Mystery Thriller

Picking up my books and heading through the classroom door of my last class of the day, Greek, I venture into the quiet hallway. The hallways of Buchan University are depressingly quiet and the thud of books and far-off footsteps seem hushed, as if not to disturb some monster or demon. Dust is suspended in the air and fickle sunlight filters through the windows on the end of the hall. It is past 4PM and the other students are either back in their dormitories or in town, getting drunk and meeting with friends.

A cold chill hangs in the air as I exit the building, but this didn’t surprise me as it was fall and mist from the water below hung thick in the air. My breath comes out in white plumes and the crisp air bites at my fingertips and nose. Pulling my trench coat closer around my shivering frame, I try to warm myself and not to slip over any rocks as I squint to see around me. 

Buchan University is an esteemed art school, with various liberal and creative arts programs. Only the smartest (and those who could afford it) were allowed into its secluded corridors. The University was tucked away onto a hill in the Scottish countryside overlooking a crashing sea below. 

The days after the incident had been unusually dark and drab and everyone around school spared a condescending glance whenever I walked past them. Whispers rattled off the hallways and snickers could be heard from every corner. 

Thomas had been my best friend. Smart and athletic and had a charm that attracted people to him. My name was, “Thomas’s best friend” or “Thomas’s annoying friend” depending on who you asked. It was a blessing and a curse to have Thomas as a friend. He protected me, but I was always his lesser, like a shadow that went everywhere with him and who worshiped everything he said. But I loved him and to be by his side was enough for me.

I hadn’t noticed that the papers in my hand were now being clenched so tightly that my knuckles turned white and my nails dug into my skin. Fuck him. He deserved what came to him. It was better that way--for me, for Victor.

Turning out the University gates, I headed down to the town. I needed a drink. The little pubs in the village were usually crammed with Buchan University students and a warm fire would be going. The Buchan University students usually avoided the Small Bell Pub because it was here the Dubois University students (science students) frequented (Buchan University students had a soft spot for The Bee Pub).

Buchan University students were put simply--misfits. Heavily influenced by the arts and mostly shut off from the outside world, due to the heavy workload the University had grown into nothing short of a cult. A highly educated cult but dangerous none-the-less.

The cold air whips my trench coat around me, and at this point I can't even feel my nose. My senses tingle with anticipation as I can already feel the scotch, buttery and smooth sliding down my throat. The scotch at The Bee Pub was strong and it did its job, to make me forget--to make me numb.

Thomas asked too many questions. That was his vice. He, like the main actor in every movie needed to know and to understand and he prodded and prodded and prodded. He was stupid and so, so relentless. He just had one more semester to get through, then he could rid himself of this place. This horrid hole, in which the best are thrown in, the strongest, the wisest, but are spit out back with a degree and a broken mind. He knew too much about what they did, who they harmed, who they killed. But now he would never graduate.

As I enter The Bee Pub, I pull out a chair and place my books and papers on it. The place is packed with students, not surprising as it is a Friday. I go to order a Scotch, and as I bring it back to my table I see the silhouette of someone just standing out in the street, staring through the glass window. 

My breath hitches in my throat and I blink my eyes. Gone. Dragging a hand over my face, I convince myself that I’m just tired and that it has been a long week and I just need to head back to my dorm and sleep it off. 

Taking a sip from my glass, the liquid burns down my throat, but does little to soothe my heightened paranoia. Thomas was just there. I knew I saw him.

Four hours later, mind soaring and all senses practically useless, I staggered out of the pub, my head ringing and my vision blurred from the numerous glasses of scotch and vodka I had downed. I fumbled through my bag for my phone. The wind was picking up, and I soon found myself being thrown around like a rag doll in the chilly night air. I needed to call Victor and ask him to pick me up. 

Victor and Thomas and me, Oliver, we were the best of friends..well for the most part that is. We were such a mess of personalities, but somehow we made it work. Think something like The Three Musketeers. Victor was tall and brown-skinned with hazel eyes and unruly black hair and an ego too big for him to handle. Loud-mouthed with a mischievous grin, he was extremely smart--no that wasn’t the word, cunning, cunning, that was it. He was cruel too. Very, very cruel. 

Thomas on the other hand was fair-skinned with serpent green eyes and thick curly blond hair. Everyone said he looked like a Disney prince and all the girls; and even some of the boys were head over heels for him. I wasn’t exempt from his boyish charm and good-looks. 

