A Man, A Can, A Plan

Myra’s lips pursed and her forehead wrinkled as she watched Ryan kneel and pry the lid off the Behr can with his house key. She wondered what had possessed him to suddenly paint the ceiling. It’s not like those old water stains had appeared yesterday.

“Honey? Don’t you want to cover up the desk first? I think they make big plastic sheets for that.”

“Myra, can’t you just let a man work in peace? I painted houses back in college. I know what I’m doing. Only amateurs use drop cloths.”

“It’s just that – ,” His stern look caused her to stop short of saying that it had been many years since college. It had been just as many since her computer had been new, but it was all she had and she didn’t want paint all over it. Unwilling to watch, Myra turned on her heel and left him to his work.

Ryan thought she’d never leave. As he set about covering the old water spots, he was surprised to find himself perspiring. This was harder than he remembered.

Now it was time for the tricky part. He needed to get some paint on that damned old computer of Myra’s. She complained about it every single day, but she was too frugal to replace anything that still worked. He took a deep breath and held it as he reminded himself; this was all part of my plan. With a quick flick of the wrist, the job was done. Now Myra could get herself a fancy new computer and there would be no more complaining. He smiled to himself while he cleaned up, anticipating the blissful silence.

“I TOLD you to cover it up!” Myra appeared in the doorway, livid.

Ryan, horrified, realized he’d never hear the end of this.

Author’s Note:

This piece was an entry for a Flash Fiction contest. The prompt was “This was all part of my plan.”

I was in the middle of a painting project when I wrote it – could you tell? It’s funny how much real life works its way into these little fiction stories.