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You Never Know

The grass always looks greener on the other side. Just because something is a cliché doesnt make it any less true.

In the Gutter, the blood on that other side is a little redder too...

You Never Know by Marietta Miles



“I remember seeing her through the window.” Shirley fiddles with her curls. “Every Saturday morning, crack of dawn. She had that little canister vacuum and her bucket, just cleaning and scrubbing. 

“Huh.” Franny sits with her chin in her hands. 

“I swear you could eat off that woman’s floors.” 

“Really?” 

“Oh yeah. It could be hot as blazes outside, all the windows up, letting in air, and there she was, working like a dog. Cleaning.” 

“Huh.” They sit on the stoop enjoying the early morning cool. 

“And she always wore that brown sweater, no matter how hot or how much she worked. Covered up to her neck. She was cute, too. Real tiny waist and all.” 

“Shame.” Franny nods, stubbing out her cigarette on the porch railing. Smoke twirls from her thin lips. 

“He seemed to really love her, too. Always asking where she was, coming home early to be with her. And then she had that sweet little boy.” She chews on a fingernail. 

“I watched him a few times. He was cute but a little skinny. Oh and he cried all the time.” 

“Really?” 

“She said he was sickly. Rashes. Tummy problems. Maybe she was too young to handle a baby.” 

“Right.” 

“I mean, she had just dropped him off. She was going on about her husband coming home, no time to clean. ’Course I’d watch him. You know I love babies.” 

“Yes, you do.” 

“Anyhow, she just never came to pick him up. I couldn’t take care of him anymore.” They nod. 

“Good thing I called the police. I guess. I don’t know how long they would’ve been over there like that.” 

“Did they say how?” 

“No. I did see blood on the blankets they brought out. Who knows? But they came and took the baby.” 

“Gee.” 

“Right?” 

“I guess you just never know?” 

Marietta Miles has published stories with Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama and Revolt Daily. She has been included in anthologies available through Static Movement Publishing and Horrified Press. Please visit www.mariettamiles.blogspot.com or Facebook for more stories and further information. Her first novel will be available in spring 2016 through All Due Respect Books. Born in Alabama, raised in Louisiana, she currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.