short fiction, seven
I just woke up… It was only a few hours ago, to the sound of a vacuum being pushed around the upstairs hallway of my parents house, where I am currently staying. My parents regularly have different cleaning crews employed on a rotating weekly schedule to help them maintain the house. They live in the country so it gets quite dusty. Assuming one of these cleaning women (they are inevitably women) had simply not been told that I was not only sleeping in an upstairs room but am accustomed to sleeping late, I tried to ignore the sound and to go back to sleep.
Several minutes later, however, the vacuuming woman progressed into my room. I am far from a morning person and felt particularly groggy today, so I tossed around on the bed a bit continuing to feign sleep, hoping this woman would notice me and leave the room without any conversation being necessary. To my increasing alarm, I then heard her opening the drawers of my bedside table and knew I would have to interrupt her directly.

“Excuse me, I don’t believe you’re meant to be cleaning this end of the house.”

“Sorry, Miss Reisner, but we’ve been instructed to search this room for drug paraphernalia.”

I quickly weighed whether whatever they – it was now apparent that two women were searching my room – would find anything worth fully waking up for and decided that the simple affront to my privacy was enough to get me out of bed, despite my abnormal drowsiness this morning.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but as you can see, I’m sleeping in here, and I’m very sure my parents would not send you in here to rummage through my personal things,” I said sternly, attempting to raise myself with my left arm into a sitting position.

The look of shock on my face as I collapsed back onto the bed set the two women laughing as they informed me that “we weren’t sent here by your parents, and we don’t need your consent to search the room.” When the woman speaking saw my mouth open to form a response she nodded toward the girl leaning on the wall near my bedroom door and further explained “Maggie, from the room next door, says she has reason to believe you’ve been doing drugs in here. We have to search the room.”

My eyebrows drew together in what I’m told is my least attractive facial expression as I took in this new information. Maggie from the room next door? I slid my legs over the side of the bed, my voice getting louder, “Now, what exact-” and was interrupted by the their laughter again as I fell heavily to the floor. Apparently my legs had decided to call it quits this morning.

“What exactly do you plan to do?” asked the elder woman, looking over her shoulder as she stood on tip-toe to run her hand along the top surface of my bookcase.
After several failed attempts to stand on my legs, which continued in their refusal to support me, I thought for a moment from the floor.

“Wait…” I managed after some time, “no one lives in the room next door,” I now looked directly at this ‘Maggie’ and said “so who the fuck are you?”

This aggression, along with my ability to hoist myself up by and support myself standing using the windowsill, caused the two to look at each quickly.

I continued, “well, who are you?? What the fuck are you doing here?!” I came closer, holding myself up by my bed-frame and feeling my legs get stronger as I walked. The women packed their things abruptly as I shouted them out of my room “who the fuck are you?! How did you get into my house??”

As they ran out of my room, other pairs of women darted out of the other bedrooms on the upper floor and followed the first pair in running down the stairs. I chased them all, albeit slowly and weakly, as they had clearly drugged me to make my legs flop in every direction but forward.

I pulled myself into the kitchen to find eight women dressed like maids, surrounding a grizzled Samuel L Jackson-from-the-latter-half-of-Pulp-Fiction looking man seated calmly on my kitchen counter. One of the younger women began to introduce him, “This is our Professor, and we-” but I cut her off, irately.

“What the fuck do you people think you’re doing in this house?? And searching the rooms?! A professor?? Of WHAT??” were all the questions I managed to get our before falling, once again, gracelessly to the kitchen floor. The Samuel L Jackson-from-the-latter-half-of-Pulp-Fiction looking man lowered himself calmly from the granite kitchen countertop my mother had selected herself and clasped his hands. As he walked toward me, and, I’m forced to admit, he did walk very academically, I noticed the sticky, purplish prints left by his shoes on the black and white tile floor.

It’s strange, what goes through a person’s head at time like these. When I saw the purplish hue of those dark and sticky footprints progressing toward me, I thought that if this had been Pulp Fiction, Tarantino would have made the footprints more red, to better contrast the black and white tile floor.


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