TITLE: The Twitter Affair
GENRE: Women's Fiction
If Maisy Parker was anyone, she was the girl in the horror movie. What remained to be seen was whether she was the sacrificial girl-lamb, throat slit; blood, red and fake, staining her short shorts or the girl who survives, torn, bruised, both more and less certain of her strength. When Maisy closed her eyes in the darkness and allowed the movie to play behind the protective screen of her eyelids, she was younger than the calendar-fast spread of days which had deposited her in her thirty-sixth year. She was babysitter young. More than that, she was the actual babysitter, fifteen, possibly sixteen, left alone and unprotected. Charged with guarding other people’s children.
The children are unimportant to the story, a subterfuge used to strand her in a dark house. The movie starts the moment she whispers goodnight to the small forms, eyes heavy and sleep-drunk, bodies almost indistinguishable underneath cotton candy duvets. She pulls their door shut and it snicks tight where metal conjoins with wood. The silence of the empty house hangs heavy in the air as she descends the stairs leading to the textbook Pottery Barn perfection of the living room. The noiselessness, the complete absence of sound is like a substance, the secret ingredient in a magic potion, something to be mixed in a beaker then sipped from a cup.
Maisy moves through the stillness like an invited cat burglar, foot-light, without a sound. She slinks around the coffee table, her hot-pink Hello Kitty claws curled up in tight little fists.