“Roy, we've been here for two hours, are you gonna tell me what happened or not?”
Roy slouched back in his chair and let out an annoyed sigh. Hoping I would take the hint he folded his arms and stared impatiently, lifting one eyebrow higher than the other.
“Detective Alvarez,” he responded in his squeaky New Jersey-like accent, “I already told yous that I can’t tell none ya a words 'til Alice has calmed down.”
“May I speak to Alice then?”
“Didn’t I tell yous coppers already? Alice can’t talk to nobodies.”
Out of anger, I slam my fists on the cold metal table, trying to play the “bad cop” and startled Roy.
“Well cheese and crackers, Chieffo, I already told yous, my phalanges are tied, if Alice finds out I be talkin to yous she’ll eat me alive.”
“Fine. Is there anyone else I can talk to who doesn’t need Alice’s permission?”
Roy’s silence puts me on the edge of my seat. My heart almost stops as Roy’s eyes roll back and out of nowhere he bangs his head on the table.
His body lifts up gently. Suddenly, I know that Roy isn’t here anymore when a new person crosses its legs.
“You can always talk to me detective, I can handle Alice.” I circle the table in frustration.
“No Sol, Jonah already told me that you weren’t there when it occurred. Now let Roy talk for Christ’s sake!”
Bashing her lashes she reaches out her hand grabbing mine.
“But Detective Alvarez, we both know Roy ain’t talking.”
She leans toward me to whisper into my ear.
“I really did see everything, you know. I can tell you what you want.”
I nudge her away and face the wall, ignoring the fact that it’s still a man.
“I can’t take your word for anything sol, I need Alice, bring her to me please!”
The chair smacks the floor. I swing around to see sol transform into a hardened stance with both hands clenched with anger.
“You aren’t talking to Alice! Don’t even touch her!” The loud British accent reminded me of the warning Jonah gave. If Alice gets in trouble, you’re in trouble with Grayson.
“Grayson, I need to know what happened. Alice could go to jail don’t you understand that?”
“I’ll tell you what happened then.”
Grayson sits down in the chair that he picked up. I throw down the manila folder and lean against the table.
“Okay then, talk.”
“It was self-defense, all right? Alice was only protecting us. They were trying to hurt us, they were going to expose us!”
“Grayson, it was not self-defense and you know it.”
“Yes, it was I swear! Alice doesn’t do anything without my consent and I did not allow her to do the whole 1st, 2nd whatever degree you keep accusing us of.”
Grayson coughs, unclenched his fists, and pulls out a small bottle of kleenex wipes.
“Ugh, this table is disgusting.”
I roll my eyes.
“Detective Alvarez, always a pleasure,” he statesm still not looking up at me.
He wipes the table in a circular motion six more times.
“Parker, Jonah told me you saw what Alice did.”
“Why yes I did, very, very, very, very, very, very, messy.”
He sits up and begins twiddling his thumbs, six forward, six back.
“I need you to tell me what happened.”
Parker stops twiddling and stares down at his shoes.
“A—Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice. She’s always so calm. She was always a good girl.”
“What? What do you mean by that?”
Silence fills the room.
“Parker. Parker, are you listening to me?”
Parker bends over and unties his shoes. He reties them and sits up.
“Parker said you were bothering him.”
I slouch back in my chair
“Who am I talking to now.”
My annoyed tone puts an insulted look on her face.
“Parker said your fingernails are dirty and couldn’t stand to look at you.”
“Who are you?”
“Louisa, can I speak to Parker?”
“And why not?”
“Cause you didn’t say please.”
I sit up in curiosity
“Louisa, how old are you?”
“8 and ½.”
This is perfect!
“Louisa, Parker told me that you need to be good and tell me what you know.”
She folds her arms and grunts
“I don’t like liars! Parker said you’re a big fat LIAR!!
“No, P—Parker said—”
“Parker is talking to me RIGHT NOW!”
Out of anger, Louisa pushes the chair to the ground and begins to scream.
“Louisa, Louisa! Please, stop—” I don’t finish my sentence and stand confused as Louisa begins to giggle.
She calmly sits in her chair, she pulls out a bottle of perfume.
