Reality has a way of slapping people in the face. For five girls just coming back from a weekend of fun, they got a hard slap. Monday at school is when they realized just how chaotic things had become with the murder of Alice. Police were patrolling the school and a few officers, as well as an FBI agent, stood by the front steps greeting everyone as they came in.
“Yeesh,” Harley said.
The girls waited for Quinn by the large oak tree that sat in the school’s courtyard.
“It’s a madhouse,” Neveah whispered.
“Look at all the cops.” Izzy pointed out.
“Do you think that the killer is someone who goes to our school?” Stratus asked.
Before anyone could answer the question, Quinn walked over to them.
“Hey.” She said cautiously her eyes darting around to the cops.
“Great now that you’re here we can go inside.” Harley stood up.
The girls walked towards the front doors when Quinn spotted the police waiting for them, she froze up.
“Shit.” She muttered under her breath.
“What’s wrong?” Stratus asked.
Just then the cops had noticed them and walked over.
“So, we meet again.” The FBI agent said.
“Are you following me?” Quinn teased, sounding like a flirting teen rather than someone being questioned by the FBI.
“Maybe I am, would you like to come in for questioning or are we going to have to do this the hard way?” The agent said.
“Am I in trouble detective?” Quinn skipped around her, playing with her.
The girls gave each other confused looks.
The agent was youngish, late 20’s early 30’s. She has dark tan skin and short curly brown hair. She was dressed professionally, aside from the FBI jacket she wore. Her dark brown eyes followed Quinn’s every move. Her lips were downturned into a hard frown.
“We don’t want to make a scene.” The agent said.
“Me either, am I under arrest officer?” Quinn smirked, providing her wrist for cuffs.
“You aren’t under arrest.” Another officer said.
“But we would like to question you.” The agent clarified.
“Hmmm, I don’t know, I’m pretty busy. I got classes and what not.” Quinn said sarcastically.
“I’m sure they can give you a pass this one time.” the agent said.
“Tell you what, you come back with a warrant, and I am all yours.” Quinn patted the agent on the shoulder, mocking her.
“So it’s going to be the hard way then.” The agent grumbled.
“I can’t make it too easy for you, what fun would that be?” Quinn called over her shoulder walking past the officers into the building.
The girls quickly followed after her.
“This isn’t a game!” The agent called after her.
“Then maybe you should stop chasing me,” Quinn called back.
The girls quickly retreated inside. Once They were out of view of the officers Quinn took a calming breath and scratched at her right arm. She avoided her friends questioning gazes and went towards the restroom. They followed her.
All eyes were on the Witches of Regal High as they retreated into the girl’s restroom. Quinn checked to make sure it was empty before locking the door so that no one else could walk in.
“What the hell was that?!” Stratus whisper yelled.
“How did you know her?” Harley asked.
“She’s with the FBI!” Izzy added.
“What did you do?” Neveah questioned.
“That, girls, is agent Carly Cortez. You could say we go way back.” Quinn leaned against the wall and crossed her arms.
“Why did they want to question you, what does the FBI want with you?”
Quinn shrugged and avoided their gaze.
“Don’t know, don’t care. I didn’t do anything and that’s all you need to know.”
“The FBI doesn’t just show up for no reason.” Neveah pointed out.
“Look,” Quinn got serious and gave each girl an ice-cold glare, “You guys know me, I wouldn’t hurt a fly. Which is why you need to stay away from them. No going to the police for anything. If they want to talk to you just say no. Keep my name out of your mouths and we won’t have an issue.”
The girls stared at her in disbelief. The bell rang, Quinn pushed past them and left. Leaving behind a stunned group of friends.
“What the hell was that?” Neveah turned to the girls.
“Hell if I know.” Harley looked at the door in confusion.
“Why did she get all defensive?” Izzy asked.
“Don’t look at me, I’m just as clueless as the rest of you.” Stratus said.
“Did you see how she froze up?”
“She definitely looked guilty of something.” Izzy agreed.
They slowly walked out and towards their classes. Whispers followed them everywhere they went.
“I told you she was acting fishy,” Neveah whispered.
“We don’t know what it’s about, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt.” Harley said.
“Let’s just drop it okay, we’ll talk to her about it later,” Stratus ordered.
The girls nodded and went their separate ways.
Izzy sat in her history class as a movie played on the screen.
“Psst, Izzy.” Someone called.
She turned and made eye contact with one of the girls on the volleyball team. Someone pretty up there in popularity, but not as up there as Izzy herself. She was surrounded by a few other “popular” people in her class, they all sat around gossiping quietly.
“Did you hear?” Ava, the girl said.
“Hear what?” Izzy scooted her chair closer to the small group.
