Twelve Hours

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9:00 PM

A scream rang throughout the school grabbing the students attention. One by one or in groups the students make their way in the direction of other voices to the pool. No one quite understood what’s going on at first until they find a trio standing over something.

“E-Elias?” Matteo gasped tears threatening to fall from his eyes. He nearly falls but he is caught as he stared down at his friend lying on the floor. Elias’s eyes are half open and there is a gash on his neck where blood now is. The blood makes its way down his neck soaking his shirt and dying his dirty blonde hair a light pink.

Others soon began to react. Tears fall. Others gag.

“Oh my god.”

“Is he... Dead”



Jordan slowly steps forward and took Elias wrist. After a moment he lets a sob escape as he declared that there is no pulse. Colin stepped up to Veronica and took off his sweatshirt and put it around his sister who was still dripping wet as he stared at the body shocked.

“Which one of you did it?” Matteo asked finally drawing all attention to himself. “Who killed him!” For a moment no one spoke and only stared at him in shock. Then the silence was broken.

Finally all eyes turned to Nani who was mimicking the Law and Order SVU theme. “Sorry,” she muttered staring at the floor.

“There’s a trail of blood,” Duke said pointing with his flashlight. Silently the group rose and together began to follow the trail. The trail of blood lead out away from the pool and in front of a water fountain where scarlet is mixed in with the water surrounding it. Blood lies on the floor surrounding it.

“He was killed drinking water?” Riley asked confused.

Nani let out a low whistle. “What a way to go.”

“We should do something with his body. Can’t just leave it there...” Cristiana said.

“You’re not supposed to touch crime scenes,” Colin told her.

“So you just want to leave him there?” Mickey asked him raising an eyebrow.

“For once I’m with Michaela. So where should we put him?” Ashley asked.

“He is... He’s always happy in the art room,” Matteo said quietly.

They head back for the body where Colin, Riley, and Matteo (against the advice of others) lift Elias. Together they shuffled in the dark to the art room and lay the boy’s body on the cold floor. Matteo began to sniffle and everyone quickly left to allow him a moment. Once they do Matteo bends down to his friend’s body. “Who knew you were such a good actor?”

“Right back at ya,” Elias breathed his mouth twitching into a smile.

“I brought a blanket,” Jordan said walking in. Elias nods as Jordan laid the blanket over his “dead” body.

“At first I wasn’t sure. I just agreed since you two did. Then I started thinking that this might be funny,” Jordan said. “But now it’s kinda cruel...”

“Too late now. Most out there are already in on it,” Elias said softly from under the blanket.

Matteo opens his mouth to speak when the door opens.

“I think we should all talk...” Riley said slowly. Matteo nodded and slowly rose to his feet and followed him out with Jordan right behind him. The rest of the students stood outside the room waiting for them.

“I refuse to believe someone here killed him,” Ashley said showing more confidence than she actually felt.

“Oh really then who did it?” Cristiana asked. “We are the only ones here. Whoever did it needs to confess now.”

Eyes go around but no one speaks.

“Well gang, it’s time to split up and look for clues,” Nani put in trying to defuse the tension.

“That’s not actually a bad idea,” Veronica mused. “But let’s go in pairs.”

“And if my partner is the psycho killer?” Ashley asked.

“Well we will know who it is once you turn up dead,” Mickey commented. Ashley only rolled her eyes.

“So who goes with who?” Jordan asked.

“Me and Colin,” Ashley decided for the group ignoring her sister’s glare. “Cristiana and Veronica. Jordan and Jackson. Matteo and uh... Riley. And that leaves Duke with Mickey. And Newbie-”

“Nani,” Nani corrected.

“Whatever. Just go with Cristiana and Veronica. Okay? Break.” Slowly the group began to disperse walking off in different directions.

“You gonna be okay?” Riley asked him as Matteo as the other boy shuffled his feet as they walked.

Matteo shrugged. “I guess...”

“He was your friend. It’s okay to be upset.”

Matteo wiped one of his eyes. “He was my only real friend. I honestly think Jordan just hangs out with me since he feels bad for me, and because of Elias.”

Riley grabbed Matteo by the shoulders. “I’m positive that that’s not true. And even if it is true then you don’t need him as a friend.”

“Then who will I have?”

“Me,” Riley smiled. “And Jackson by default. That is if you don’t hurt him again.”

“I didn’t meant to run into him.”

Riley raised an eyebrow as he released the other boy. “Sure you didn’t.”

Matteo rolled his eyes surprised to find a small smile on his face. “I didn’t.”

“I can’t believe this actually worked.”

“I know right? Just give it a bit more and then Lauer will come in and free us. The next one is supposed to happen in the other part of the building closer to where they power is still on so it things should go well.”

“Well now what?”

“Well we are supposed to be looking for non existent clues so... We can do whatever. I’m gonna find a vending machine. You coming?”

A pair made their way silently to the art room. Elias waved to them from where he was getting the prosthetics and other stuff ready. He applied some to one of the two then both quickly hurry to their position. When they arrive, they wait in the bathroom until it’s time.

“I still can’t believe we are doing this. Why did I agree to this?”

“Same reason I did. If you didn’t then you would’ve been a victim of this sick prank or have had to watch from the sidelines. ’If you can’t beat ’em, join ‘em’ isn’t that the saying? This wasn’t my idea after all.”

“You’re not the one who’s supposed to die...”

“Yeah but I’m the suspect. That’s worse. Be happy you get to play the victim.”

“Ugh it’s getting closer to ten I guess we should get ready.”

The other student nodded and walked out the bathroom and leaned against the door. “Knock twice when it’s time.”

An ‘Okay’ is called through the door.

“What are we supposed to be looking for?” Cristiana asked.

“Something to prove that we are innocent,” Nani answered.

“Why is the power working over there?” Veronica asked. True enough part of the school sits in darkness and the other part is as bright as usual.

“Does it matter?” Nani asked. “Let’s just keep-”

At the moment everything is plunged into darkness. A glare is sent toward Nani in the dark but she is just as confused.

What the students didn’t know was that blocks away a driver had skidded on ice and hit a pole. No one was badly hurt but it had caused power line to fall. The power would be out for a while.

The trio of girls didn’t get to question the power long when they heard banging and shouting.

Even without power the second “murder” had still been committed.

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