“I’m sorry about Louisa, dear. She has quite the temper.”
I sit down, I don’t recognize the soft voice that is now talking.
“Why I’m Lucy of course.” She sprays the bottle several times and stuffs it back into her satchel. “Now can you be a dear and fetch me a cup of tea, five sugars, and no milk please.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Lucy, but I don’t have time for this I need to talk to Alice.”
“Why are you talking to her? I’m the one who told her to do it.”
Appalled by her sudden confession I stand up. And leave the room.
“What did you do?” I ask holding a plastic cup of tea, I set it down and wait for her to blow out the steam and take a sip.
“Dear, you might think that Alice is in charge, and looks out for all of us, but you’re wrong. I am in charge, I take care of us, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to take care of us. Alice is nothing but an idiot who would do anything for Grayson, but she is also an idiot who knows better than to disobey me.”
“So, in other words, you did it?”
“On the contrary dear, I told Alice to only warn them to stay away and keep their mouths shut. But she went beyond that.” She picks up her tea to take another sip. “Not that I’m mad though, now they really will keep their mouth shuts.”
Lucy chuckled at her own morbid joke and continues drinking her tea.
“What does Grayson mean when he said they were going to expose all of you?”
Lucy sets down her cup.
“Well you see dear, Jonah is in high school and you know teens these days, rumors will tend to spread more than my butter on toast. So when that annoying click threatened to tell the school who we are I just couldn’t let that happen, we’d all be in jeopardy. We’d all be taken away. Especially Alice.” Finishing her cup Lucy slides it toward me. “Like I said before, Detective Alvarez, I am willing to do whatever it takes to—” Lucy grabs her chest, leaning out of her chair, and hitting the ground.
I fall in after her. A loud gasp pulls me back and a someone else is now here. Someone who starts to laugh hysterically.
“Hahaha what is that awful smell? Has Lucy been talking to you? God, I hate that lady!” The normal accent sets me off, who is this person?
“Hmm? Oh god no, that British buffoon? No!”
What I assume is a man stands and sets himself back down in the chair.
“I’m Ezra. It’s nice to meet you.”
I catch the hand he throws out and shake it firmly.
“Will you let me talk to Alice?”
Ezra snickers at my question.
“Well gosh, a simple ‘nice to meet you’ would’ve sufficed too.” I jerk my hand back and place myself in front of the smart ass that isn’t giving me straight answers.
“Why don’t any of you understand that this is serious?!”
“You know Alice could go to jail right?!”
“Would we go to the women’s or the men’s?”
“Try a psych ward.”
“Well since I mostly finished it off can we go to the men's?”
I crush the plastic cup in my hand.
“How come we found Alice at the crime scene and not you?”
“That wasn’t Alice.”
“She said her name was Alice.”
“And I can say my name is Billy bob joe.” He leans back in his chair kicking his shoes on the table. “That was Sol, pretending to be Alice.”
“So then Sol did it?”
“So then you did it?”
“No.” I chuck the cup across the room.
“What do you mean? Who did it?!”
My clouded confusion fades away as I think back to each person, I stumble out the door to get the rest of the files. Running back in, I opened all the folders to examine each murder. As I suspected. Each kid was killed differently in each way.
Ezra leans forward with an evil sneer, “We all did detective.”
“B—but none of you said you did it.”
“You never asked Detective, you just kept asking for Alice…” He chuckles once again. “And Alice was never going to talk to you.”
I look at each, poor teen in the files, number six has six stab wounds and number two looks like he was beaten to death. Each one is so distinctive you would have never guessed that a 17-year-old boy named Jonah Wells did all this by himself. I stand in awe at each kid until I observe number nine.
“Hey Ezra, what is this? Number 9 looks like she was mangled by some animal.”
My only response is the sound of the chair crashing into the corner of the room, and by then my heart has stopped.
Lights flicker in a constant matter. I stand in silence. Unable to find Ezra, Lucy, Parker, Louisa, Grayson, Sol, Roy, or even Jonah. They’re all gone… Sudden saliva falls on my cheek. I slowly. Pull. My. Head. Back. They’re all gone except…