Saturday, 17 May 2008

Murder on Campus

P.S. My new band name for my story is Equation F.I.S.H.

It was in the middle of the night. A lone guard patroled the hallways of the dorms, keeping a lookout for any suspiscious beings. Satisfied everything was quiet, the night patrol turned around a corner and continued his rounds.

Two minutes later, a head poked out of one of the blue doors. Marie Johnson looked out, carrying something bulky under her arm, and stepped out stealthily, closing the door behind her. Quietly, she made her way several doors down the hall under she reached a white door.

Marie smiled and entered, shutting the door as she turned on the lights and found herself looking at the rows of washing machines lined up against the walls. She placed the basket of dirty laundry on the floor, picked a machine at random and started pilling her clothes in without looking. She needed to wash her clothes for some time, and if she didn't do it tonight, she wouldn't have any clothes to wear.

When the basket was empty, Marie hesitated, pausing awhile before removing her pyjamas as well. Hey, it was her fourth time in them. So what if she dislike doing laundry? Clad only in her bra and panties, she stuffed them inside as well and turned the machine on.

She waited for the rhythmic whirl of the machine, but it never came. Frowning, Marie checked the power supply. It looked alright to her. She checked the water supply next. It was pouring into the machine. So what's the problem?

Eyes widening, Marie watched as the white soap suds turned pink, and then red. She shivered. The seniors in college were talking about a guy who'd killed himself in the campus grounds the other day, and they were making stories on how his ghost walked the campus every night. This couldn't be happening to her, could it?

Bracing herself, Marie opened the machine door, and stuck her hand inside. Feeling around, her hand made contact with what she thought was her angora sweater. She caught hold of it and pulled it out.

Glancing down at her hand, Marie screamed in horror at the sight of her best friend's decapitated head in her palm, and she fainted promptly without another word.

'And that's all for today. Thank you very much for attending my seminar.' Adel van Gideon flushed brightly as she took a bow amidst clapping. She was a famous psychiatrist who specialized in cases concerning teenagers and college students, and many were present at the seminar where she talked about ways of determining the different moods and expressions her patients gave her, and how to treat them.

There was a loud scraping against the floor as chairs were pushed back. The participents left the auditorium as Adel started packing up her notes and files. She glanced up briefly, and saw two men in black suits standing in the entrance of the doorway.

'Dr. van Gideon?' the taller of the two asked. She raised an eyebrow. 'Yes. And you are...?'

'I'm Detective Mercer,' the first one flipped a FBI ID card at her. His partner did the same. 'This is Detective Greene. We're from the Crime Scene Unit.'

Now Adel was curious. 'How may I help you, Detectives?' she leaned against the table.

Both of them exchanged looks, and Greene finally spoke up. 'How well do you know Carly Davidson?'

'She suffered from blunt force trauma,' the medical examinator, a young woman with a slight accent, spoke as she studied the head in the laundry room. She did not seem fazed by the body, or lack of one. 'She was hit several times, but it wasn't enough to kill her. The murderer probably hit her to knock her out before chopping her up into pieces.' She glanced up as Adel walked in. 'So you're the shrink.'

'Yeah.' Adel was accompanied by Greene and Mercer to Harlan College, where Adel worked as the resident counseller. She shook her head at Carly's dead one. 'Poor girl. I knew her well. She was one of my cases. A boy broke her heart. She was so sweet. Everyone likes her.' She looked around. 'Who discovered the body?'

Detective Mercer glanced at his notes. 'Her good friend, Marie Saunders. She was doing her laundry in the middle of the night when the machine wasn't working.' He threw a look at Marie, who was sobbing on the shoulder of one of the lecturers. 'She's obviously distraught.'

Adel snorted. 'Obviously.'

Greene steered them back to the topic. 'Anyway, we've already interviewed Marie. It seems that Carly Davidson isn't that well liked by everyone on campus. She's been known to stab people in the back, or so Marie says. That's apparently why her boyfriend, Lance Frederick, broke up with her. But she kept hanging on after him, going as far as insulting Lance's parents who forbade her from reconciling with their son.'

Mercer shook his head. 'Young love. Suspect number one.' He flipped another page on his notebook. 'Suspect number two. Juliette Keynes. Journalism and psych major, with a minor in photography.'

'Juliette Keynes?' Adel raised an eyebrow. 'Juliette Keynes is a top student here at Harlan College. From what I heard, she's one hell of a girl. A master in fencing, martial arts, English lit and God knows what else, she's basically Elektra and Elizabeth Bennet combined.' She gave a low whistle. 'I tell you, you do not want to mess with this girl.'

Mercer snorted. 'Yeah, well, Juliette's the only rival Carly has in the fencing competition this Friday. None of the others are at their standard. Killing Carly would pave the way to success for Juliette. Besides,' he gave a grin. 'Prize money's worth a ten-grand scholarship at St. Andrews.'

Greene whistled. 'That's a lot of money.'

'Yes,' Adel said quietly. 'The price for murder.'

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