Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#4 - Red

The only sound in the room was that faint scratchy sound of a pencil drawing. Except it was colored pencils on Ridley’s bedroom wall. Ridley slept on a mattress on the floor, and on the wall above her mattress was a pretty large window. She sat on her knees in front of the window. She was drawing dainty little vines and leaves that swirled around her window frame, all in shades of red and blue crayola. Her tongue was slightly out of her mouth in her concentration, then she let out a sigh after adding the finishing touch for today. The window project was one Ridley had been working out in her head for a while now, and she added onto it some each day.
She let herself collapse back on her mattress, and let out a puff of air to move her bangs from in front of her eyes. She turned over and read the invitation again.

"Hello. We are excited that you are coming to dinner with us. Hopefully, you will make it through the night. This is a black tie affair, please dress accordingly. Take care to prepare  your character roles.  Your life may depend on it.

       Time: 8:18
       Place: 7th Floor storage room"

Ridley was supposed to be the butler. She was already in an old white button-up shirt of her dad’s. She had tried to shrink it in the dryer, and that worked some, but it was still far too big, and hung off of her small frame, giving her kind of a pirate look. She slipped into her one pair of black dress pants and looked down at her legs. She sighed, then wiggled her toes. The pants came down to just above her ankles- she’d grown out of them. In the end she decided to roll them up just a little so there were cuffs on the ends of the legs and the length looked intentional. Now came the part of her costume that Ridley had been looking forward to.
She tiptoed into her dad’s bathroom and carefully opened the top left drawer- the one of mom’s old things- and pulled out a brown eyeliner pencil. Leaning over the counter slightly, to get a closer look in the dingy mirror, she penciled on a nice curly mustache using the eyeliner. She then put the pencil back exactly as it was when she found it (mom’s old drawer was the only thing in the apartment that Ridley’s dad kept neat, beyond neat, obsessively in the same orderly condition it had been in for years), and tiptoed back to her own room.

Ridley’s black mary-janes hurt her feet a little as she made her way to the 7th floor storage room. When she walked in the storage room, she saw that it had been cleaned out thoroughly since last time she was here, and was now a glistening and classy dining room. She wasn’t too surprised though. This room was always changing. She was one of the first ones here, so the room was quiet and mostly empty. In the corner she noticed a shiny service cart and tailcoat that were meant for her. She slipped on the coat and along with it her solemn face of the evening.

It was probably around nine. Ridley was getting tired; she’d woken up early that morning. The dinner guests were awkward yet amiable and Ridley had enjoyed taking it all in from the sidelines. She stood with her hands behind her back and noticed people’s nervous ticks and sideways glances.
All at once, the red colored pencil she had been fidgeting with all evening fell out of her hands and onto the ground. Just as she gasped and dropped to her knees hurriedly to retrieve it, the lights went out.
Ridley fumbled around and finally got a grip on the red pencil at the same moment that the lights came back on. Her heart skipped a beat. Ridleys hand, with the red colored pencil clutched in it, was not two inches away from a puddle of blood on the floor.