Nooses and Knots

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


Mr. Marcela may be rich, but he's willing to abuse his silver spoon fortune and power at every turn. In this story, the reader learns of the maid Cynthia's struggle to serve Mr. Marcela and his
demands.

Submitted: February 28, 2018

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Submitted: February 28, 2018

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“Is this good?”

Mr. Marcela shakes his head.  “A little more to the right.”
She takes hold of the frame tight in her hands and shifts it ever so slightly towards her superior.  “How about now?”He purses his lips together tightly.  “Better.”  And with that, he shakes his head again.  “But not perfect.”

She frowns, taking a deep breath.  It was only half past eight, and Cynthia had already cleaned the house and framed several new paintings her boss had ordered.  But just as she was hanging the last of them, Mr. Marcela spotted her.  They were not to his liking.

“Margaret is coming tonight.  They have to be better.”  His new girlfriend, Margaret, was an aspiring model. 

Cynthia nods, rushing over to the other side of the painting.  The skin on her fingers is hardened, even though she is young.  A cut is visible on her knuckle, one she obtained from a screw on the back of the frame.

One of many.

Ever since he’d inherited the company, Mr. Marcela didn’t stop to think of those around him.  Instead, he digs the toe of his Salvatore Ferragamo loafer into the rug.  Cynthia nearly winces seeing him do so – it’s her job to shine them each day.

It was also her job to maintain his schedule.  “Are you heading to work, sir?”

“No.” He glares at her.  “Not today.”

She nods slowly. 

“I think I’ll have a nap.”  He turns around, heading back towards his bedroom door.  “Don’t wake me.”

She never would.  “Then why did I press your suit?” She mutters quietly as the door shuts behind him.

And she is alone.  A slave to the mansion.

She doesn’t appreciate the way he shoved his responsibilities onto her back, but it was in her blood.  Her first memories were of her mother, crumbling under the similarly heavy hand of an egotistical millionaire.

A baby’s cries throw her out of her daze.  His son.  His wife had left when she found out about one of his many mistresses, but Mr. Marcela’s lawyers had gotten him custody.

In entering the baby’s room, Cynthia tries to console him.  But his cries ring through the room, failing to cease.

The nanny, the one that Mr. Marcela always smiled at, hadn’t shown up for the day.  Perhaps that was the cause of his bad mood.

Turning to look in mirrors, even she sees a blurry face, one of the only women that Mr. Marcela doesn’t lay his eyes on.  Both physically and emotionally, she is unrecognized in this house.

But as she feeds the baby, its coughs startle her out of her daze once again.  She is sleepy, but not tired enough to be completely unaware.  So she pats his back, laying him back down into the crib. 

And as she goes back to fixing the final painting, she becomes aware of one true fact that she had never accepted before. If she had the chance, she would leave.  But she doesn’t have the power to.

She looks down at the tattered sleeve of her uniform.  The shirt had been expensive – that’s why she’d only bought one.  There are dollar signs on every door she encounters, and everyone she’s ever met is accustomed to chasing them.  This had been the only door she could afford.

Everyone is the same.  Even she is in it for herself.

The baby’s coughs echo through the hallway.  As she re-enters his room, a knot forms in the pit of her stomach.  She is unsure how to proceed, for she is not a caregiver, someone who can live up to such responsibilities.  Still, she would be fired if she ignored the baby, and she would be scolded if she woke Mr. Marcela.  Winning was out of the question.

And as she reaches over to hold the baby closer, the thought flashes across her mind.  Centuries have told the same story: while times may change, the one with power always enslaves the weak.

It is the small successes that keep her working.  As she rocks the baby back and forth, he finally falls asleep in her arms.  She’s no caretaker, but for the time being, she has fulfilled her responsibilities.

She hopes that the world may one day evolve to accommodate everyone.  But this is what her life has, does, and always will consist of.  For her, there’s no escape.

And so, she moves on to her next task with her shoulders held high, for slouching would only tighten the noose around her neck.


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