Maya's apartment was filled with the thickest, heaviest kind of sadness. Her days had blurred together, only distinguishable by which neighbor brings a new casserole by to offer their condolences. She sits staring blankly at the wheelchair still in the middle of her living room when a quick knock comes from the door. The sound of paper sliding across hardwoods. The sound of retreating footsteps. All Maya has done for the past week since her mother had been taken away was turn oxygen into carbon dioxide.But she stands up and crosses her living room and sitting quietly before her door, was a small white envelope. She opened it and the following words were neatly printed on a piece of card stock :
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
Maya flipped over the card and on the back one word was printed "cook". For a moment, Maya pondered whether or not to attend this strange gathering, and wondered if anyone else was going to go. She felt no inclination to go, so she walked into her bedroom and took a couple of sleeping pills to make the world fade out. Her vision began to blur as she stared at the empty chair once again. A while later (minutes, hours? Maya couldn't tell) maya woke with a start. She began to hear footsteps and chattering outside of her door. She stands groggily and pads silently across her hardwood floors, peeking her head out of the door. The inhabitants of her floor donned black tie attire and were heading towards the elevator. Maya decided that she would go to the dinner, it must be important if everyone's going, right? She went into her room and picked out a simple black dress, it was at the top of her pile of clothes since she had just worn it to her mother's funeral. Maya slipped on the dress, it used to cling to her figure but now it hung on her body like black trash bad. Maya sighed and turned around to open the door to her mother's bedroom. She tiptoed inside, careful not to disturb anything, like the room was a museum. Standing in front of the vanity she delicately picked up a diamond choker, and strung it around her neck. She tried to look at her reflection but her body and face seemed distorted like an abstract painting. Everything was in the wrong place. After picking some mystery casseroles out of the fridge, since her role was the cook, she stepped out of her apartment for the first time in weeks.
Down in the storage room, the air was stale. People were mingling, or at least trying to. Maya sat in the corner drinking a plastic cup of something bubbly, no one wanted to meet her eyes. Because no one wanted to try and offer sympathy to the girl who didn't have a mother. There was someone laying on the floor, Maya couldn't quite figure out why. She was trying to puzzle this out when everything went dark. Before Maya could blink, they were back on and another person lay on the ground. They were framed in a square of concrete, their limbs splayed at perfect 90 degree angles and a neat pool of blood sat like a pillow underneath their head.