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by Karen Jones

What you’ll need (ideally):


Baking soda.


Hydrogen peroxide.

Hand soap.

Dish-washing liquid.

1. Removing blood from clothing.

Use a baking soda/water solution. Dab the stains with mixture. Try to stop your hands shaking. Calm.

If you don’t have baking soda, rub the stain with lemon juice. Add salt. Scour with a damp cloth. Try not to let tears add extra salt to the stain. Calm.

If you don’t have a lemon, try hydrogen peroxide. Remember, this could also cause bleach spots on your clothing. Ask yourself if that matters right now. Calm.

2. Removing blood from carpets.

Let the stain dry. Brush off as much dried blood as you can. Mix hand soap with cold water. Using a cloth, blot stain with mixture. Try not to vomit. Calm.

If you don’t have time to let the stain dry, remove carpet. Burn. Calm.

3. Removing blood from hardwood floors.

Marvel at how far blood spray can travel. Dab at stain with wet cloth, then mop with dry cloth. Repeat until stain has gone. This will probably work on all wood, like that wooden table lamp base you used. Calm.

If stain persists, try hydrogen peroxide again. Calm.

4. Removing blood from wallpaper.

Water and dish-washing liquid. This requires a gentler approach. Dip a cloth into the solution and apply to stain with care. Breathe. Calm.

If stain persists, spray with a little hydrogen peroxide, remembering to keep enough aside for hair bleaching as a disguise may be necessary. Calm.

5. Removing blood from hands.

Can’t be done. Live with it. Calm.

Karen Jones is a prose writer from Glasgow with a preference for flash and short fiction. She is addicted to writing competitions and is a perennial short-lister, though she has reached the prize-winning stage a few times, including with Mslexia, Flash 500, Words With Jam and Ad Hoc Fiction. Her work is published in numerous ezines, magazines and anthologies. Her story Small Mercies was nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize and is included in Best Small Fictions 2019.