Undesirable Sanity

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“Bum-bum-bum!! A body has been discovered! There will be a short time for investigation, and then we will conduct a Household Trial!” Dimitris’ voice boomed throughout the mansion.

“He’s d-dead!” Nate said quietly.

“Nononononono...” Seto muttered.

“I’ll go get the others,” Mark offered and rushed out of the room.

“What are we g-gonna do?” Nate asked, unable to take his eyes off of Trevor’s face; his mouth was gaping open slightly and his eyes stared blankly at the ceiling.

“...We...we have to figure out who did it, right?” Seto said.

“How?” Nate asked.

“We can...look for clues,” Seto said slowly, walking towards Trevor’s body.

Nate followed, trying not to gag at the harsh smell of blood.

“Well...we can inspect the wounds to try and infer how he was killed,” Seto explained. He shakily lifted Trevor’s head and turned it to the side, revealing a large head wound. Nate instantly looked away as he saw much more blood than he needed to see.

“There’s...a big wound on the side of his head,” Seto explained quietly. “He was hit hard with something.”

“What does it look like he was hit with?” Nate asked, slowly turning to look at Trevor once again, no matter how hard he was quivering.

“Well...it looks like a big, blunt object. Nothing like a sword or knife,” Seto reported quietly, resting Trevor’s head back on the ground.

“We’re here--OH MY GOSH!” Ivan screeched, running out as quickly as he had run in.

“S-someone has killed already?!” Bruce asked fearfully. “Not just someone. One of us,” Randy pointed out ominously. “I don’t f-feel good,” Greg said weakly, looking away.

“W-we need to stay calm and look for c-clues. We have to find out who did it, or we all d-die,” Brayden pointed out fearfully.

Everyone nodded grimly and started searching the room for clues, some of the more strong-hearted people helping Seto inspect the body, while some of the more sensitive people inspected the room.

“Look,” Peter said, pointing to Trevor’s right hand. “His hand is all cut up as if he hit it on something.”

“And the glass from the window is on this side of the wall, which means it was broken from the outside,” Thomas acknowledged.

“The blood has stopped flowing, but it’s still wet, so he wasn’t killed too long ago,” Seto realized.

“Oh, and there are small cuts on his body from the glass, so he died after the glass was broken,” Randy said.

“C-can I please leave for a minute?” Bill asked, looking faint.

“Me, too...” Leroy said, shivering.

“It’s fine. Go,” Bruce told them, and the two rushed out of the room.

“So, what do you think happened?” Nate asked.

“Someone broke the window from the outside, definitely while Trevor was in here,” Peter explained.

“Maybe they broke it with the same object that hit Trevor on the side of the head?” Brayden suggested.

“Probably. I bet he was standing here,” Thomas explained, standing outside the room near the broken window, facing the bookshelf on the left wall, “When the killer snuck up on him and broke through the window while hitting him in the head on the other side.”

Brayden looked down at Trevor’s body. “That makes sense. Then maybe when Trevor was recovering, the killer ran in and stabbed him...”

“Ohh, man, why are we here?” Ivan asked painfully, looking away from Trevor’s corpse.

“Then how was his hand cut? It looks too big to be from the glass shards,” Seto asked.

“Hmm...I don’t know. Maybe he just punched something,” Mike suggested.

Bill and Leroy came back in.

“There goes my breakfast...” Bill groaned, clutching his stomach.

“I f-found this in the kitchen,” Leroy said, holding out a kitchen knife.

“That’s a knife, Leroy. And watch where you point that thing, “ Mark said cautiously.

“No, look! It’s wet. Like someone had washed it off, to clean... blood,” Leroy said, staring at the knife.

“Someone could have been just cutting food,” Josh pointed out.

“Maybe. Was anyone actually seen using a kitchen knife before?” Thomas asked. Nobody answered. “I guess not...” he muttered.

“Well, I see you’ve all had your fun!” Dimitris’ voice boomed throughout the house. “You guys are really weak. Bill even threw up in the kitchen garbage can. Grow up. But anyway, it’s time for the Household Trial! We get to find out who did it. Remember, if you guess wrong, you ALL die except the murderer. An elevator door should open up in the hallway you’re in, past the Alchemy Room.

Everyone exchanged fearful glances. “Well, let’s go...” Mark said weakly, and everyone left the room and Trevor’s body and headed for the elevator room.

They all gathered around in a semi-circle in the Household Trial, which was in a small, colorful, circular room. There were sixteen round podiums for each of them to stand by. One was empty. Affixed to the front of it was a picture surrounded in an elegant frame. In the frame was a monochromatic picture of Trevor’s face, with a big red X through it.

Everyone tried not to look at it.

