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Mystery

Monica's head was throbbing horribly and loudly as she picked up all of her 90 pounds off of the floor and then fell onto her hands and knees again. Something underneath her right hand made a "crunch" that seemed to go off like a howitzer. She looked down in a daze and saw a crushed beer can that was but one among many on the carpeted floor which seemed to be spinning alternately left, then right in quick succession. It was as if the room couldn't decide which way to go.

"Just what I need," Monica said aloud pushing aside her locks of curly black hair. "an indecisive room!. Look, if you are really going to spin, make your weak mind and figure out which way!"

As if in answer, a low groan came from the other side of the room. Monica managed to focus her eyes briefly on the shape making the sound and decided that it must be... a person of some sort. The person in seemed to have long, stringy, dirty blonde hair that seemed to cover the entire face of this ... person, whomever it was.

"Monica?" it said from beneath the hair and some pillows that had just fallen, revealing beer cans and empty bags of chips on the couch. "Uughhhhhh"... it continued....

"Oh yeah" Monica said to herself. "that's my roommate, ummm... what's her name... ummmm.....

"Tiff"! said the shape.

"Yeah, that's it, Tim!"

"No" said the other she attempted to navigate to the couch, "It's Tiff. You know, short for Tiffany!"  Tiffany blew a strand of hair away from her face and revealed her grey eyes, and her soft, round face which was wearing a handlebar mustache.  She looked over at her roommate in a mixture of exasperation and simple tiredness.

"Okay, Tim!" said Monica as she crawled her way to the disheveled couch, pillows thrown all across the room. The wooden table that used to be in the middle of the room was turned on it's side and it seemed to have been placed against a door for some reason.  The ceiling fan was still turning slowly above her head causing a small breeze to move some of the debris around the cluttered room.

"Okay,...." Tiff began... "So... something happened last night, right?"

"I guess.." Monica said, turning her head around briefly. Something fell off of her head and landed softly on the beer soaked carpet. Both Tiffany and Monica stared at the object for a moment in an attempt to process what this object was and why it was on Monica's head. Tiffany felt her stomach take a slight lurch as it fell. Nothing came out of her mouth, though. She managed to breathe through the wave of nausea(or something) before speaking again.

" A hat", Tiffany said at last. She had finally found the right word. "It's a hat"

"A Pirate hat" concluded Monica. "by the way, you're wearing a moustache and a bandana. I also think that your left hand is a hook. "

"Hunh. Yeah. I guess that's why it was so hard to pull myself up... weird. I guess there was a party..."

"Yep, guess so. I have no idea. I hope it was good."

Crumple, crumple crumple.

Tiffany found that she had been sitting on a piece of paper that was the size of a notebook and retrieved it. It was a bright orange paper with black lettering and it smelled of pumpkin spice, which brought on another wave of nausea causing Tiffany to suddenly get up and run for the nearest bathroom kicking over the empty cans and chip bags. paper plates and solo cups.

Monica picked up the orange flyer and read the heading..

" Celebrate the month of Halloween with us at the Theta Sigma House 110 Peyton Ave on October 1st! Costumes optional but strongly encouraged! Food and drinks will be provided and live music!"

"Ahhhhhhh!"

"Tiff?!" Monica looked up and saw her roommate backing slowly away from something in the hallway bathroom.

"Tiff, what's going on?!" she said as she rushed over to her horrified roommate. It only took her a few steps for the scent to float into her nostrils and infect her mind with terrifying imagery. The hallway was lined with dead bodies of the party goers.

Several minutes later, the campus police and the city police arrived on the scene, taking pictures and getting witness statements. A crowd had gathered nearby. Tiffany and Monica, being the only survivors, were both in the ambulance, retching from a combination of alcohol consumption and the corpses that were found in the hallway.  

Some few hours later, the two young girls were taken down to the police station for questioning.   The two of them sat nervously in a cold, bare room with a single steel table in the middle while the investigating officers proceeded with the questioning. 

“Ladies,” the female officer said to them sternly, staring at them both with steel grey eyes. “You know, of course, that we are just beginning this investigation, so in answer to the question you want to ask is ‘no, you are not under arrest’.  You are the only ones in the house that were left alive amongst all the dead bodies we found in that house, so right now, that makes you our first witnesses to a crime!  I strongly recommend that you cooperate with us in this matter.” She put a hand on the table as she sat down at the chair opposite them.  The light revealed the lines on her long face that indicated years of hard experience. 

“But officer, we really don’t know what happened at all, I swear!” Tiff pleaded with tears running down her face.  “We had a party here last night, and yeah, there was a lot of drinking  but we don;t remember anything. Both Monica and I just blacked out totally and we barely even remember our own names”

“Oh, I believe that,” the officer remarked drily with a sniff.  

“Well,”  Monica said…” I do remember a few things… just a few.”  She coughed a bit and took another sip of water from the cup the EMT had given her earlier. 

“Go on” said the female officer, gazing at her intently from beneath the brim of her cap.   .  

“I remember being here at the house and the some of the guests arrived early for some reason”

“How early?” said the officer.

“Well I’d say about an hour earlier.  We were just prepping the party when they arrived and the musicians hadn’t even arrived yet and this bunch just arrived out of the blue    I thought maybe they were part of the band or something but… nope..”

Tiffany’s eyes widened in surprise.  “Yeah.  I don’t remember them coming in, but I thought they were a little out of place for a college party… but hey, I thought to myself, everyone needs to party sometimes, right?”

The officer’s eyes narrowed.  “What was so strange about them?”

“They were old!”, both girls exclaimed in a chorus.

“Old?  As in...what? …..

“Older than you. “, Monica chimed in.  “They looked like they had come from a senior center or something.  I thought they were lost, but they said that they had been invited to the party and showed us the flyer and then they just waltzed in carrying a keg of beer”....

The officer paused for a moment before continuing the interview.  She shook her head at them and pursed her lips and tapped her fingernails on the steel table with a long, drawn out, sigh.  “You know your story is getting stranger and stranger and also… a bit far fetched if you ask me..”

Tiffany and Monica looked at each other then back at the officer.  Tiffany wiped away a tear from her right cheek.  “We’re telling the truth!  We’re telling you everything we know!”

Tapping her right foot, the officer looked down again and shook her head

“Okay, so what happened to these ‘old people’?

“We don’t know. The band came in shortly after that and we were helping them get set up.  Then some of our sisters returned from their classes.  We lost track of the older people and we had just forgotten where they had gone.  “

“We assumed that they left before the party started”, Monica offered. 

“What about the victims in the hallway?, Did you know any of them?”

Tiffany and Monica both shook their heads. Neither of them really wanted to be reminded of the image of what they had found in the hallway, but they wanted to cooperate fully.  

“Actually, that’s odd too..” Tiffany said as she turned to Monica. “You know, I don’t think I remember any of them.  I have never seen any of them on campus at all.  The could be gate crashers…”  

Just then, the door to the hallway opened and a report was handed to the officer.  She stood there silently as she gave the report a first reading.  After a moment, she sat down….and looked at the two girls.

“Girls, you are free to go now., but I think I might have more questions later for you, so I might be coming by again.”

Tiffany breathed a sigh of relief as she stood up; Monica, however remained seated and asked..”What happened, Officer?” 

The officer looked at her briefly before looking back down at the old, brown folder on the table.  “This was a preliminary autopsy report for one of the victims.”

“Oh.. what does it say?”

“Oh the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest”, but that’s not what’s so interesting…”

Tiffany looked down at the folder as well and waited for an answer from the officer..

“What’s interesting about it is that this autopsy report on the victim is over 50 years old!”

May 12, 2021 19:07

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