Six days after Party Day
July 17th, 11:00 a.m
Ellie McClellan was fishing below us, hanging out by the bend in the river with the deepest mud and the biggest trout, with nothing but a handmade rusty fishing pole and a big mouth when she overheard me say to Jake Miller on the bridge that I had nothing to do with the murder of his girlfriend, Maggie Williams, who had dissapeared six days ago on Party Day and reappeared three days later on the edge of BlueBell Bay when it was too late.
I had punched that Jake square on the nose and a part of me was happy to as I felt the stinging of my knuckles and saw the color of cherries start flowing from his fingers, flying up to his dumb conk faster than a bullet as he stumbled back.
Maggie Williams was gone and I told him just because I was at that party where she dissapeared from it doesn't mean I'm a murderer. Jake Miller said I was a dirty lier and he saw me with her. I was jealous or soemthing so I murdered her.
Ellie McClellan knows what I said to him about the only dirty lier here was dumb Jake Miller. I said it that way too- "You're dumb, Jake Miller-" just like a little kid, "-You don't know who else to accuse so you go off onto me about Mags. She and I had nothing to do with each other and now you think I knew her well enough to murder her and leave her on the shore of the bay."
He was at the party, too. Maybe it was him.
I punched Jake on the bridge, right above that fishin', muddy Ellie McClellan and her big mouth listening to every word. Every dumb word.
I punched Jake the night Maggie Williams dissapeared, too.
Six days ago. July 11th, 11:00 p.m
Maggie Williams complained of a terrible stomachache and stupid Jake Miller was off in the corner when her and her pretty red dress stumbled around the other corner of Magnolia Morland's fancy wooden banister of her fancy little house.
The fancy, stupid little house where the party happened. The party that got Maggie Williams murdered and me accused of murder and fishin' Ellie McClellan in trouble for eavsdropping on a conversation full of lies on the bridge.
I knew what Jake Miller was doin'. Jessica Bloom was in the same dang corner. Maggie Williams was away in the bathroom. I was in a different corner, but alone, for a good reason. Company often alluded me.
I went right up to Jake and punched him in the gut so he couldn't breathe because if he had been punched in the stomach and couldn't breath that means he couldn't be doing stuff in a corner with Jessica Bloom and he wouldn't be ignoring the fact that I used to love him and he had a girlfriend. Because though he ignored me for her she was still a real person who was better than Jessica Bloom.
The lights were going crazy and Randy Hollander though it was genius to go under Sherriff Jackson's nose and bring a flask in. Shiny and silver and stupid and definetly not Sobering.
This whole town was stupid that party night.
Stupid enough to get Maggie Williams murdered and me accused of murder and Ellie McClellan in trouble in a sort of way for eavsdroppin' and Randy Holland the reason half of that party was dog-gone drunk and couln't remember the tall person who escorted that pretty red dressed Maggie Williams out of the door.
The tall person I had followed out of the party as well, with drunk Randy and cheatin' Jake and stupid whatever Jessica Bloom behind me.
It really could have been any of us who left Mags on the shore of BlueBell Bay.
Three days before July 17th, Three days after Party Day.
Sherriff Jackson was called in urgently from his hunting trip he was on with his brother, who lived down in a river house by the Mississippi and couldn't come down over here often.
It took him an hour to get back. An hour after Jessica Bloom found Maggie on the shore of the bay.
Anything can happen in an hour.
Eavsdropping Ellie McClellan was down on the lake by BlueBell Bay before Mags was found and, also, Sherriff Jackson talks loud.
I don't like the fact that she was there but she heard it before anyone, as usual. Big mouth Ellie heard stupid whatever Jessica Bloom screamin' like the Devil and Sherriff Jackson yelling like a banshee and calling someone and whatever something else.
Stupid whatever Jessica Bloom was escorted by Sherriff Jackson to town from BlueBell Bay. She told Cheating Jake Miller his girlfriend was dead. They had found her on that bay three days after the party where she dissapeared in that pretty red dress with half of us drunk at stupid fancy Magnolia's house with those wooden banisters, and the other half following the unknown tall man who had stomach-aching, future murdered Maggie Williams next to him.
Cheating Jake and stupid whatever Jessica and eavsdropping Ellie.
It coulda been them.
Flask bringin' Randy got half of us stupid drunk and the party was at Magnolia Morland's house.
It coulda been them.
Sherriff Jackson and myself.
It coulda been one of us.
I'm naming names just to do so.
You never know. It really coulda been us. Maybe the tall man. Maybe Maggie. Anything was possible.
You really never know.
Six days after Party Day.
On the Bridge.
Fishing, muddy, eavsdropping Ellie McClellan who overheard me lying to Cheating Jake Miller, who I used to love, about me murdering Pretty red dressed, stomach-aching, murdered Maggie Williams.
I wish I could have gone through that whole conversation without lying.
Jake looked at me with firey blue eyes. "You mudered my girlfriend."
I looked back. "You know I would never do that."
That was true.
He got too close. My heart thumped like a drum. I could feel his fury and mourning and fear. "You're lying about knowing nothing, Emilia Brown-" That was me "-You know the truth."
"You know of all people, Miller, that I don't know the truth bout anything."
That was only partly a lie.
"You know who killed Mags, Em. You have to tell me!"
"I don't know, Jake."
A lie. A blatant lie.
I knew but I wish I didn't and no way in H-E- double hockey sticks would I tell. Not now.
"Come on, you're lying-" he continued. I didn't listen. Anger flooded me.
That's when I punched him. On the nose for the pain, not the stomach, because he was in a corner on Party Day with Jessica Bloom. Because I knew who and he was making me lie because how could I tell him all of our lives were changed just because of one party.
One person who said one thing to someone, ate one thing and got a stomachache, kissed one person and cheated, brought one thing and got everyone drunk, did one thing and hosted the fatal party, punched one person who they used to love.
One thing at one party and Mags was dead.
The conversation of lies continued. Ellie told everyone.
They all made their assumptions.
They were all wrong.
I wish Party Day never happened. I wish I didn't know because then I would know the reason Mags is gone now and I would agree with that reason though I never wanted her to get hurt because of that party and I didn't know how to explain how it was the party itself that killed her.
Party Day would happen wether lonley, probably a murderer Emilia Brown wanted it to or not, no matter who was there.
Lonely, used to be in love with cheating Jake Miller and friends with stupid whatever Jessica Bloom and classmates with drunk, flask-bringing Randy Holland, and neighbors with fancy, stupid little Magnolia Morland, and aquaintances with eavsdropping Ellie McClellan, and respectable citizens of this town with Sherriff Jackson.
Sisters with pretty, little red dress wearing, stomachache having, murdered, loving Maggie.
Because out of all of us, how could I tell everyone that she was my sister? No one else knew, and I had to keep it that way and so I couldn't say that Mags ended up on the shore of Bluebell Bay and not found until it was too late because with everything combined, the whole town had become murderers on Party Day.
The flask Randy brought that made us all forget and drunk, the stomachache that led to health complications when she left the party and she got sicker than she should have. Because of the cheating which Maggie knew about which caused her to wear the little red dress, which caught the eye of the mysterious tall person, and everything else from there.
No one did it on purpose but at the same time we all murdered Maggie Williams.
Party Day happened and barely any of us remembered causing all of the events that led to what would go down as the biggest cold case in history.