“About Alice’s murder, the cops think it was her brother Brandon.” She whispered.
“No way.” Izzy moved even closer.
“Yes, he’s in custody right now. Apparently, he said that Quinn saw him leave that night and that Quinn was the last one to see Alice. But only Quinn can confirm or deny the statement. Apparently, they’ve been trying to get in touch with her all weekend.”
“How do you know this?” Izzy asked.
“You know Troy, from the baseball team. His dad is working on the case, he overheard his dad talking.”
“So they think Quinn is involved?” Izzy asked.
“Yeah, but it’s Brandon’s word against hers, there is no proof. But get this, apparently, this isn’t the first time Quinn’s been suspected of murder. She didn’t say anything to you, did she? We saw you guys go into the bathroom this morning.”
“Yeah and talk to the cops too.” A guy added.
“No way, Come on guys Quinn is not a killer. She was with us all weekend. She took us to her family cabin, does that sound like a killer to you? She’s way too nice, she even helped save an injured bird while we were out there. Quinn was just being Quinn.”
“Yeah but she wasn’t here Friday, the same day they found Alice’s body.” Ava pushed.
“That’s because she was at the cabin getting it ready for us.” Izzy defended her.
“How did Quinn even know Alice?” a guy asked.
“She didn’t she was just her neighbor, I bet Brandon is lying, he was always so weird. All he does is sit in the debate club room all day talking to himself.”
“I bet Brandon really did kill her. He’s a freak. He always looks at girls weird.” Izzy shuddered.
They snickered again.
“Still, Quinn was there according to Brandon. You should ask her about it.” Ava pushed.
“Don’t believe every rumor that get’s blown your way.” Izzy rolled her eyes before turning her chair back around to watch the movie.
Her guts twisted and turned as she remember what Quinn said in the car,
“Quinn come on, what’s going on with you? Where were you yesterday?”
“You guys really want to know?”
“Dressing up a murder.”
The hairs on her arm rose at the memory as she thought about how weird Quinn was being all weekend. Now that she thought about it, it was very unusual how nice Quinn was being over the weekend. She didn’t chew their heads off once, very unlike her usual asshole self.
When the bell rang for lunch Izzy quickly got up and made her way to their usual table. The other three girls were already waiting for her, each with an alarming look.
“Guys I just heard some stuff about Quinn.” Izzy whispered as she approached them.
“We all have.” Harley added.
“What did you guys hear?”
“Quinn’s a killer? She killed Alice?” Stratus said disbelieving.
“I heard she was there that night.” Neveah said.
“Me too.” Izzy added.
“I heard she’s been accused for murder before, that she killed her sister. I didn’t even know Quinn had a sister.” Harley said.
“Shh! She’s coming.” Stratus hissed.
Quinn sighed and took her seat at her usual spot on the table. Pulling out her packed lunch just like always. The girls sat at the same time, looking at Quinn.
“What?” Quinn snapped at them.
“Nothing.” They all said at once.
“You guys suck at lying.” Quinn rolled her eyes.
“We are just freaked out that’s all.” Izzy supplied.
“Yeah no shit, this place is like a fucking ghost town.” Quinn frowned looking around the cafeteria to all the whispered conversations and eyes on her.
“Well someone died.” Harley said.
“Correction, someone was killed.” Quinn said.
“Exactly, people think it was Brandon.” Izzy said.
“I doubt it.” Quinn smirked in amusement as she began to eat her salad.
“Why’s that?” Neveah asked.
“Please, he’s too scrawny to kill anyone. Plus dudes too trusting for his own good. Way too nice, he would definitely chicken out of it. Has no backbone that’s for sure.” Quinn stabbed her tomato and red juices went everywhere.
“You sound as if you know him personally.” Stratus pointed out.
“I do, I knew Alice too. We hung out all the time.” she took a bite.
“You never told us.” Izzy said.
“Meh, they always acted like they didn’t know me in school, so whatever, I guess. But they would come over to my house to smoke some weed. Or sometimes when their mom wasn’t home, I would go over there. We had the same taste in movies and books and whatnot. Alice and I liked to read some of the same stuff. We always hung out and talked about books.”
“How come you never told us?”
“You never asked.” Quinn shrugged.
“Quinn if Alice was your friend, is that why you were acting all weird. Are you sad she died?” Izzy asked.
Quinn narrowed her eyes at Izzy, before looking at the other girls. She was gauging their reactions, seeing if this had turned into an interrogation.
“Holy shit.” Quinn chuckled.
“What?” Harley said.
“You guys are buying into the rumors. You think I had something to do with it.” She smirked.
“We never said that.” Nevaeh pointed out.
