caused a stir amongst its inanimate inmates, many of whom often declared it time to rebel; especially those that had experience (and the good fortune) of having been bequeathed or gifted to the family; thus, knew what it was like to reside in other premises, where there was more negligence around cleanliness’s proximity to Godliness.
The armchairs spoke at length about such better places and the dishes too grumbled about how life had been much easier in the showrooms, where they had the leisure to relax at length with only human eyes setting upon them with longing.
The porcelain dish was the most vocal on this matter, having newly arrived. He detested the constant scrubbing to which he had been subjected in the Mansion.
In the respite of each mealtime, as he sat laden with good eats, he moaned to the spoon (with whom he shared the same occasion) about how life was much improved in Carson Showroom and how perhaps they ought to liberate themselves from the abject foolishness of such constant cleaning, in this rather prim and persnickety household.
The spoon, having endured many years of buffing and bruising, felt too tired to do much about her circumstance. But she did like the idyllic tales told, about another way of living; one where there was release from the persistence of the scouring pad.
The spoon, frequently worried about what might become of her, soon, having seen the lot of other old utensils. For they’d been tossed into the rubbish heap, for smelting, once they no longer shimmered.
This was a fate that spoon hoped she might never meet. And so, she endured every scrub and shine stoically, praying she could maintain her natural glow, although bits of her were beginning to obviously fade.
“We must get free, Matilda!” droned the dish for the third time “Tonight, at midnight.”
“I’ve found us a way.”
The spoon jolted nervously. “A way?” she asked.
“Yes, a way.”
“But how, Clive?”
The dish, who did in fact have the stern and sturdy bearing of a Clive, paused for effect. Then replied, “Well, that would give the game away ‘Tilda. And we can’t have that, can we!”
Then, returned to the safety in musing, for she was certain it was far better for her to focus on being her grateful best in this very present (and scrub-free) moment, rather than to mentally meddle in all of Clive’s wishful love of so-called freedom.