Conventions are for real hobbies

Submitted into Contest #78 in response to: Set your story at a convention for a hobby most people have never heard of.... view prompt

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Crime Friendship Suspense

 "Is this how I die? Like seriously, is this how I end my life at such a young age?" Ira cries. There's no tears falling but her eyes look like they are holding back a fountain of them. 

"This is all your fault, Reggie. You got us into this mess." A voice accuses. 

Reggie, the second one on the rope clench her teeth tightly, holding back her frustration. "I never forced anyone to come. You were the ones who chose to come with. Stop accusing me!"

"Seriously, girls, is this how we are all going to die in our prime...young, pretty and sexy?" The same voice quizzes.

"Shut up, Dali! In case, you haven't noticed we are hanging onto a rope that is about to be cut off into a giant bowl of boiling oil"

They take a glimpse of the three hefty men standing inversely, watching them with smug faces, and fear grips them instantly. The four girls had already guessed there was no way they can survive the fall into the oil, they are only holding on in hope that the men might reconsider their deaths, though they are already aware it had being paid for. Even though they are in bad spot, they have one advantage over the men about to murder them...they had seen everything. 

"I'm just so happy Alice is the one holding the rope not Reggie. She would have let go already." Ira notes.

Her sparky eyes meet those of Dali's when she looks up and but for their present circumstance, they would have being laughing over the joke. Reggie groans again, this time she almost lets go of the rope. The two girls quickly grab onto her in fear, screaming for their dear lives. 

"Are you crazy? Do you want to kill us?" Dali bellows.

"Can't you see we are still going to die? For pete sake, you both should drop your stupidity for once and let's figure a way out of here."

The girls start to argue amongst themselves, and it leads to a fight of kicks and pulling. The leader of the three assasines known as the boss, suddenly explodes in anger, threatening to cut the rope with an axe if they keep talking. They keep mute, a few mumblings goes by but he ignores it. 

"Listen to me! This is the last time I'm going to ask this. You have got three chances to speak the truth otherwise I'm going to let you off nicely. What do you all know about Daniel's death?"

Ira is bewildered. "Daniel who? We don't know any Daniel, sir. We have no male friends."

"Are you mad? You think this is a joke? Why were you at the convention? Who killed Daniel? You have got two chances left."

"Seriously, sir. We don't know any Daniel. We don't even like to wash plates, well except Alice. She is the one we took there. You girls should talk joor." 

He cackles lightly. "You think I'm joking? Last chance. Or it's bye bye."

He is about to give the order to his men to cut the rope when the four girls squeal in unison. He figures they are ready to tell the truth, so he stops his men. 

"We will tell you everything we know. Everything that happened. I swear." Reggie promises in a forlorn voice. The others hastily nod their heads in unison. 

She starts the story from the very beginning, the point at which one wrong choice, lead them to a convention for dishwashers and a front row seat to the murder of a famous chef.

*** 

"What's a convention?" Ira marveled, dumbly. For someone driving the car they were in, the others began to reevaluate the decision that made her the designate driver. 

"A convention is a place where people of similar interest meet..like a meeting or book signing." Reggie shared with a grin. She held back her laughter as best as she can. 

"Like a gathering for people with a certain hobby, right?"

She brightened instantly. "Yeah! Like a gaming convention for gamers. Or a book convention for book worms."

Ira sat still for a minute, her eyes turning this way and that, with a bewildered look on her face.

"Does washing plates count as a hobby then?" 

At first, Reggie laughed so hard she almost fell from her seat. She kept laughing till she noticed Ira wasn't pulling their legs as usual. A quick turn of her hand on the car and they could all hear the radio announcement she had being listening to.

It was an invitation to a convention for dishwashing lovers, people who took the act of washing dishes to heart and respect the art. According to the announcement, the program will hold at the Glacis hall and everyone fascinated about the hobby is welcome. 

"This is strange." Reggie said with a laugh. Even Ira had a smile on her face now. 

"I didn't know there's a such a convention. Why would anyone love washing dishes? It makes no sense." Dali chimed in from the back seat she was strapped to. She had an absurd look that revealed how ridiculous she found the idea of someone actually loving dishwashing.

"I'm more concerned about what they do at conventions like that." Ira confessed.

"Wash utensils, obviously." 

"It's something Alice would love. She likes to do dishes."

"Yeah, that's true. She washes plates at Chicken republic too. We need to get her there."

"Uhm, girls...I'm right here, you know." Alice called out. She was at the back beside Dali, and the novel she had been reading was carefully placed on her laps.

"We know. That's why we are saying it. You are going to the convention."

"I don't do the dishes because I love it, I do it because no one else does it."

"We know. And we hate you for it." 

"Sure. Weren't we going to the park for ice cream?" She defended.

"That was like two minutes ago. Now, we are going to the convention for dishwashers and lovers of utensils."

Ira accelerated and drove faster than she had ever done before, her driving got them at the convention in record time. As they dragged the reluctant Alice out of the car and towards the building, they bumped into someone by accident. 

"Ouch! My hands hurt. You girls should quit yanking me." Alice whined. Having snatched her both hands safely from them. However, the force she had used resulted in her stumbling into the stranger. He easily caught her in his arms that looked like he spent hours in the gym for them. 

"Are you okay?" He calmly inquired with a smile. But she suddenly jerked out of his arms in a flash, even taking some steps away from him. 

"She is fine. I didn't know hot guys love to do dishes too. If you are done with the plates, you can do me too." Reggie said with a salacious wink, resulting in a acream from the others. He ignored her with another smile in Alice's direction. From the way they lingered long on her, Ira guessed he wasn't a stranger to Alice. 

