Invisible Woman (Day 2)
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
(Explicit Content Warning)
Mary gripped the steering wheel tightly, staring as hard as she could at the road as rain gave the earth a malicious beating. It had been a long day at the office and exhaustion threatened to consume her. She blinked the tiredness away for what felt like the hundredth time and turned up the radio, singing along to a familiar song that she didn’t quite know the lyrics to. She nodded her head to the beat and her damp hair whipped her rosy cheeks.
Several grueling miles of twilit country later, she pulled off the main road and splashed down into her small quaint neighborhood. She could already feel the warmth of home, and her excitement at seeing her husband and children helped a little with the tiredness. She rounded the last turn and saw her house up ahead, glowing brilliantly in the torrential rain. And there was a car in the driveway. It certainly wasn’t her husband’s. He kept his car in the garage, as did she. But there it was, an unfamiliar car parked in her driveway. She frowned to herself. After such a long day, she doubted that she had the energy for guests. All she wanted to do was hop into a hot shower.
Pulling into the driveway alongside the visitor’s car, Mary clicked the garage door opener button clipped to her sun visor. The door didn’t open. She clicked it again. Same result. Sighing, she turned off the car, grabbed her bag, and stepped out into the downpour.
She glided quickly up the sidewalk and made to open the door. It was locked. She gave three sharp knocks. KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK. And waited.
A man wearing a red velvet bathrobe opened the door and looked at her quizzically, but politely. “May I help you?”
“Uh, yes. Hi, I’m Mary. I’m not sure we’ve had a chance to meet.” Mary tried to maintain a polite tone but was already feeling a twinge of annoyance at being kept out of her house by someone she’d never met before. “You are?”
“Tony.” He spoke matter of factly and opened the door a little wider, but he still blocked the threshold completely, as he was quite rotund.
“Hi, Tony. Might we continue this conversation inside? I’m getting very wet out here.” Mary said, her annoyance growing by the second.
“Um… Forgive me, but are you looking for someone in particular? My husband is here, perhaps you know him?” Tony was looking thoroughly confused and glanced over his shoulder, unsure of what to do next.
“Nope, I’m Henry’s wife.”
“Henry who?” Tony inquired.
“Look, Tony. I’m very wet, I’m very tired, and I would really love it if you’d step aside and let me into my house.”
“Uhh... Um…” Tony stumbled over a series of confused sounds and glanced over his shoulder again.
“Excuse me.” Mary pushed past Tony and he immediately stepped aside to let her by.
“Hey, Ben?” Tony called out, doing his best to disguise the fear in his voice.
Mary stopped dead at the sight of her living room. All of her furniture was gone. Her lovely cloth sofa had been replaced with an uncomfortable-looking leather one. Her antique mahogany coffee table had been replaced with one made of glass. Everything was wrong. All wrong.
Mary took a step backward and bumped into Tony’s large stomach. She instinctively jumped aside and turned to face him once more. She looked into his wide eyes as she spoke, but she wasn’t talking to him. “Henry?!”
It was at this moment that another man entered the room, a slight frown on his face. He looked at Tony who shook his head and gestured urgently with a tilt of the head, his eyes quite wide.
“Look, Ma’am… There’s no Henry here, and it’s very late. I think you might have the wrong house?” Tony’s voice quavered a little.
Facing two large men standing steadfast in her living room, looking at her apprehensively, Mary sprung into action and dashed off down the hall. Her wet boots squeaked on her polished pine floorboards, and she slid to a stop in front of her bedroom. Flinging open the door, her worst fears were confirmed. Her bed was gone, the one in front of her now was larger and raised on a rustic log bed frame. Even the collage of watercolor paintings that her children had made for her no longer hung on the far wall. Nothing was as she’d left it.
“Ma’am? I’m afraid we’re going to have to call the police.” She heard what must’ve been Ben’s raised voice call to her. There was a moment of silence as Mary stared into her bedroom at a complete loss. “We’re calling.”
Without another word, Mary turned and ran back down the hall and to the foot of the stairs. She ascended as quickly as she could, weighed down by her sopping clothes that flapped loosely around her body. Throwing open the doors of her two children’s rooms, she discovered to her horror that both were almost entirely empty. Only a couple small stacks of cardboard boxes sat in the corner of each room.
Mary called out to her children again and then to her husband, hoping against hope that she’d hear a response, but none came. A sudden wave of nausea swept over her and she staggered, leaning against the wall for support. Catching her breath, she racked her mind for ideas of what to do next. Finding no other option, she ran down the stairs, past Tony and Ben who were on the phone, across the living room to the front door, and back out into the rain, stopping only when she was safely in her car with the doors locked.
She whipped her phone out, and with shaking fingers, dialed her husband's number, only to be greeted by an automated voice that informed her that the number she had dialed was no longer in use. Her ears were ringing as she started the car, backed down the driveway, and sped away from her house. She would go to Esther’s. She thought. Yes. Esther would know what to do.