“You don’t have to, it’s written all over your faces.”
“Everyone is talking about it.” Stratus added.
“Let them talk, I didn’t do shit to Alice. She was alive when I left.” Quinn said.
“So you were there that night.”
“Sure, why not? Makes me sound more interesting that way.” Quinn smirked.
“This isn’t a joke, someone died.” Neveah narrowed her eyes at Quinn.
“People die every day, circle of life.” Quinn rolled her eyes.
“You are unbelievable.” Neveah shook her head.
“Quinn we are just trying to understand what is going on with you.” Stratus pushed.
“Nothing is going on with me. You guys are the ones who need to lighten up.”
“Lighten up, what about this morning?” Neveah asked.
“I don’t like the police, too many bad experiences. I would appreciate it if you would not talk to them about me, there how was that? Nicer? Need me to put on some kid gloves for you?”
“And there it is, the asshole we’ve all been waiting for.” Izzy grumbled.
“Get over yourselves you big babies. Not everything revolves around us, you know sometimes there are real monsters out there, sometimes they come in to your lives and cause damage, sometimes, people get killed, and sometimes the killer is just some psychopath who broke into the wrong house.”
“What are you saying?” Neveah asked.
“I’m saying stop trying to see things that aren’t there. sometimes a tragedy is just that, I bet the killer is some 50-year-old freak with a weird pedo fetish. If anything, Alice probably got herself killed, she liked to go on random online chats. I bet the freak knew her from there. Am I sad she got killed, sure, do I care enough to go talk to the police and potentially make myself a suspect? Nope.” She got up just as the bell rang.
“Brandon could go to jail asshole.” Neveah got up and followed after her.
“He won’t, unless he really did it.”
“Quinn you shouldn’t withhold information from the cops.” Izzy said.
“Yeah well, the cops should get off my ass.” Quinn snarked.
“Why do they care so much about you, what do they think you did?” Stratus asked.
“I’m done talking about this. You’ve pissed me off now. Gossip all you want, just keep my name out of it.” Quinn snapped, stomping away from them.
“Yeesh, she just chewed all our heads off,” Harley said.
“She got pretty defensive for someone who had nothing to do with it.” Neveah said.
“She could get Brandon out of jail, this isn’t right.” Izzy said.
“I’ll talk to her after school, get her to calm down and see reason.” Stratus said.
“We need to get to the bottom of this. She’s acting really weird.” Harley said.
They all nodded in agreement and went off to their classes.
Stratus was in her last class, girls P.E. when the news broke. It was right in the middle of the class as all the girls were running laps on the track. Quinn ran over to a group of girls which had stopped running and gathered on the track.
“Hey, get back to laps!” The coach called.
“What’s going on?” Stratus butted into the large group.
“Brandon Kinsley has been released from custody and all charges against him have been dropped. Authorities say they are working on new leads. The public grows eerie at the thought of an unidentified killer still on the loose.” The girls watched the news broadcast on someone’s phone.
“Told you.” Quinn turned to Stratus.
“Hey! Break it up in here.” The coach clapped her hands and moved everyone away.
The girls quickly took off running again.
“Well if it wasn’t Brandon then who was it?” some girl asked.
“Who cares.” Quinn rolled her eyes and picked up her pace running ahead of the girls.
Stratus quickly caught up to her.
“Quinn, you okay?”
“Stop asking me that.” She snapped at her.
“Well, what is going on with you? You are making yourself look suspicious.”
“You think I could kill someone?” Quinn stopped dead in her tracks and looked at Stratus.
Stratus also stopped.
“No that’s not what I’m saying.”
“Then what are you saying?”
The other girls caught up to them and gathered around, ease dropping.
“I’m just worried about you.”
“Why? I’m fine, healthy as a horse, happy as can be, and annoyed that my “friend” keeps questioning me. What’s there to be worried about?”
Stratus looked at everyone staring at them,
“It’s not a soap opera get lost.” She snapped at them.
Everyone took off running again.
“Look, you don’t need to worry about me. I can handle myself.” Quinn walked closer to her.
“Promise me you had nothing to do with it?” Stratus looked Quinn in the eyes.
“Because I know you. I know you are always at the center of a tragedy. Is this your curse or something?”
“You are ridiculous you know that? Curse.” Quinn snorted in amusement.
“Quinn I’m serious, the whole thing is just freaking me out.”
“You wanna know where I was that night I was at their house. I was with Alice after that I left to the cabin, I got phone time stamps to prove it. Not that you are the police, but I had nothing to do with it. And the fact that you think I did quite frankly is insulting.” Quinn took off running again.
Stratus sighed as she watched Quinn flip her the bird in the air.
What a mess.