Oh Lord of On-going Challenges, I knowest not who thou art but in this time of plague and lockdown, wherefore hast thou bestowed a commercial power washer upon the man next door?
Outside his dwelling place are three vans and two BMWs. They sparkle like the stars in the firmament.
His front yard is scoured clean of dirt and leaves.
And the power washer drones mightily all the days.
And what of our besmirched red Hyundai i10, defiled with pigeon droppings?
Dost thou want us to bring forth our vacuum and even our own pail of hot soapy water to cleanse away the mud, like a baptism?
For the man next door sayeth our grubby vehicle and lack of maintenance despoil the neighbourhood.
For the weight of our rambling rose hath made fences fall between our dwellings.
For this event hath brought upon us his wrath.
For to him, shrubs and flowers are a further blight on his front yard.
But have mercy upon us, oh Lord, for we shall mend our fences in the righteous way.
We shall not hold anger in our hearts against the man next door.
The wooden panels will smell of new pine as from thy sacred timber yard.
The posts shall be concreted in like the man next door wanteth.
And we shall pay for everything from our own purse.
And, oh Lord, to recognise our goodness and in your infinite wisdom, if thou want to bestow upon us tools to propel water, we beseech thee to locate a solar fountain for our pond.
Not a power washer.
For the birds will drinketh therein.
For the gentle music of the water will soothe us.
For we are not believers in the noise of power tools.
For we do not consider cleanliness is next to godliness.
And we will spend the rest of our days watching the frogs.
Jude Higgins’ flashfiction chapbook The Chemist’s House was published by V.Press in 2017 and she has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. She runs Bath Flash Fiction Award, directs the Flash Fiction Festivals UK and the short short Fiction press, Ad Hoc Fiction. Judehiggins.com @judehwriter