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July 14, 2008
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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!”

“Paul-”

“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.

6:54.

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

-tired-

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:
 
:iconmisterromedo:
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.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
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
Reply
:iconmisterromedo:
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!
Reply
:iconginnabean:
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!
Reply
:iconmisterromedo:
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.
Reply
:iconart-is-an-expression:
art-is-an-expression Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
lol! i love jeanne!! :D
Reply
:icontuesday-francesca:
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
Reply
:iconginnabean:
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.
Reply
:iconopalrose:
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.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank youuu~ <33
Reply
:iconopalrose:
OpalRose Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010
0.0 You love your endings.

I think you did a fantastic job portraying an OCD person, though I wouldn't actually know.
But I did kinda' feel like he wasn't overreacting that much about the fly. They ARE grotesque with their "poky legs" as you put it. Ugh.

When he dialed the perfect number and got Jeanne, I sighed a huge sigh of relief and smiled. I thought he was in love with her because she had the perfect number. That's how it would have been if I had written it (obviously). But alas for me, that was not the case. Jeanne, kind and helpful, is a husband murderer. Awesome. -_- BUT WHY THE HECK DID SHE DO IT!???! I need to know. I call for a sequel. Don't worry, it won't ruin your ending. ^^
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I personally thing that Paul is as in love with Jeanne as he could be with any human (humans are too imperfect, I think, for him to be able to tolerate in the full capacity that love requires), although since it isn't the point of the story I didn't play it up. XD

And man, I know NOTHING about Jeanne. Except that you don't want to get on her bad side. Haha.
Reply
:iconopalrose:
OpalRose Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Good, I am glad to hear that he is. At least a little bit. ^^
Reply
:iconcolleenxcatalina:
colleenxcatalina Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Student Writer
WHOA, I was not expecting that ending.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That was the goal! : D
Reply
:iconcolleenxcatalina:
colleenxcatalina Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Student Writer
Well that's awesome.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
:icons3xy-3mo:
s3xy-3mo Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I really didn't expect the ending! It seems that she too has a bit of OCD, seeing as she scrubs off the blood, she washes her hands even after the blood is gone, pulls out rubber gloves.. Idk. This is really well written.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahh thank you so much~ <333
Reply
:icons3xy-3mo:
s3xy-3mo Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :)
Reply
:iconjsplollypop:
jsplollypop Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh my, if her husband is dead, then that means Paul's four chairs won't ever be even. Ever.

Anyway, great story! It surprised me, and I thought you had OCD yourself because of the great details.

All in all...FAV!
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man, I never thought about that! XD Poor Paul!!

I'm so glad it was convincing! <3
Reply
:iconauburn-haired-sadist:
OCD sufferer finds this non-offensive and completely amazing. :dummy: The plot twist was just...woah.
Awesome job. :XD:
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
HOORAY! Thank you so much! <333
Reply
:iconmiyaou:
miyaou Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2009
Lol, before I read the artist's comment I was thinking of Monk.
This is so ace.
c:
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! : D Haha, I guess my influences were a bit transparent. ;D
Reply
:iconabbie12333:
abbie12333 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
This is absolutely brilliant! You're an incredible writer!
You did Pauls OCD really well, it didn't come across as you making fun of people with OCD.
It really is an excellent piece, the unexpected ending is amazing, when Paul and Jeanne were on the phone, i'd just made the assumption that she was in the middle of an argument or something and that was the reason that she couldn't talk, i'd never made the jump to the fact thats she's a murderer!

Oooh, another fan of Monk i see ;)
Such a great programme !

:D
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for your comment! I'm really glad that it works, especially the surprise ending! And yeah, Monk rocks my world. XDD
Reply
:iconabbie12333:
abbie12333 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
You're very welcome :)
It really is wonderful !

:D
Reply
:iconsunni-sideup:
sunni-sideup Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fabulous! I'd love to try to illustrate this for your OTHER contest. You are such an incredible writer! My heart actually started pounding at the end. And Paul's characterization was brilliant.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my gosh thank you so much!! 8DD I would LOVE if you would enter my other contest!! I'm really glad that the OCD bit worked for you, that's really what I was worried about most is that people would think I was making fun of people with OCD. D:
Reply
:iconburnoutbright:
burnoutbright Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow, one of my new favorites of yours! When I just read the title I wasn't actually thinking horror at all (I may be strange that way though) so it was originally just "oh, a fly died, how sad" then was completely shocked at the end! The twist was so well done. It wasn't overdone, like "ohgeezJeanniejustkilledaman" and elaborated, but I could see the complete irony with just a few lines (especially the last line, when she reached for the rubber gloves). Fantastic!

And the way you wrote the OCD just worked. It was original and I love how you've thought everything out for Paul. I feel bad for him...he's one of those OCD people that I'd feel sorry for, not just exasperated with. And Jeannie...wow, way impressed with her as well! It just makes it awesome that she's so deadly but still helps Paul out a little.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for your detailed comment! I'm glad it rang true for you, and I also love that line about reaching for her rubber gloves. Thank you!
Reply
:iconburnoutbright:
burnoutbright Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Of course, not a problem at all! I was just lucky I had time to really comment this time...usually I won't comment at all if I can't give something of value. I'm so happy I've gotten to really read most of your stories...I'll see if I can find an hour to enter your contest as well! :)
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hooray! That would be great~
Reply
:iconburnoutbright:
burnoutbright Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
:aww: I'll try my hardest.
Reply
:iconnaminia:
Naminia Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2009
Very interresting story - and ending. I'm glad I don't have OCD - not that bad, at least.
Your writing it amazing; I usually write beginnings, but I get bored with the middle and can't come up with an ending. Yours are worthy of hardbacked copies.
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, my gosh! Thank you! That means so much to me. <33
Reply
:iconmalevolentmemory:
malevolentmemory Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*blushes* No I don't lock and unlock the door several times. No I don't count my steps when I go places. I'm completely normal. NORMAL.

*whimpers*

You believe me right?

Anyways, very eerie story there, I'm guessing that Jeanne was a random person? Which is awesome that she's there for him. And only fantastically creepy that she's a murderer. Nice job tyng everything together. Curse you off-centered flies!!! :shakefist:
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hahaha! Thank you so much~
Reply
:iconmalevolentmemory:
malevolentmemory Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Welcome! :)
Reply
:iconkakairu-luver:
KakaIru-luver Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008
OCD... uh-oh... scary
anyway, loved it! this one's a :+fav:
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay! Thank you so much! n__n
Reply
:iconkakairu-luver:
KakaIru-luver Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008
you welcome! n__n
Reply
:iconaustheke:
austheke Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2008   Writer
This is... awesomeness.

I saw the title and expected murder; read the fly part and went "oh please, not funny", then read on and realized the OCD and was comforted by how smoothly you pulled it off, then read on and was delighted by how you ended it.

Brilliantly done. :+fav:!
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, thank you so much!! I'm glad it kept you on your toes. XDD
Reply
:iconwaterkitty73:
WaterKitty73 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2008
And how's she gonna eat? XD
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, yes! My question exactly. XD
Reply
:iconbeans8604:
Beans8604 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Professional Photographer
well that was a twist lol good job though it kept me into it the entire time and I certainly didnt see that coming
Reply
:iconginnabean:
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, thanks! n__n I'm really glad you liked it.
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