I, on the other hand, was remarkably quiet and for an Liberal arts student, this was rare. I had a small frame and my clothing tended to swallow me. My gray eyes were almost always masked by glasses and I was prone to freckles. I had sandy blond hair and Thomas would always tussle it whenever he passed by me. Victor on the other hand, would give me a back slap as a greeting and would send me flying forward.

What happened in our fourth year had taken our friendship and had slashed away every good piece of it until all that was left was the ugly carcass. All our faults and vices and all the little parts of each other we furtively despised were now exposed.

Victor had been part of a fraternity, but as Thomas liked to say, "Frats are cults until proven otherwise". This "frat" needed sacrifices. Small ones at first, a chicken, then goats, then well, human flesh. "The Girl", was what Victor called her. She had become infatuated with Victor and Victor used her. Initiated her into the cult and then.....

How Thomas came to know of this, I do not know. Thomas was smart, he picked up on the smallest things. Victor’s sleep-talking, the blood on Victor's shoes (which he later burnt), and the fact that Victor cried when the police came to interrogate him about her death.

Victor never cried.

Victor knew Thomas knew, he wasn’t stupid. I knew too, but I cared less about the girl than what Victor would do to me if I tattled. Victor wasn’t worried about me saying anything, but it was Thomas he was worried about. Thomas was good. He was fair and this, Victor knew, would put him in jail and get him expelled from his beloved school. 

Something had to be done.

My fingers were numb as I pulled my phone out. I tried to turn it on, but it wouldn’t let me. Cursing under my breath, I debate going back to the pub and asking someone to use their phone. God no, that wouldn’t work… Everyone would stare at me funny and then by morning the rumors that had started to subside would rise up again.

I would have to walk home. This, I wasn’t worried about. At night, there were hardly any cars on the road, especially on such a bitter night as this.

I stumble towards the University, the wind lashing at my face, making tears well in my eyes. I see the gates of the University, tall and foreboding and as I push through it, I see two figures standing on the cliff’s edge. Their figures are blurred at the edge, as if someone had taken a picture with a camera, but had forgotten to check if it was focused first.

Because of the frigid air, my senses sharpen and I can see everything clearly. Too clearly. 

No, no, no, NO, NO.

NOT AGAIN. The warning bells in my head go off and I try to will myself to look away and walk away from what is about to happen. As if in a trance, my feet make their way towards the two people on the hill. I try to speak, to scream, to do anything. But I can’t, I mustn't. He has to go. He must die. 

I am now standing two feet away from the persons perched on the edge of the cliff. Below them, the water crashes against the ugly jagged tooth rocks. The ocean churns with anticipation at what is about to happen.

Victor’s hand is on Thomas’s shoulder. Thomas says something and Victor laughs. A mirthless laugh, drained of any humor and humanity. Thomas’s body tenses at this and he turns around and faces Victor. He’s nervous, but he tries to mask this and tries to push past Victor, as if he knows what is about to happen. He looks past Victor's shoulders and stares past me and at someone behind me.

“Oliver, please! Tell him! I don’t know anything, I won’t say anything, please, please, please!” Thomas begins pleading and staring through me, except I can’t do anything. This is the millionth time I am experiencing this horrible dream. This lucid dream. I turn and see me, just standing there, tears streaming down my face. My bottom lip tucked between my teeth and eyes cast downward as if my doing this, I would become invisible.

Victor shakes his head and pushes Thomas off the cliff. His arms flail as he falls backward, a bone-chilling scream erupts from him, then becomes muffled by the winds and the ocean. 

I snap awake. My breath comes out of me in short, erratic breaths. My forehead is soaked with sweat and my sheets are thrown everywhere. Five years, it’s been five years and I still can’t shake these nightmares. What happened at Buchan University--what happened to Thomas. I was there, I could have helped.

The back of my throat tugs and I fight the overwhelming urge to cry. I check the date-- the 15th of December. Thomas’s birthday. My vision starts to blur and slowly, tears trickle down my face and plop on my arms. I am hunched over in bed and I hold myself as sobs rack through my body. 

He didn’t deserve to die. 

July 31, 2020 18:40

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Corey Melin
22:36 Aug 05, 2020

Very well done story. Kept you reading all the way through with the suspense and the imagery. Superb!


A.d Bunni
16:45 Aug 06, 2020

Wow thank you so much!! This was a fun one to write :)


Corey Melin
16:52 Aug 06, 2020

When a story is fun, exciting, and passionate for a writer that is when your creative juices are at its best. Keep up the awesome writing!


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