A Duster

Tommy sat in the finished basement. He reached for a copy of Call of Duty with one hand while the other grasped a controller dyed orange from cheese puffs. If it were not for the TV, the darkness would have enshrouded the boy. Loud, fast paced footsteps could be heard coming from upstairs. Just then the basement door opened and Tommy’s mother thundered in. The light from upstairs flooded the basement, blinding the kid.

“You are down here all the damn time, get yourself upstairs and start helping out.”

Normally their mother was fairly relaxed about the cleanliness of the house but it always had to look good for company. And this weekend was Tommy’s sister, Cayla’s birthday so she was going to settle for nothing less than spotless.

“I will take your PlayStation away.”

Tommy rolled his eyes irritatedly and got up to shut off the PlayStation without saying a word. He threw his hand at the light switch, turning it on so his tired eyes could see the stairs.

“What do you want, mom?” Tommy mumbled.

“Well I guess you can start by dusting.”

“What about Cayla? She never does anything. Why do I always have to do everything?” The two stared each other down, the woman breaking the silence with an order.

“You are going to dust and that’s it.”

Tommy shuffled over to the closet. Dusting came last on the list of things he wanted to do at the moment. Hordes of zombies were just waiting to get shot. He grabbed the wooden handle of the duster and gazed at the dulled artificial feathers that were frayed at the ends. He wanted to break the handle and rip out the rainbow colored feathers and throw it all on the ground, but he knew it would be his job to clean that up too. For the rest of the day, he dusted the house and dragged his feet. He went from shelf to shelf, dreading the next.

I can’t believe she makes me do this all the time. Why can’t Cayla do it, she is probably on the computer anyways.

Tommy dusted until his hands hurt from maneuvering the duster. It was not just this day either, his mom would make him dust the house all the time. He wished he could spice it up once in a while and change his to-do list.

The eight year old child now a twenty year old man, still walks by that closet where the old duster once reside. He crinkles his nose, remembering the horror of having to rid everything of dust.

“Remember that old duster son?” Tommy’s father asks after catching him staring in that direction. “Yeah, fun times I guess.” Tommy replies after being startled. He stands there for a moment after his father leaves. Turning to trail his father, Tommy mumbles some curse words under his breath as he walks away.

He eventually hated that duster so much that when he was older, Tommy would cringe or mumble a swear word to himself every time he walked past that closet.