Monday, June 28, 2010

Mag 20

The Toothbrush

The toothbrush lay innocently on the mottled floor. It’s bristles were only slightly worn, as if it had not been used much to clean the teeth of its owner. Yet they were stained a dirty gray color, as if by repeated exposure to water not as clean or pure as it could have been.

The brown handle resembled quartz with the light from the window reflecting from it and penetrating it as well. That light coming through the handle left a golden brown glow on the floor’s surface. It was beautiful, somehow, resembling as it did an item of antiquity, a treasure from a much older civilization.

In a different setting one could even imagine the toothbrush as a wonderful exhibit in a museum case. Perhaps it had once whitened the teeth of a famous scientist or an artist or even a head of state.

But there was no such dignitary.

No such case.

No such museum.

You see, the other end of the toothbrush – the handle – had been drawn over time through the bars that covered the window in this room . . . this cell. Over months of the same repeated action, first one side of the handle, then the other, the material had been worn away until the handle culminated in a point as sharp as any dagger.

This end of the brush was now a different color. It was red with the blood of its victim. He was . . or had been . . a guard in this prison until the owner of the brush, maddened by years of confinement and cruelty, had plunged the sharp edge into the man’s throat, killing him in an instant.

The assailant sat quietly in his cell, waiting.

He had already been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

He had nothing left.

Not even a toothbrush.


As you might expect, this is but a piece of fiction, part of a weekly writing exercise instituted by Willow, of Willow Manor. You can read other works by other writers at Magpie Tales.


  1. haha. i love it. glad i am not the only one that went dark this you led us into it so nicely too witht he brilliant description of its beauty...great magpie!

  2. Powerful stuff; congratulations

  3. Really enjoyed this. I had no idea of what was next. At first I was thinking lovers' quarrel, then prison escapee, but I like the very dark ending. Great Magpie!

  4. Yikes!! And to think it started off so benignly, so innocently. This is one nice piece of writing, Mr. C!

  5. Great write, but I want to stay away from that toothbrush...bkm

  6. Oh, this was very good. You led me down a peaceful path and then surprised me with the turn of events. The resignation at the end is just perfect.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my entry. I really appreciate it!

  7. Ohhhhh ... the toothbrush as weapon! Didn't consider that possibility. Very nice!!

  8. Cat, another good one. You have the touch.

  9. Yikes! What a sad, well-described, story!

  10. Omgosh such an innocent tooth brush made into such a deadly instument.. what a story!


  11. Great piece, this is my first trip around the Magpie tale-tellers, its great to find such variety.

  12. This has the reality of a fist hand account. When are you due for parole? :-)

  13. i would not be surprised if he would not still find use for the toothbrush, you know the officers will....

    great write!

  14. A dark and scary tale! Great one, Cat!

  15. Sometimes you just have to tell a tale that pens on the dark side of our thoughts.

  16. Quite grisly. Most satisfactory!

  17. loved how dark this was, very creepy and yet kinda sad. I almost felt more sorry for the convict than I did for the guard even though obviously the guy wouldn't be in there if he hadn't been one heck of a criminal. This was a real sympathetic piece. At the beginning i totally thought this was going to be a 'nice' story. Great magpie!

  18. Creative and creepy at once. Kinda perfect.



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