The Cleaning Lady: Chapter 1

Hello friends. I hope you are staying safe and mentally well during this challenging and scary time.

I’ve decided to take some time to write a novel that was inspired by a dream. I recently started taking Trazadone, and according to my doctor, one of the side effects is that it makes you remember your dreams well. I remember this one vividly, and I can’t let it go.

I wanted to share the first chapter with all of you. The novel is called The Cleaning Lady. I hope you enjoy it and as always I’m certainly open to your feedback.

Stay safe and well.

The Cleaning Lady: Chapter 1

It was a nice house. When she was a child, Ava used to look at houses like this with her mother. They’d scour the neighborhood looking at big houses they could never afford, pointing out which ones they liked. Behind her mask, Ava smiled at the memory, and then frowned. She missed her mother, even though her mother wasn’t very good about being a mother. The two of them were friends if anything, but despite that, losing a friend was always difficult, no matter who they were.

It should be a nice house, after all. Politicians could afford nice houses, even in over-priced Los Angeles. It was two stories with red shutters and red doors. Ava always wanted a house with a red door.

She sighed, and stepped forward onto the porch. Out of her jacket pocket, Ava pulled out a tension wrench and pick rake. After a deep breath, she entered the tension wrench into the bottom of the lock, applying just the right amount of pressure. With her other hand, she slid the pick rake all the way into the lock. While continuing her pressure on the tension wrench, she scrubbed the inside of the lock in a circular motion. She did that until all the lock pins set, and she pressed down on the door handle until it opened.

That was too easy. No security. The guy must not be that rich yet. He was still young-ish. He still had time to make his money.

Or not.

She put her tools back in her pocket. The inside was dark, but Ava was a professional. She pulled out a dark light from her other jacket pocket, and found her bearings. She always liked how they called a flashlight a torch in Doctor Who. Maybe she’d start calling it a dark torch. That sounded cool.

The stairs were to the left. She pointed her light downwards, and silently went up the stairs. There were three bedrooms along a hallway upstairs. Ava went right, all the way down the hallway. The door was open. Empty, save for furniture. She went to the next bedroom. Same.


Evan Mikaelson wasn’t married and didn’t have any kids. Either too young or too focused on his career. Either way, it was good news for Ava.

The last bedroom door was open. The bedding revealed a lump, and on top of a pillow, lay Evan Mikaelson’s sleeping head. He didn’t snore. The bedding rose and fell with his breaths, but it was quiet. As Ava got closer, she got a good look at his face. He was attractive. Dark hair and a little stubble on his jagged chin. Just Ava’s type.

Oh well. Maybe she’d find another guy, someday, who was okay with what she did to make money.

Not likely.

Ava took a deep breath and let it out. She unsheathed her hunting knife from where it was clipped to her side. She positioned herself right next to the bed.

With a leather-gloved hand, Ava clamped her hand over the politician’s mouth as hard as she could, and his eyes opened wide. They slid to the side to see Ava. He didn’t try to scream. Before he could get his arms out of the bed to fight her off, she slid her knife against his throat, starting with the right side where the first carotid artery. She cut deep all the way across, to the other carotid artery. His body slumped with defeat.

Ava unclamped her hand.

There was a gurgling sound, and Mr. Mikaelson brought his hands to his neck. It was no use. With both arteries cut, blood was running through his fingers. He’d be dead in a few minutes, and he would have a hell of a time getting to a phone to call for medical assistance.

“Goodbye, Evan,” Ava said, and she found her way down the steps and out the door.