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Laura looked around the kitchen. Stove top a mess, dishwasher full of clean dishes waiting to be put away, pot with a rim of scorched cheese soaking with water in it on the counter, dishpan in the sink with a soup pot and dirty soapy water. She emptied the dishwasher, then cleaned the pot in the dishpan enough for the dishwasher to finish the job.

She reached into the murky water of the dishpan and cut the tip of her finger open on a knife. She pulled out a large, new knife. Had he put it in there or had she done so and then forgotten it?

She hoped he’d done it, not knowing any better, for she’d had warnings from her mother not to put sharp knives in dishpans like that, “You’ll cut yourself,” her mother had said.

If you don’t listen to what your mother says, she’d been taught, something bad will happen. And she had always her abided by her mother’s advice. Well, almost.

She squeezed her finger and watched the fat red drop swell. She sucked her finger, tasting the blood.

Either way her mother had been right.

(c) 2005 Miriam N. Kotzin. "Advice" was published in Skive, September 2005.