The air hung heavy in the street; getting off work late was usually a relaxing walk home. The mile walk helped Maisie clear her head, think over her day, and plan her tomorrow. The streets were often empty that late, and the noise was mostly night time creatures and insects. The town was relatively small, and everybody knew everybody else. The ladies in town gossiped, and the Good Ol' boys talked fishing, hunting, and women while throwing back a cold beer. Maisie never worried about her walk home; if you did see anyone, they would wave or say Howdy and continue on their way. Maisie opened her gate, looked up at the sky, wondering if the storm tonight would knock the power out again. Turning her key in the lock, her door swung open; she had lucked into this little gem of a house five years ago. The gentleman that lived here had passed, and his children sold it as is quick and dirty for a bit of cash. Maisie and her dad had done some minor repairs and paint, and it was a lovely old house. With three good sized bedrooms, a vast kitchen, a nice living room with a working fireplace and it were furnished with antique furniture in good shape.
Fixing a quick dinner and pouring a glass of wine, Maisie curled up on the sofa to watch the weekly show she dvr'd while she worked. Rinsing her dishes, she headed into her bedroom and quickly dressed for bed and was asleep in minutes, even with the storm blowing in and the wind howling outside. Sometime later, she awoke, not sure what had woke her. She looked around her room, noticing the storm had indeed knocked the electricity out. Maisie grabbed the flashlight out of the drawer beside the bed and slipped on her house shoes. The house was eerily quiet even with the storm; then, she heard it a shuffling sound coming from within the home. Going stock still, Maisie reached for her cell phone and realized that it was not on the charging pad where she had put it. Thinking her imagination was getting the best of her, she walked slowly to her open bedroom door; she always slept with her door shut, never wide open. Again she heard the shuffling, and it was getting closer, coming down the hall now. Maisie was sure they could hear her heart beating; it was hitting so hard and fast now. She gripped the big metal flashlight deciding not to turn it on but use it for defense if needed. She knew the house in the dark and was praying that whoever was in her home didn't. Maisie crept to the door and looked in the mirror on the wall at the end of the hall beside her bed. She didn't see anything until a peel of lightning filled the house with a brilliant flash of light, then she saw a huge figure dressed in black coming right for her. She froze; her feet refused to move, and she felt a vice-like grip grab her arm, and she was being dragged down the hallway. The flashlight fell from her hand. She was sat down in one of her dining room chairs and tied to it. There were two people in her house. Both were very tall and muscular. One a little shorter and fatter than the other. She heard the shuffling again and noticed that a tarp had been placed under and over her dining table, and someone was tied to it. They had camping lanterns sitting around and turned them up to light up the room; she did not recognize the man tied to her table but noticed all manner of tools beside him on her sideboard. Maisie felt the tears on her cheeks; she was terrified now. " I don't understand? Who are you, and why are you here?" Did she plead?
The man on her table was looking at her begging her to help him. His mouth was taped over, and he wore but a pair of briefs. The house had a weird smell, and the storm was raging outside now. The taller, more muscular man leaned down and leaned into her a bit; she could smell spearmint gum on his breath. "Just enjoy the show, Doll." He said in a deep baritone voice she didn't know. The other man picked up a scribe and pushed it into the bottom of the man's foot. He tried to scream, tried to move but he couldn't.
" I will ask a question, and you will answer," The Taller man said, " Do you understand?" He asked Maisie. " Of course, But I don't know what you want."
"Where is the man in purple?" He asked. Maisie thought that was insane. "Who? The man in purple? I don't know a man in purple." She pleaded.
The shorter man grabbed another scribe and pushed it in the bottom of the man's other foot." What is his dog's name? And where does he live?"He is walking behind the chair right behind her. Maisie is crying and thinking. Who does she know with a dog? A lot of people she knows have dogs. Who wears purple? None of the guys she knows. " I don't know what you are talking about. I don't understand why you are doing this. I don't know him or what you are talking about." She hoped he would believe her. Please wake up; please wake up. This had to be a nightmare. She could smell the blood and a faint whiff of Cologne. The Shorter man picked up a scalpel and made a slice on the guy's arm. The blood was pooling on the table and dripping on the floor. He had gone quiet, and Maisie was sure he had passed out." Just tell me where the man in.purple is? Where is he?" The taller man demanded? Maisie was crying again " I swear I don't know, I don't know what you are talking about." This continued for what seemed like days but was just a few hours, maybe.
There was a small vibration sound, and the taller man produced a cell phone, " Go," He answered. He grimaced and hung up the phone." Wrap it; we have the wrong address, We have the wrong person." A small tube of sweet-smelling liquid was put under Maisy's nose, and the world went dark. Taking with a start, Maisie realized that she was back in her bed. Her phone was on the charging pad, and the flashlight was in the drawer where it belonged. She slowly got out of her bed and grabbed her cell phone quietly. She crept to the bathroom and called Sheriff Wren while she peed. She told Maggie that she needed him at her house, there had been a murder last night. She waited in the bathroom with the door locked until she heard a pounding on her front door. "Sherriff Wren, Open up, Maisie." She came out of the bathroom and ran to the front door. Unlocking it, she flung it open and let Sheriff Wren in her house. Turning toward the living room dining room area, she except to see the horrific scene from last night. But nothing is out of place. Her dining room table has her basket of fruit in the center of it, and all the chairs are in place. Sherriff Wren walks through the house, finding nothing out of the normal. No blood, no tarp, nobody, Nothing at all. He gives Maisie a look of disappointment. She makes a coffee pot and pours him a cup; she recounts the story again, telling him everything she remembered. The smells, the blood, the men, everything. He points to the wine glass in the sink and the bottle of wine on the cabinet and cautions that her drinking and making up stories can lead to jail time in the future. He is irritated and leaves in a huff. Maisie checks her wrist and legs for marks where she was tired; there is nothing. She showers and dresses and calls off work for the day. She wants to rest. She replays it over and over in her head, looks for anything to prove it happened. After finding nothing, she wonders if she did dream it all. Several months go past, and Maisie is out with friends when she sees a missing man's reward poster. It is the man from that night, the man on her table. She decides to ignore it, no way the Sheriff would believe her anyway.