The corners of my mouth curve downward as I pluck a single pubic hair from the bristles of my toothbrush. I stare at it for a moment before dropping it in the sink. I rinse off the brush and reach for the toothpaste. Somewhat surprisingly, the toothbrush does not taste like pubic hair or crotch sweat. Minty-fresh Crest is the only flavor present.

I spit a mouthful of foam into the sink, then turn on the water, rinsing it and the lone curly hair down the drain. There is a small black spec left in the basin, and it makes me think of crab lice. I don't think that is actually what it is, yet I can't help but wonder if my toothbrush could have become infested with them from the pubic hair. I know that crab lice are very small, so it stands to reason that a great many of them could occupy the surface area of a strand of hair. Especially a curly hair, which, though it may appear somewhat short, turns out to be much longer when straightened. My mouth begins to itch as I'm thinking about this. I'm not usually one for paranoia, but I reach for the mouthwash, just in case.

After swishing the purple liquid (I doubled the recommended time of thirty seconds), I spit, the itching replaced by a slightly numb, chemical-burned feeling. It reminds me of the time I had to siphon gas from my second-cousin's car, and wound up with a mouthful. Luckily, I know that the mouthwash burn will fade much quicker.

I put my toothbrush back in the hanger, and see my step-brother's brush. Green with a red stripe. I think about how my step-brother borrowed my car last week, and returned it with no gas, a broken headlight, and a flat tire. I think about how he folds the covers backwards on my books when he reads them, and how he never puts DVDs back in the right case, and all the other asshole things he does. I think about this as I stick his toothbrush down my pants, scrubbing between my balls and ass. The bristles tickle my ass crack as I think about my step-brother brushing his teeth with the brush, covered in sweat and hair...

And I can't help but get a bad feeling about how the hair may have gotten onto my own toothbrush.

Copyright: © 2010 Chris Bowsman
Chris Bowsman has had several of his short story and flash fiction pieces published, and spends a considerable amount of time wondering if going by "Christopher" would increase his authorly success.


  1. I love the subtle paranoia and creeping resentment in this, edging into the corners of this short, unassuming, otherwise amusing scene. Nicely done.

  2. This is gross, but I still enjoyed it. Nice touch at the end.

  3. I've just woke my kids up laughing to loud. Great piece.

  4. Good stuff. Even though I wasnt supposed to read it.