House of Sleep Part 2

Maggie enters the art room, and finds a light haired man standing by the cabinet of keys. “Who are you? And how did you get in here?” She asked.

The man turns to her, his eyes a sapphire blue, captivate her. “I’m Jackson Winston.” He said. He continues to search for a specific key.

“Jackson Winston. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the name before. And…how exactly did you get in here?” She asked.

He shuts the cabinet door. I’m the groundskeeper miss. I’ve been watching the place for five years.” He said.

“Grounds Keeper. I have to say looking at the place you’ve done a splendid job. I’ve never seen anything so horrific in my life.” She said.

Jackson chuckles and walks over to the liquor cabinet and pours himself and Maggie a glass of Cinnamon liquor. He hands her the crystal wine glass. “I believe you just need to relax, miss.” He said.

Maggie raises her wine glass to his. “You know rich people don’t usually drink liquor in wine glasses? I assume you’re not rich.” She said.

Jackson laughs. “Boy, you don’t give a man a break do you? “I’m not just the groundskeeper. I own this place. I can do what I want, when I want, and who are you to tell me what to do? I should be asking you, what are you doing in my mansion?” He raises his glass to Maggie.

“Cheers!” He said.

Maggie doesn’t know what to think. She refuses to be cheerful with a complete stranger. “This can’t be. You’re mistaken.” She slugs down the cinnamon liquor. “This was my father’s estate.” She said. She pours some more cinnamon liquor.

Jackson takes the bottle away from her. “I suppose there are no mistakes. Everything happens for a reason.” He places the bottle back into the liquor cabinet. “You don’t remember do you?” He asked.

Jackson glances over to the paintings on the four walls of the room. Studies them, the cello, the naked women, bare, depressed, a shy woman that hides from the world.

He points to the painting with his finger. “This woman here, she’s poetic, self-absorbed, lost in her own world.” He said. “This woman is you.”

Maggie is scared a bit, her rawness does show in the painting. The painting was done when she was 18 years old. Now she’s 38, and it seems like a different life.

“The painting was a gift for my father. My friend Zander painted it on the beach, we were young. Zander was attending an art class in France, and came to stay at the mansion for the summer.” She said.

Maggie rubs the back of her neck, this all makes her nervous. Zanders part of her past. Not her present. “I rather not talk about Zander, Mr. Winston. That part of my life is over.” She said.

Jackson chuckles, moves his way across the room and observes each painting for a few minutes. “I’m an artist. Just like my father. We’ve traveled the world. “I can’t blame you. Our past is always hiding something. What are you hiding?” he said. “And you never mentioned your name, but I’ll take a guess. Maggie Bernstein.”

This surprised Maggie. The man acts like he knows her, but she can’t remember anything about a Jackson Winston. And her husband or father never told her anything about the Estate being sold.

“Maybe I better call the police, Mr. Winston. There seems to be a bit of confusion here. This was my father’s estate. I don’t have any clue who you are.” She said.

“Please, do call the police. I’m sure they will clear things up for you. The police don’t threaten me.” He said. He swallows the rest of his cinnamon liquor. “I’ll be out back working on some things when they get here. Please excuse me.”

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