Three Suspects

JulijaBy Julija

Peace Cemetery, night.

There is an adventure unfolding here, a small group is feeling their way in the dark. Three men and two women decided to do something ‘cool’, a real ramble in an old abandoned house next to the cemetery was the first option. Rumours say that ghosts often haunt this decrepit building. Beverly suggested that this place would work, and everyone agreed.

Everywhere is gloomy and cold, hungry mice sometimes scatter across the hall. Everyone is frightened, they are holding onto one another, trying to find some comfort. Around the corner, at the end of a passage, the door of a room is opened, wind is passing through it, making a lot of creepy noises.

The group moves forward carefully, none of them wants to be the first one. And finally, a man braces up, he walks into the room. Everyone looks at him urgently. “Ahhhhh”, he shouts suddenly, then a dull sound is heard, he falls.

A dead body is lying face down on the floor, a sharp fruit knife is in his back.

The small group is shocked, people turn pale, someone else falls down, and another passes out. There is only one woman who is still calm, it’s Beverly. She takes out her phone, and calls the police.

***

Suspect No.1. Wife of the deceased.

Lucy is sitting in front of her dressing table, brushing her blond hair and looking at two piles of documents. ‘Life Insurance’, ‘Will’, two titles are burning into her eyes. She still remembers Jim’s face when he sighed the documents. He left her all his property, with no hesitation.

And now, Jim is actually dead. She finally became a rich woman.

“I should be happy because of this, right?” She muttered.

The door is opened, it’s Lucy’s mother. Lucy looks a little bit alarmed, she stands up quickly, and covers the documents with her body. At the same time, she carefully puts a bottle of sleeping pills into her pocket.

The conversation is short, Lucy’s mother just asks about her daughter’s health condition, then she goes out. The door shuts, Lucy takes a sigh of relief, leans against the wall. A tear passes down her cheek, she cries.

***

Suspect No.2. The older brother of the deceased.

Tony lives in an extremely simple, single apartment. He has a bed, a tiny bathroom, a second-hand desk, and that’s all.

Tony’s life can be described as pathetic. He is clumsy and ugly, since he went to primary school and his brother was born, his parents never paid any attention to him. Everything in his family is only about Jim, how smart he is, how great he looks, even his table manners are impeccable. Tony is jealous of him, all the time. He just can’t stop thinking of him, that perfect boy.

And now Tony is standing on the balcony which he shares with his annoying neighbour, smoking the cheapest cigarettes he can find and looking into the distance. He remembers that Jim just got married lately… Oh! And that prize, a hundred thousand pounds for his science research. A past classmate told him that, what a sarcastic thing, he needs to know his own brother’s things from a stranger. These kinds of rich and successful men always get ladies’ hearts easily and of course, they don’t need to beg their parents to come to the wedding.

“But why! Why can’t my parents love us both?! It is not my fault that I am not that perfect, I tried! I tried so hard! No.” Tony shakes his head, “it is not what I am supposed to deserve!”

He is so angry that he doesn’t even notice that his clenched hands are scalded by his cigarette.

***

Suspect No.3.  Competitor of the deceased.

Arthur is working. His table is full of reports, research and various kinds of data. He is sitting between those little ‘hills’ and typing into his old computer. Finally, he raises his head and stands up, rubbing his forehead. That was a lot of work to do. But how great it is! Arthur is looking at his work, and can’t help liking it – so many days and nights, only he knows what he sacrificed for it, this whole program is just like his child.

He is talented, and once he was respected. He was standing almost on the top of the science circle, he was reported in the newspapers. Glorious days! Arthur is missing them, missing them so much.

“Damn Jim! He took away everything from me, it is not fair.” Arthur thinks, “He and his little tricks, attractive eyes. I hate him.”

The rage starts burning him up like fire. “That prize should be mine.” His voice is cold and dreadful, “No one can take it away from me, no one! Even you, you cheater, Jim. Bribing the committee is not a good idea, is it?” He is furious. “It’s my prize, MINE!” Arthur lost control, he picks up a cup and throws it onto the floor.

***

Jim’s autopsy report just came out, he died between 20:00 and 23:00 on January 4th. That fruit knife was stabbed into his heart, it killed him in a minute.

The Police are confused, they have no idea who is the killer. All of the suspects have their own motive, but no one can find conclusive evidence that can determine who is guilty. The task force arrives at Jim’s house, a big luxurious house, trying to find some clues that they might missed last time.

Policemen are searching around the house, they try not to leave any details behind. But unfortunately, their searches are useless.

Time passes fast, the group becomes more and more disappointed. They finally intend to give up. Young officer Sherman dejectedly walks out of the house, but suddenly something stuns him. He curiously looks down at the floor. It’s a floorboard that can be opened!

Sherman squats down and lifts up that board. A box leaps out at his eyes. There are hundreds of letters and drafts hidden here, it seems like the writer writes everything several times in order to make the language and handwriting perfect.

“I love you, I love you so much. But you have to understand me, I can’t expose our relationship. I am a scientist, I am a public figure. If I fell in love with someone like you… It will ruin me, I’ll lose everything I have. But Lucy, she is my ideal girlfriend. You knew it, right? She was born into such a wealthy family, when I married her, I will give you a lot of money. I promise…”

Sherman is reading Jim’s draft. He is shocked, how can someone humiliate a girl like this? The more he reads this break up letter, the more he thinks that Jim is heartless. He picks up all those pieces of evidence, and goes back to his group.

***

Trial room, quiet.

“Where were you on the night of January 4th?”

The woman sitting opposite the officer didn’t answer him, she’s just keeping her head down, looking at her hands. She is not nervous at all, though she is questioned by the police.

Spring, rainy morning.

He was on one knee, affectionately looking at her, and he said I love you…

Summer, sunny day.

No matter that others were looking at them, he kissed her. It was her first kiss. She still remembers it: his eyes were so bright, his lips were so soft, and that feeling…

Autumn, cool afternoon.

She found out that he cheated on her, that blond rich woman, she hated him, but she forgave him…

Winter, stormy evening.

He sent her a letter, he broke her heart, deeply, it was so cold, froze her…

And finally, that night, the sky turned into the colour of blood…

“He was such a jerk.” Beverly raises her head and says that in the end.

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