Only a minute or two later, Mary was standing on the front step of Esther’s house and rapping frantically on the door.
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
No one answered so she tried again, pounding on the door even harder.
KNOCK!! KNOCK!! KNOCK!!
The door cracked open just enough for an elderly man to poke his tiny head out. Upon seeing his face, Mary let out an inadvertent yelp and ran back to her car.
Fifteen minutes later, Mary saw the flashing red and blue lights and looked down at the speedometer which displayed a speed she’d never gone before. Pulling over to the side of the road, the tears began to fall. She sat there crying quietly and massaging her head absently with her hands, while she waited for the officer. Maybe he could help?
The officer stepped up to her window and tapped it with his flashlight. Mary rolled the window down and tried to say something, but burst into more uncontrollably desperate sobs instead.
“Do you know why I pulled you over little lady?” The officer spoke with a voice as cold as the rain now coming in through the window.
“Y-yes.” Mary stuttered through her sobs.
“And why’s that”
“I was sp-speeding.”
“A hundred and two.” Mary didn’t say anything but tried to take some deep breaths to calm down. She just had to tell the officer what was going on. He would listen and help her somehow, but she had to tell him.
“License and registration please.”
“L-look, officer? I was actually on my w-way to the police station.”
“R-really.” The officer mocked.
“I don’t know what happened, but my family is gone,” Mary spoke firmly this time, the words coming faster and easier. “I don’t know where they went. Is there any way you can help me find them, or do I need to find another police officer who will help me?” “License and registration.” The officer had an edge to his voice that suggested rising enjoyment.
“You’re not listening to me!” Mary shouted. “I’ll give you my license and registration once you tell me how I can find my family! I need help!” “Yep, you need help alright.” The officer chuckled to himself. “Step out of the vehicle please.”
“No! No... wait. I have my driver’s license right here.” Mary frantically rifled through the contents of her bag and located her license. She handed it to the officer, feeling a dangerous combination of panic and rage now replacing the fear in her chest.
The officer took the license and shone his flashlight at it, then at Mary, then back at the card. He looked at her with a mixture of amusement and apprehension. “Miss, is this your license.”
He held it out to her and she grabbed it. Staring back at her from the little frame on the card was a man she’d never seen before. Below the photo was the name, Gerald Owens.
“No, I don’t know whose that is. I have mine here somewhere.” Mary dug through her bag once more, but the pocket that normally housed her driver’s license was empty because she’d taken the other license from it.
The officer peered over into her bag. “Ma’am, is that a passport I see?”
Relieved, Mary took out her passport and handed it to the officer who took one look at the identification page and laughed a cruel humorous laugh. “Well… Gerald Owens. Please step out of the vehicle.” “Wait! No…”
“Step. Out. Of the vehicle.” The officer was still grinning slightly as he observed the highly entertaining spectacle before him.
Mary exited the vehicle, her whole body shaking with rage, and leaned against its cold surface as she felt the handcuffs clicking into place around her wrists. The officer was reading her her rights, but she wasn’t listening. All she could think about was her family, who for all she knew was in danger and she was wasting precious time getting arrested. The tears began to fall once more, but she set her face in a calm and collected expression that couldn’t have been more false.
As the officer led her back to the police car, she saw another officer in the passenger’s seat who refused to make eye contact with her as she approached. The officer opened the back door and shoved her head down to clear the lip, and then let his hand slide down to her shoulder and then her chest, making no effort to hide the fact that he was caressing her breast. Mary sat there quivering with barely suppressed rage, staring straight ahead, her jaw clenched shut, willing herself to not attack the officer. She might’ve been able to take him, but there was another one in the passenger seat who could easily shoot her. Being shot was not productive when all she had to do was get through this as quickly as possible and go find her family.
The two officers held an enthusiastic conversation in the front seat, but Mary didn’t hear a word. She continued to stare straight ahead and take deep breaths as her mind churned away analyzing the success rate of a million different scenarios. Feeling a prickle on her scalp, she reached up to scratch it. But she couldn’t. She no longer had an arm.
Horrified, she scrambled to the other side of the car as if to escape from her lack of an arm. But even once she was on the other side of the seat, it was still gone. She reached around with her other hand and felt around where her arm should’ve been. All that was left was a slight stump protruding from her shoulder. She tried to scream, but no sound escaped her mouth because it wasn’t there. She looked down and saw that she now only had one leg, the other was gone, taking with it the whole of her left pant leg. In a matter of moments, her other arm and leg vanished as well, taking all clothing with it. Then her torso slowly disappeared, but her head was still there. Floating in mid-air right where it had been before. Mary stared in terror and awe at her reflection in the rain-spattered window as her head slowly faded away.
And right before she disappeared completely into a void of blackness, she heard the officer who’d arrested her complain that even after years of being a cop, he’d still not gotten to arrest anyone.