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Submitted on
July 14, 2008
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34 (who?)
Paul unlocked, locked, unlocked, locked, unlocked, locked and unlocked the door before pushing it open. He took off his shoes, left one first, and laid them by the door in perfect parallel to each other.

“I’m home,” he called, and from the top of the stairs the fish in his aquarium burbled in response. He counted his steps to the kitchen – one, two, three...fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. He lined up his feet and looked at the digital clock on the microwave - 6:04. He waited patiently, watching, until – ah, 6:05. Letting out the breath he’d been holding, he turned to the kitchen table and-

Oh, God. Paul was suddenly acutely aware of his pounding heartbeat in his ears. He somehow managed to steady himself against the chair back and remain upright, but he knew he would faint if he couldn’t get himself under control. And he couldn’t faint. That wasn’t in the Routine.

He steeled himself and looked at the table again.

A fly.

A dead fly on his kitchen table. And it wasn’t even centered! He felt his breathing growing panicked and focused on slowing it. What would he do? After a few minutes of thought with his eyes carefully averted from the table and its disturbing off-centerpiece, he went to the counter and picked up the phone. He listened to the dial tone for a moment, comforted by it, and dialed. The numbers were even on both sides – the only number he could dial that added up to the proper numbers in all the right ways. He’d never been able to find fault with it – it was the perfect number.

It rang a few times. He counted. On the fourth ring, she picked up.

“Jeanne!” He gasped, relieved, and there was a sigh on the other end.

“Paul? Oh, for God’s sake. Not again.” He could hear the exasperation in her voice, but he disregarded it. If she really, really minded she would have her number changed. He’d first called her two years ago, when he first moved into the house by himself. Before he’d just had others dial the numbers for him, but it became unavoidable once he moved out. He’d tried to dial his therapist, but it had too many problems. He finally just dialed the only number he could dial, and Jeanne had answered.

At first she’d just hung up, but when he kept calling her, she’d finally taken the time to listen to him and tell him quite firmly that yes, he could have four chairs at his table when there was only one person – of course! What would he do when he had company?

Paul knew that he never had company, and he told her that – he’d thus proven her theory null and he still had to worry about the chairs. But Jeanne finally promised that someday she and her husband and her grown son would visit and sit in his chairs. This had calmed him and he’d been able to say goodbye, hang up, and eat dinner (standing, of course, since there was no place to sit that would be even with four chairs).

“There’s a fly, Jeanne,” he said helplessly. “A fly.”

“Paul, please! This is not a good time. Can’t you just – deal with something by yourself for once?” Paul heard the edge in her voice and knew that something was going on, but at the moment nothing seemed more important than the issue on his kitchen table with six poky little legs and clouded, multifaceted eyes.

“On the kitchen table, Jeanne!”


“Please, Jeanne! What do I do?”

“PAUL! I can’t...I can’t deal with this right now!”

“I CAN’T EAT, JEANNE!” he wailed, knuckles white in his death grip on the telephone. There was silence on the other end, and he feared she’d just left. “Jeanne?”

“Throw it away, Paul,” she said finally, and her voice was suddenly inexpressibly tired. “Just pick it up with a tissue and throw it away.”

“It’ll touch the tissue.”

“It doesn’t matter. You’ll throw the tissue away. It’ll never touch your hands.”

“The tissue is porous,” Paul added weakly, but he was caving.

“Wear your rubber gloves,” Jeanne suggested, and Paul managed to get his breathing under control. Everything would be okay.

“Thank you, Jeanne,” he said solemnly.

“Any time, Paul,” she replied quietly, and Paul waited until she hung up the phone to hang up on his end. He dealt with the fly as instructed by Jeanne. All went according to plan. He checked the clock.


He waited patiently until it changed to 6:55, and then he went to the refrigerator to cook his dinner.

The phone almost slipped as Jeanne hung it up, but she caught it just in time. She knew Paul waited until she hung up, and she didn’t want to worry him. She went to the sink to wash her hands, scrubbing until the water ran clear, and a little more besides, just in case. She glanced back at the phone, knowing that Paul would call within the next few minutes if he remembered something she hadn’t covered. The handle was slick with blood and she made a little face, reaching for the paper towels to clean it up. She looked into the kitchen, feeling her breathing speed up.

It really hadn’t been a good time for Paul to bother her – she was busy trying to figure out what to do about the body. Her husband was bleeding all over her kitchen table. She reached under the sink for her rubber gloves.
EDIT: I've heard that some people stop after the first few sentences, thinking it's a dumb gimmick. Please read to the end. If you're still disappointed, feel free to leave a hateful comment! : D

Don't ask me where this came from.

I have no freaking idea. x.x


P.S. I'm not making fun of OCD people, okay? D: I just watch too much Monk.

EDIT: OMG awesome fanart! 8DD --> [link] <--
Add a Comment:
MisterRomedo Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011
HOW DO YOU DO IT?! I've been reading your stories for the past hour or so, and I've been so entranced and eager to read the next one that I don't comment (I know, lame excuse, don't hurt me?). But seriously, HOW DO YOU DO IT?! I'm tryin trying TRYING to write a story that has this girl with OCD but it's not coming out at ALL... ack, rant, sorry, but still. Wowness.

P.S this is frickin' fantastic. Loveit.
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Will you be disappointed if I tell you the only reason I was able to write this story is because I'd just watched a marathon of Monk episodes? XD
MisterRomedo Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011
No... I'd be intrigued and go search the internet to find full episodes of Monk that I can watch... I a) need inspiration (asides from your beautimous piece) and b) remember watching one episode ages and ages ago and loving it! So... tada!
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yeah, I went through a phase where I watched almost the entire first season of Monk in like a week. It was a bit much all together since he basically solves every crime the same way (by...being OCD, really) but it's a good show!
MisterRomedo Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011
Ooooooh, I'll defo have to check it out now! crime-solvingand OCD are recipes for (an extremely fun) disaster.
art-is-an-expression Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
lol! i love jeanne!! :D
Tuesday-Francesca Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
WOAHHH the ending is wow :| NEVER expected that
you're a good writer!!
i like the topic of OCD for some reason >.< it interests me, and you portrayal of OCD is very, very well written <3
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!! That's encouraging to hear, I've really never had any personal experience with more than very mild forms of OCD so I was nervous I wouldn't get it realistic.
OpalRose Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010
And I must also say that even if there had not been a murder, your title would have not been an exaggeration or an attention-grabbing gimmick. That's how he felt about it. Which might not be the whole point but it's a good enough reason.
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank youuu~ <33
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