I remembered a bit of Russian from my Russian performance a few years back, which turned out to be a good thing. Kaiti, the woman who runs the Laundromat, only spoke Russian. I’m not even sure why she hired me if we wouldn't be able to properly communicate.
When she hired me to help her clean. I almost told her that I only knew how to clean instruments, but something gave me the impression that she already knew that.
My third day working for her I found the invitation on the floor of my apartment. I was leaning towards locking myself in my apartment and frankly not going.
"An invitation to a murder mystery party. Who would go to a party like that?" I mumbled to myself as I pushed the mop forward on the tile floor.
Kaiti glared at the floor. "I don't need _____ my ______ boy. This ___ isn't a black _______. Don't work so hard."
I stared at her, processing what she'd said, and nodded when I thought I understood. I relaxed my hands on the mop.
"And you ____ like____. I know_____ you don't ______. I _____ you go to _______ Michael. It _____ good for you_____ people."
I narrowed my eyes staring at the floor. Not understanding, I simply nodded and continued working.
Remembering Kaiti's statement, when I got back to the apartment, I turned on my computer. After the internet had spat back the translation of Kaiti’s words, I made up my mind. I was going to the party.
'You look like a vampire. I know you don't ever get out. I say that you go to the mysterious party, Michael. It would be good for you to see people.'
I laughed the entire time that I wrote my RSVP.
I glanced around the table, eyeing the food placed in front of me. Black tie affair in a storage closet? The boxes piled up against the wall were such a strong contrast to the formal dining table, I wasn't sure any of it was real.
I shifted in my seat and studied the people who had come. A few people were acting out what they thought was meant to be happening.
When was this going to actually start? I checked my watch. 9:30. This event was supposed to start at seven.
A low toned bell sounded in the distance, and I jerked my head up. A church bell had never rung in this city as long as I'd been there.
No one else seemed bothered by the unknown music, and I knew exactly why. Standing, pushing my chair back, I moved towards the door. I wasn't going to stay here any longer. This wasn't going to be a play murder.
The lights shut off. I froze. Someone screamed.
The lights came back on.
The ring master's partner was lying face down in a bowl of soup.
"Do something, you're a doctor."
"I'm not an-."
I tuned them out, as someone checked the pulse of the man.
The bells had stopped ringing. I mouthed the words before anyone said them out loud.