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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic





  ‘A Good Cleaning Is a Good Cleaning’ and ‘ Sally McKee’ , are from a small collection titled  ‘Cons and Icons’.


Elsie Bilbar smiled with satisfaction. The day of the computer had made things so much easier for her she thought, as the printer spat out several sheets of  wallet-size business cards.


(First day, free of charge. No obligation after that.)

Ongoing reasonable rates.

Call for interview and references. (tel # on back of card)

There were about twenty senior inhabited residential buildings that Elsie scurried in and out of that week, leaving her business cards thumbtacked to bulletin boards and placed in ornate bowls on lobby credenzas.

The elders who called, most of them octogenarian, were only too happy to have a  cleaning of their apartments. Even if they never used Elsie Bilbar’s services again, a good cleaning is a good cleaning. And, Elsie’s references were impeccable, moreover,  the first day would be FREE!!

They all thanked Elsie Bilbar after her day’s work. Elsie knew that she would never hear from any of them again.

At the end of the week, she thanked her two sisters, who with their polished voices, and contrived English accents, had provided the best of telephone references.

Spread out on Elsie’s kitchen table, were opioids, stimulants,  sedatives and tranquilizers.Taken from each of the elder’s bathroom medicine cabinets; about twenty pills from a parade of plastic bottles taken from each unassuming  senior..Not enough to make a discernible difference in the failing eyesight of her prospective employers.

Sold at street value, they would fetch a  tidy sum.

And so many more apartments to explore, Elsie mused.

Submitted: December 02, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Lionel Walfish. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Nicholas Cochran

Hey Lionel!
Keep them coming. 'Fine' and intricate gems.

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 2:14am

Jonah Ryan

love it!! I like the angle you are writing these shorts from... I have a tendency to really enjoy non traditional characters, i.e. horrible people... or, not necessary horrible people, but people who scheme and take advantage of others... I don't know, maybe that makes them horrible... either way I've always been a fan of stories that don't have happy endings, they just seem so much more real to me, because often times things don't really end happy, and it's the people who are willing to take advantage of others that come out on top. Anyway, nice job!

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 2:17am

Lionel Walfish

Nicholas..thanks so much.
I am very encouraged by your comments.
Again, many thanks,

Cheers, Lionel

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 2:36am

Lionel Walfish

Jonah, thank you so much.
So glad that you relate to the characters I write about. (your description of your 'wheelchair incidents' were right on !)

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 3:13am


Wow, I did not see that ending coming! Good job making this story run smoothly, Lionel, and keep up the good work!

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 11:56am

Lionel Walfish

Thank you YBE !

Always appreciate your comments.
Always good to hear from you !

Thu, December 3rd, 2015 6:55pm

Godfrey Green

Good story, Lionel. Great ending--a total surprise. Mostly, we still don't want to remember that no one is out to give us free things!

Tue, March 15th, 2016 3:36am


Thank you Godfrey.
Appreciate your good words.
I'm sorry to be so late in responding to your neat comment. I'm finally getting the hang of maneuvering the response section!.

Fri, April 29th, 2016 5:18am

Jason Crager

Good writing as always, Lionel. In the beginning I thought this Elsie to be a terrible businesswoman to offer such a fantastic deal to potential clients. Clearly I underestimated her skill as an entrepreneur!

Thu, March 31st, 2016 11:20pm


Thank you Ronin! (Yes, there are a few out there, just like her!)
(A bit late in getting back to you, sorry. Still learning, after all these months, how to use this site.

Fri, April 29th, 2016 4:57am


Wickedly funny, this one, Lionel. I thought maybe jewelry but that was so much better.
I absolutely loved it!

Sat, August 13th, 2016 6:58pm


Thanks so much Hully!
Have no idea of how my brain brought me to this conclusion...
Glad you appreciate my wicked sense of humour!

Sat, August 13th, 2016 1:39pm

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