Three Line Tales : Heaven is a shrink-wrapped pillow

three line tales week 78: someone walks down the stairs at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC

photo by Mahdis Mousavi via Unsplash


‘Sterile,’ she’d called it, but he liked the clean lines, the lack of clutter, seeing every inch in one glance, no filthy, cluttered corners, no bric-a-brac, no tatted doilies gathering films of dust or rugs piling up moulted hair, dropped crumbs, shed skin.

‘Embarrasing,’ she’d said when he dragged his blanket out onto the stairwell, his shrink-wrapped pillow. ‘Idiot,’ she’d hissed, slamming the door on the scent of floor cleaner, on the speck free tiles, the moon slanting blue through the spotless window.

‘Leaving,’ she said and she did.

‘Home,’ he whispered, closing his eyes.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story. See here to join in and read the others.

23 thoughts on “Three Line Tales : Heaven is a shrink-wrapped pillow

  1. “Witty,” he said, as he perused her short but telling tale.
    “Jealous,” he thought, as he surveyed the image of the pristine stairwell, contrasting it with his hamfisted decorating.
    “Hahaha!” she rejoined, noting his clunky efforts to link her vignette to his DIY efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So much said in that sparse dialogue! And that’s such a classic clash, of spouses who feel so differently about their space and what it should look like. Seems this couple was especially poorly matched. He’s probably better off alone in his comfortable (for him) home than being with someone who’s so negative about what makes him (un)comfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right I think. Better off apart, these two. And who are we to judge what’s a good home? If that person is safe and comfortable … Thanks for reading Joy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The smell of floor cleaner did it for me. It’s a smell that drives my husband wild! He can’t stand it, prefers linseed oil, black soap, terebenthine (I had to look that spelling up and find it’s French for turps!) even vinegar, anything but chemical floor cleaner. We knew a family who lived in a house exactly like the photo. Hideous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, too sterile looking for me too. I don’t go for many ornaments or clutter, but I do like a bit of a homely touch. Wonder if your husband was an exploited office cleaner in a previous life … ? 🙂


      1. I think it’s more that he would love to have lots of grandchildren and sees death of hormones in chemical household cleaners. He’s protected his children from them since they were little. The ploy hasn’t worked yet though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, if you saw the headlline about the Western male sperm count the other week, you’ll know your husband is absolutely spot on.


      3. He’s been following this kind of report for years. He’s never actually asked our eldest’s young man what household cleaning products he uses, but he’s made sure our daughter is clued up about it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The juxtaposition of what they each feel is home is fascinating. But his idea of a ‘sterile’ and clean home make me cringe. Not that clean is bad I just think he might be be a bit OCD. So perhaps he can’t help it. Maybe there is a reason why clean lines, sterileness is appealing and comforting, bad childhood memories I don’t know. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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