Will They sOlve the mystery?
Don’t Hesitate
CHAPTER
1
The Beginning
I knew something was up with Hetty ever since the party. She was crying all the time, and acted more sluggish and tired than ever.
She was depressed.
I always asked her what was up, but she shook her head and changed the subject every time.
Now, my friend Marcus loved a good mystery. He’s solved some before, but they were never as deep as this one. When I asked him about Hetty, he shushed me and told me to help him find out.
Every day he would tell me to ask Hetty questions like “How’s__” or “Have you ever heard of __” and tell him how she would react. She would always answer calmly, until I asked her, “How’s Hamza?”
Hamza was a boy in school who Hetty had a huge crush on. She thought nobody knew, but everyone knew, including Hamza himself. I cringed every time she interacted with him. But we hadn’t heard of him since the party. He was missing, and spread all over the news.
Hetty started to breathe in a funny way after I asked her, and she went stiff, tears forming in her eyes.
“Did something go wrong between you two at the party?Did you tell him how you feel?” I asked.
“N-no...” she stuttered, and then she ran into her bedroon and slammed the door. I heard her sobbing.
Something had definitely happened at the party...
I told Marcus about Hetty, and he pondered about this for a moment.
“Bring her here, Grace.” he said.
“But why-“
“Bring her here.”
I couldn’t argue back. I brought Hetty to Marcus’ place.
In a way it was sort of an intervention. Marcus put her in a chair, turned off the lights and lit a lamp. That was when I discovered how determined he was to solve a case.
“So, Hetty Reed. Don’t worry, nothing bad’s going to happen to you.”
Hearing this made Hetty even more anxious.
“All we need is information. Grace Bellice here”- he gestured to me -“has noticed how...depressed you have been for the past few weeks. Ever since a party, which she went to with you, her best friend.
“Now, Grace has been asking you questions. All of which she asked you were answered without hesitation...but one.”
Hetty clung her hands to the armed part of her chair.
“Hamza Freeman is your friend...and romantic interest. Correct?”
Hetty nodded as if she were hypnotised by him and she was terrified. Marcus was clearly enjoying worming information out of her.
“When Grace Bellice asked you about him, you hesitated and stifled a sob before answering.”
Hetty gasped, scared stiff. I couldn’t bear to see my best friend terrified, but I couldn’t look away.
“You didn’t even answer, actually. All you did was run up to your room.”
“I-I did s-say something before...” Hetty stammered with fear.
“Yes but that never counted, did it? Anyway... all we want to know is what happened between you and Hamza and you’ll get out of here at once.”
Hetty whispered an inaudible word, then paused for a while. Then, she opened her mouth to speak.
“W-Well, me and Grace were chatting, and-“
“Where were you chatting?” Marcus inturrupted.
“At Jaiden D-Drona’s party. Grace told me to tell Hamza how I f-felt about him...for a dare. Before I r-replied, Grace pushed m-me in and... and...”
“Grace, do you clarify this as true?” Marcus interrupted.
I did. Hetty said the last sentence relunctantly, in a sharp whisper.
“He was DEAD.”
“Right, Grace,” Marcus began. “Who was at the party apart from you, Hetty and Hamza?”
“Jaiden Drona, of course, Georgia Brown, Freddy Jackson, Noah Kelldon, Holly Halls, James Feldon and Finley Feldon.” I replied.
“Do all these people know Hamza?”
“Yes.”
Marcus took out a clipboard and started writing.
“First of all...Jaiden. Maybe she invited him to her party to murder him.” he murmured.
“That’s just wrong.” I said.
“Murder is always wrong,” Marcus pointed out. “Anyway! She might have done it in jealousy, as Hamza broke up with her for Holly Halls, who was also invited.”
“Yes, put that down,” I said, and joined in. “Georgia. She was his friend until he posted an embarrassing photo of her online, which sent her furious.”
“OK, I’ll put her down!”
“No, wait! I pushed Hetty in the room with Hamza’s body about a little before 9 pm, and Georgia left earlier! Put that for her alibi.”
“What time did she leave?” Marcus wondered.
“I’m not sure...I think it was near 8:30.”
“OK, I’ll put that down too.” He wrote. “Hmm...Freddy could never hurt a fly, but he is clumsy. Maybe he could’ve killed him by mistake?”
I felt sick at the thought of that. Poor Freddy! I imagined his freckled face in a shocked expression, staring at a lifeless Hamza. “No! That’s ridiculous! Don’t add him to the list!”
“OK, for your true love.” Marcus smirked.
I blushed furiously. Freddy used to be my crush, but I’d moved on...sort of. I was playing with my dark hair, thinking about him.
“Moving on!” Marcus declared, which made me snap out of my daydream. “Holly Halls, the most popular girl in school. She broke up with Hamza ages ago...right? And she’s now Georgia’s best friend?”
“Correct,” I replied.
“Maybe she killed him for vengeance from the photo incedent with Georgia. I’ll write that.” Marcus scribbled. “Noah Kelldon hated Hamza right from the start...remember their big fight over Holly Halls?