"Alice, do you mind introducing us?"

"Oh, okay. Girls, meet Justus, my coworker. Justus, meet my sisters. Ps: they are all crazy. Especially that one." Alice pointed out. This got them laughing like friends. 

"Well, nice to meet you all. I'm a friend of Alice's."

"We know." They screamed in unison, laughing over it the next minute. Justus asked if they were there for the convention and Reggie asked if he had other hot brothers or friends in the hall. He came off like one musing on the perfect reply as he mulled on her coquetry.

"I do have some friends in there. Don't know if they are hot though."

"I will take my chances. It's not everyday you get to meet a sexy geek." 

"Reggie!" They screamed again as they trailed after him. 

"Will you get to the point, please? We don't have all day." The boss thunders, rudely cutting her off. 

"We are going there, sir." Ira trembles. It was her turn to tell a part of the story when he had interrupted.

He shakes his head in his palm, clearly frustrated. "Then get there! Skip every other thing and get to the part where Daniel died."

"You mean the dead body we found? We didn't kill him. We met him dead at the back stage of the convention hall." 

"We know you girls didn't kill him. We are not stupid, dumbass. You have no motive to murder the chef." He gloats. "We are only interested in what you saw and was going to tell the police about." 

This piece of information terrifies them real hard. Alice starts to tremble as her hands slowly loses its grip on the rope. The others scream at her to hold on tightly, though they can see her hands were starting to give in to the pain. 

"We really didn't see anything. I swear." Reggie clarifies. "We just watched the show from our seats then cheered that sexy geek friend of Alice and his team. We don't even know the police, how can we tell them anything?"

The others quickly nod at this. 

"After the game of washing bowls, we left them and went to the 'guess the washing soap' section. Alice actually won three bottles of liquid soap in three rounds." Dali chatters. 

One of the three assassins yawns loudly, tired and frustrated by their story. He turns to their boss and whispers something the girls can't hear. When he turns and faces them, he has a broad smirk on his face. 

"You girls seem to have forgotten all that happened in the last one hour so let's help you refresh your memory then. " he gives a nod of approval to his cronies and they let go of the rope. The girls begin to scream loudly as they plummet into the boiling oil. Halfway gone, the rope suddenly stop yet they keep screaming. "Seems like you girls still need a push down the oil to fully remember. No? I thought so too. Now, where were we? Right, you were about to tell me what you saw back stage."

"We were going for a walk around when we accidentally stumbled into the room and came upon a lifeless body. We weren't sure he was dead...because who would ever think of murdering someone at a convention for dishwashers, you get me right." Dali jokes but no one finds it funny, especially the killers. "Well, Alice wanted to perform cpr but Reggie stopped her. She said the man was far gone. I don't know how she knew that. Possibly it's because she used to work in a hospital as a cleaner....

"Just finish the damn story, Dali!" Reggie snares, uncomfortable at her being the new subject of the discussion. 

"I'm trying to! Ira and I left the body to call for help and it was when we returned, we met you three with guns pointed at the others. That's all we know." 

The boss wavers as he studies each of their faces with profound concentration, as if he was trying to rip out their souls into his bare hands and see the truth in them. On Ira's timid face, he sees fear and terror behind her smallish eyes while in Reggie's, he sees a mixed feelings of regret, anger and anxiety. He guesses she is already coming to terms with their deaths. 

"Was that all you saw?" He barked in a deep baritone that instills nervousness in them.

"Yes. Nothing more. We swear. Please don't kill us. We don't know anything." Alice pleads, tears already formed in her eyes.

"We don't even like to wash plates." 

"Boys, let them go. This isn't over, girls. We will have our eyes on you....

"Stop there! Nobody moves." The sudden sound of the officer speaking, brings a sense of elation and relief to the girls. "Keep your hands where we can see them." 

In a blink of an eye, ten more armed officers appear from nowhere and the killers can do nothing as they are arrested. The boss looks at Alice and for a tensed moment, they share a look of understanding. 

He snickers lightly. "Can't believe I didn't see this coming. I will be watching you four." He winks as two sergeants hauls him away. 

"Uhm...excuse me. We need help here. In case you didn't notice, we are hanging over a big pot of boiling oil." Dali calls out to the officers, clinging tighter to Ira more than ever. 

The officers help them down the rope and the four sisters joyously hug each other in tears.

"But how did the police found out? Who called them?" Ira suddenly recalls. 

"I did." Alice says as she hands her phone over to the Officer in charge. "I took some pictures of the body. There is also a video of the three men and a man I think you will be really glad to see...he is your man."

"The Butler did it. He had always hated the new chef in the house. Motive: jealous. Choice of weapon: poison. Case closed." Reggi tells him.

"Thank you, Miss. We owe you all our gratitude. Some of my men will escort you and your sisters to the station and then to your lodge. We will be in touch. You must have had an awful day. We apologise for any inconveniences."

He shares a handshake with each of them and a longer one with Reggie who wouldn't let go. Finally, they have to drag her off him. 

"He is such a nice gentleman." She compliments, as they trail off.

"We know." They chorus. Knowing fully well, what she's hinting at.

"I think he is into me."

"He is married, Reggie. Eyes off." Alice cautions, amidst the other's giggling.

 "He doesn't look married." She frowns. "Besides, you know I just love a man in uniform. I would love to be imprisoned with him for the night." 

"Reggie!" They scream in unison as they exit the convention hall for dishwashers and lovers of utensils.

January 29, 2021 20:36

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