I've mentioned before how a change of environment can do wonders for some creative inspiration. Normally, when I'm feeling this way, I make my way over to a coffee shop or a park if it's a nice day.
But sometime while in college, I first got the insane urge to go to a laundromat and write fiction. I never actually did it because I lived in a house with a washer and dryer, and well, I never got up the nerve to be that creepy laundromat loiter. The insane urge never went away, to the point that this became a legit dream of mine.
Well, now, I'm proud to say our new home doesn't have a washer and dryer, and we have to go to the laundromat to wash our clothes. Dream. Come. True.
It may seem silly, but it actually makes me pretty pleased.
Another big dream I have is to publish a book, but I have to be real about something: I'm scared to show people my fiction.
Since Almost There is all about living your dreams and overcoming fears, I decided to start this here Laundromat Fiction series. The concept is simple: I'll publish short stories I write while doing my laundry (most likely in a laundromat).
These short stories will be pieces, unlike my book, that I don't spend much time proofreading, polishing or over thinking in anyway. Honest feedback is most welcomed!
The subjects won't always revolve around the literal laundromat, but since this is the first one, it seemed fitting.
Hope to hear what you think!
I can’t seem to break my stare away from that gaudy neon sign flashing, one letter at a time, “O-P-E-N.”
There are probably 100 washers and dryers at this Coin Star Laundromat, and part of me wonders if there’s ever a time of day that even half of them are in use. Its seclusion is what attracted me to this particular place.I have actually never stepped foot in a laundromat before, and might I mention, I’m slightly impressed with the way a building as old, dirty, ugly and rundown can smell so damn good. Especially considering there are a total of four people in here now, one really old attendant working on a crossword puzzle or something like that. And three Hispanics, only one of whom I think is actually doing laundry.
I scan the place for a washer as far away from the crowd as possible, which isn’t exactly difficult to do. I find a nice dark corner that looks like the perfect place to wash these blasted clothes.
I’m not exactly looking to make friends while I’m here, especially considering my outfit of choice: my boyfriends button up shirt and a pair of sweatpants, both of which I found in my car. I make a mental note to carry better outfit selections in my car, as I receive a few awkward stares from the big crowd.
When I remember why I’m here, though, I cut myself a little slack. I mean I didn’t exactly plan on killing a man tonight. If I had prepared for such an occasion, maybe I wouldn’t have worn my favorite pair of jeans and that purple sweater mom gave me. In fact, not having planned for this occasion might make me less of a villain than if I had.Either way, I had one mission here tonight: wash my outfit so I can return home in the same clothes I had on when I left tonight, hopefully blood free. I drop my clothes in one of the commercial washers, praying to God no one notices how few of them there are, then have to walk across the joint to purchase soap and make change. I hear snickers from the peanut gallery, but I pretend to not notice.They probably wouldn’t be laughing if they had known what I had just done.
“Hi, can I make some change with you?”
“Machine’s over there in the corner,” the attendant lashes back at me from behind her godawful coffee breath, without even looking away once from her puzzle.
Well, excuse me. I was slightly offended before realizing it might be a good thing if she doesn’t look too closely at my face. If anyone does catch on, well, I don’t know how they would end up here questioning people, but you never really know I guess.
I don’t think I’ll be caught, though. While this may have been my first kill, I’d often contemplated murder—how I’d do it, you know, if I ever needed to. Everyone does, right?Anyway, tonight, when my little sister told me what that bastard had done to her, there was really no other choice. The police didn’t believe her, but I knew my sister, and well, that douche had to go.
I didn’t intend on killing him at first. I was planning to just corner him outside that pizza shop and kick his ass a little. You know, just scare him off. It’s not that I was bigger, but I knew if he didn’t see me coming, and I hit him with just the right amount of force, overpowering him in the beginning, I’d have him where I’d need him. When I saw him, though, well, I guess I got carried away. I snuck up right behind him, stabbed him in just the right spot, pulled the knife out and ran. His blood splattered all over me, but no one was around to hear or see anything. I left him there for someone to find, probably some poor jogger on his morning run tomorrow.Maybe its just adrenaline, but I don’t feel sad about what I’ve done. I keep picturing that arrogant smirk he had seemingly painted across his face in the ally. Before he knew what was coming, anyway. As I watch my clothes spin, I imagine the blood on my hands washing right away with it. If only I could stop staring at that damned blinking sign, maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad place to spend an hour.