At the open end of the semi-circle sat Dimitris on a throne. “So, welcome to the first Household Trial!” he welcomed happily.

“Here you will all debate over who committed the crime. Remember, if you guess right, the murderer will be executed. If you guess wrong, all of you except for the real murderer will be executed, and the murderer escapes! Now...begin!”

Everyone looked around the circle.

“Okay. Let’s start with the facts,” Thomas said. “We know Trevor was murdered in the Alchemy Room at night.”

“He was hit with a blunt object and stabbed in the cabinet,” Peter added. “What could the blunt object have been?” Ivan asked.

“My helmet!” Josh exclaimed, shaking.

“By whom?” Thomas asked.

“Well...Ivan told me,” Josh admitted. All eyes turned to Ivan, who just frowned.

“Ivan, why would you tell Josh he couldn’t wear his helmet?” Randy asked.

“I was just trying to help him out before Dimitris killed him over it or something,” Ivan explained.

“So then where’s the helmet now?” Seto asked.

“Well...Ivan told me to leave it on the stage in the Dining Hall, where Dimitris would come collect it,” Josh explained hesitantly.

“Was it really for Dimitris to collect, Ivan? You could have easily just snuck into the Hall at night, taken the helmet, and deliberately used it to kill Trevor so you could frame Josh!” Peter exclaimed.

“Ivan, d-did you really do that?!” Greg said in shock.

Ivan looked around, gripping the front of his desk. “So you’re all framing me now? It could have been anyone who had taken the helmet.”

“So you admit the helmet was taken?” Bill said with raised eyebrows.

Ivan opened his mouth to defend, but Casey cut him off.

“Hey Dimitris, is there a rule about helmets in the Mansion?”

“Hm? Nah,” Dimitris replied, leaning on one arm of the large throne he sat on.

“So there was no rule?” Leroy asked.

“Then why would you tell him that, Ivan?” Casey asked.

“Josh’s just making this whole story up to frame me!” Ivan growled.

“You’re the one framing me, Ivan!” Josh retorted.

“You know...I did see Ivan in the kitchen this morning...” Mark pointed out. “I was the second one to come to the dining room, and Ivan was in the kitchen. He could have been washing the knife that Trevor was stabbed with.”

“Or,” Bruce said, “He could have been washing that cut on his hand.”

Everyone turned to look at Ivan’s right hand, which had a thin but visible cut on it.

“Where’d you get that cut, Ivan? Broken glass?” Thomas asked.

Ivan looked around at everyone in disgust, speechless.

“Alright, it looks like this debate is over!” Dimitris announced. “It’s now time to vote on who the murderer is. Voting devices will be provided for you all on your podiums... now, let’s see what everyone thinks!”

He turned to the wall behind him, where a giant slot machine slid out of the wall, which had parted into two. Everyone watched as the three slots spun around. One by one each slot stopped on a picture of Ivan’s face. Confetti blasted everywhere, and the word ‘GUILTY’ flashed in bright red on the machine.

Ivan stared at the machine in shock, shaking and gripping his podium hard. “Ivan, why would you do that?!” Casey exclaimed.

“We’re all going to die here anyway! I’d rather kill than b-be killed!” Ivan yelled.

“Well, it’s time for the punishment!” Dimitris said happily. “Hmm, what to do? Oh! I got it!” he decided. A platform with a big red button above a small screen rose up from the ground in front of him. He pulled out a small mallet and hit the button with it.

On the screen, an animation of a greyscale sprite resembling Ivan appeared behind a red background.

“GAME OVER”, the screen read.

A sprite resembling Dimitris came on the screen and dragged the Ivan sprite away.

“Ivan has been found Guilty. The punishment will now begin,” the screen read.


Suddenly, the wall behind Ivan opened up, and a chain with a metal cuff shot out and grabbed Ivan by the neck. He grabbed at the cuff and struggled as the chain jerked backward, having Ivan suddenly skid quickly down the long hallway the chain had come from. Dimitris had the other fourteen house guests follow him down the hallway.

“I thought that since this is the first execution, things should start off with a BANG, you know? A BIG one,” Dimitris explained. Everyone watched in fear behind a big metal gate as the chain slid back into the metal pole it had originated from, and metal clamps attached to the pole grasped Ivan, bounding him.

Holes opened up in the ceiling as immeasurable amounts of black powder began pouring into the chamber. It took 15 seconds for the powder to reach his ankles, where it stopped. Dimitris lit a string and quickly ran behind the thick steel door that was lowering, blocking the view for the others. As soon as it closed, the entire mansion shook violently as the black powder detonated. Dimitris started laughing maniacally as the thick door raised, revealing nothing left of their friend besides a scorching, bloody, half-destroyed pair of sunglasses.

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