Sunday, 4 July 2010

Rubber Gloves

She grew up in a crumbly old house in the northern realms where spiders were big as a grown man’s fist and furry as his beard. As a child she’d hear tick, tick ticking down the wall the eight feet of the kind of spider that hunts and swallows mice whole, or so she’d been told. Sometimes she’d even awaken to the beady eyes of a black beast staring back at her until her screams sent it scuttling off across the room on its hasty legs.
The outhouse where the coal was kept harboured her second biggest fear, those creatures that are a blur of brown if you happen to look down when one of them is passing. Tunnels earthed out underground by these ministers of plague made the hanging up of washing a precision chore involving wellies tied with string, a good strong broom and precision pegging. She had it down to a fine art.
And rubber gloves, well, they made her heart palpitate at the thought of strongly disinfected surgeries and the synthetic-gloved hands of doctors, dentists and vets, and that fatal glimpse of a pile inside out in the bin as they are peeled off with a suck and a slap and chucked swiftly in.