“Maybe he was jealous that Hamza won?” I suggested.
“Yeah, good work! Now, James Feldon and Finley Feldon. Twin brothers.”
“Isn’t Finley going out with Jaiden at the minute?”
“Yeah, he is. I don’t think he would’ve killed Hamza for cheating on Jaiden. After all, he’s best buddies with Hamza! Let’s not add him.” Marcus crossed out Finley’s name. “But James has Noah for a friend, so he probably would hate Hamza too. Maybe he killed Hamza so he would please his friend?”
“Marcus, that would be evil!” I didn’t even want to think of that!
“Yeah, but it shows how stupid people are. James has a massive ego too, and he thinks he’ll always get away with anything!”
“Wow, I didn’t know you hated James that much!” I snickered.
“So, any alibis Grace?” Marcus asked.
“I overheard Holly talking to Jaiden at the same time I pushed Hetty in the room.” I said.
“OK, so we can rule out Holly and Jaiden, unless they’ve got some serious multitasking skills. Which they don’t. What about Noah and James?”
“I don’t know..I even knew they were near the room with the body hanging out. They might have done the murder together! Also, you know how I said Georgia left at 8:30? I saw her outside on a bal before the murder. The murder should have happened before 8:30, as people were in the room for the cake. So Georgia might’ve pretended to leave early so she could commit the murder and not get caught!”
“Brilliant work!” Marcus beamed, and I felt proud of myself.
“Can you not shove me?”
“Fine.”
Oh yeah.
We were doing all this in Marcus’ wardrobe.
So we were down to three suspects: Georgia, Noah and James. But who was guilty of Hamza’s murder?
The reason why Jaiden had a party was because she and her family were moving house and schools, so she threw a farewell party. Marcus and I went to her house after she left the area.
It looked blank without Jaiden, who was an extrovert and a very lively seventeen year old.
It was a fairly big house, white and with two palm trees on each side of the red front door. Flower beds of red and yellow tulips rested below each window and a huge ‘SOLD’ sign was already planted into the earth.
Staring at the peaceful house from the outside made me wish I lived there.
Marcus tapped me on the shoulder, making me flinch. “Come on, Detective. We’ve got a case to solve.
The house looked less attractive from the inside. There was no furniture, so rooms looked bigger and emptier. The fur on the stairs was ripped off, leaving just woods and bits of fluff. The kitchen was cold and bare, with an outline from where the microwave was. The empty house was creepy, and gave me the chills.
“So, where did you shove Hetty into?” Marcus asked. I led him to the room of Jaiden’s parents. There was a space that didn’t have dust on (I thought it was where the bed was originally), a balcony and an en suite bathroom.Here. There wasn’t anyone in here but Hamza, so the murderer must’ve had an opportunity to take the body away. Otherwise, the police would be here by now,” I sussed out. “James and Noah were mucking about in the en suite bathroom and the other suspect was on the balcony, so they both would’ve had a chance.
“I remember this because they were sending the people at the party pictures of themselves as they got out alcohol, even though we’re too young.”
“And why didn’t you tell me this now?” Marcus demanded.
“I...I thought it was silly and unimportant.” I confessed, blushing with embarrassment.
“Anyway, did they do this before 9 pm?”
“What? Oh!” I suddenly remembered something. “They did! That’s why I never got to see Hetty’s reaction!”
“Then they aren’t the murderers!”
“So then...” I wondered... “Who is?”
“Ack, I can’t remember! Let me get out my clipboard.” Marcus opened his bag...but the clipboard wasn’t there. His blue eyes were wide with surprise as he put his hands in his light brown hair to pull it. “It’s gone!”
We looked all around the house for the clipboard, but we couldn’t find it. I panicked, checking everything desperately. If we didn’t have it, we couldn’t solve the case!
“I’ll go home and try to find the clipboard. If I find it, I’ll call you!” Marcus offered, racing down the stairs.
“OK,” I said, out of breath. “See you soon.”
Marcus slammed the door and I sighed.
Then I heard a terrible yell.
“Marcus?!” I shrieked.
No response.
“Marcus, is this a joke?” I shouted to down the corridor.
No response.
Marcus, this isn’t funny anymore!” I exclaimed in a shrill voice.
No response.
I waited.
No response.
This was getting real.
I suddenly really needed the toilet so I slammed the door of the en suite bathroom and locked it.
I heard a thump and two muffled shouts from the parents’ room.
Opening the door, I asked to the room, “Is anyone there?”
Then I saw the unexpected.
Marcus and Hamza tied up and gagged.
I tried to shout, but no noise came out.
“How did you get here?“ I hissed. “Hamza, I thought you were dead!?”
A muffled ‘Shhh’ came from Marcus. I put down the boys’ gags and let him speak.
“Don’t let her hear you!” he whispered.
Who?” I snarled.
“Me.”
A cold female voice shot across the room.
And I suddenly remembered who our last suspect was.
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