Title: Raindrops
Author: Stefanie
Genre: Detective Fiction
Rating: 16+
Author's Notes: I chose to write a Detective Story for my seminar on Detective Fiction. I hope you'll like it.
And how Steph put it: like Agatha Christie on acid.

Rain. Drip, drip, dropping against the windows. It murmured messages. Alas, not everyone in this room was able to decipher what they whispered. An hour ago we had found Egon’s corpse. Poor Egon, all slain and dead. Seeing him like that, throat cut open and blood splattered all around him, the knife that had killed him still stuck in his sternum, his wide, aghast eyes haunting me… It makes my stomach churn and squirm just to think of it.

I look up at my friends. Every one of them sits lost in their own private, scared world, except for you, Josephine, my beloved girlfriend. You stare at each one of us, examining each one for signs of guilt.

“It must have been one of us.”

You earn no reaction. After all that’s what each one of us was thinking already. But you wouldn’t be you if you let it rest there; leave us in our private horror until the rain ceases and we can call someone for help. Three hours ago, the rain had started. Half an hour later we were cut off from anything remotely civilised by storm and water and everything else hell could send within the restrictions of nature.

Leo raises his blond locks just high enough to look at you. “And who do you think it was?”

You shrug. “Let’s try and figure it out.” You jump down from where you sat on the table and start stalking through the room. You stop abruptly in front of your best friend, Emma. “You and Egon went to the kitchen in search of candles shortly after the blackout.”

Emma nods and squints. “You know he was still alive when I left him.”

“That’s what you told us.” Leo chimes in.

“He saw him after I left Egon in the kitchen.” Emma points at Otto, screeching. Finally, the last of us returns from the depths of their own private, scared world into reality.

He glares at Emma. “And why would I want to kill my brother?”

“I thought you had a crush on his girlfriend.” She glares back.

“We’re not Cain and Abel!” Otto jumps up and moves towards her as if he wants to strangle her, but she ducks away and you and Leo step in. Leo grabs Otto’s waist and yanks him back, locking Otto’s arms to his sides. You look at me.

“Say something James.”

I shrug. “They know.”

You frown. “Who?”

“Why don’t you listen for once?” I roll my eyes and gesture towards the giant stained glass windows surrounding us. “They will tell you everything you need to know.” All of you stare at me as if I was insane and I can hear the raindrops mocking me.

“You are talking nonsense, James.” You snap. “There’s a murderer amongst us and you tell horror stories about …THEM.”

I shrug again. “If you bothered to listen you’d know everything already.”

You give me one last glare and turn back to Otto, Leo and Emma. I recline into the armchair and watch you, my pretty girlfriend.

“Let’s do this logically.” You draw a deep breath. “Who had the means and the opportunities?”

Emma shrugs. “Let’s start with the means.” She looks down and observes her hands. “It can’t have been me.” She looks up again. “I’m too weak to jab a knife into someone and cause those wounds.”

“I beg to differ.” Leo interrupts. “Distress gives unknown strength.”

“What do you mean by that?” I just have to enquire.

Leo glances at me briefly, before turning his eyes back to Emma. “Maybe he wanted you…” He looks down, uncomfortable with this topic. “You know what he is… was like. Always on the prowl for fresh blood.”

“And what exactly makes me qualify as young blood?” She’s shaking now. I cock my head, observing you observing her.

“He hadn’t you yet, had he?” I point out.

You throw me a brief look, and turn back to observe Emma. She’s alternately glaring at me or Leo. “Fine!” She snaps at me and turns to Leo. “If you must know,” she turns to you. “I was not part of his prey pattern anymore,” turns to snap at Otto. “We had sex a few times last year, before he met his latest conquest.” She sinks down to the floor, now a huddled bunch. “He had no interest in me whatsoever, not anymore.”

“You’ve got a perfect motive,” you point out. “Jealousy.”

Emma looks up and stares at her best friend, you, Josephine. She stares for a while and suddenly jumps up and points at Otto. “He saw him after I left the kitchen remember.” Her hand is jabbing in his direction. “And I haven’t left this room since I came back.” She swirls around, briefly glaring at each one of us. “Every one of you left the room after me.”

I nod. “I had to piss. But after me, you,” I nod at you. “And Otto left this room.”

You throw me an angry look and turn to Otto. “And as we all know you didn’t get along particularly well with your brother either.”

He shrugs, growling and explaining that that’s what siblings do, argue and bicker. You clearly are not at all intimidated by his manner. “But didn’t he poach the girl you wanted to be with and dropped her just last week?”

Emma nods. “And I remember you threatening him because of the girl just a few weeks ago.” Otto glares at her and she flinches. We all know that the late Egon’s brother resorts to violence just a bit too much. Nevertheless she goes on, throwing the blame and guilt from one to the other like a ball in a children’s game. “You were screaming at him to leave Donna alone or he’d regret it.”

Otto takes a step towards Emma, but stops when Leo moves too, grabbing his arm and holding him back. “He didn’t deserve someone like her.” He shakes off Leo’s hand. “But he is my brother. I couldn’t…” He stares down at the worn out carpet, face pale. I’m almost afraid he’s going to vomit any second now. He mumbles something and we have to lean forward in order to hear. “But why?”

“He might have been dead before Otto left the room.” You turn around sharply and point at me. “Maybe it was you.”

I stare at you, shocked. Oh my beloved Josephine, could you really believe that of me? I shake my head in denial and whisper something, barely audible. I don’t know if you, or anyone else in this room for that matter, heard me. But you squint. You have heard.

“You what?”

I stare back at you and draw a breath before I raise my voice loud enough for you to hear. “But I loved him.”

You blink, barely able to process my revelation. “But… what about me?” Disbelief is written all over your face. “You said you loved me.”

“I do.”

You raise your voice, sounding slightly hysterical. “But you can’t love both of us!”

Oh Josephine, my dear, sweet Josephine. “Why?”

You sink down to the floor and I wonder if I should comfort you, but you would just snap at me, so I just remain sitting where I am. “But… you can’t.” You sob. “It’s not fair.”

Uneasy silence settles over us, except for your sobs and the whispering raindrops.

“Maybe it was you.” Emma mutters monotonously.

You lift your head and stare at your best friend, your beautiful eyes all puffy and swollen and red. “Maybe you knew about James’ feelings towards Egon. You were jealous.”

Oh Josephine.

You stare at her as if you cannot believe what she has just said, as if she has just betrayed you. And even I have to admit that she has a point, you know? And I can’t help but feel hurt and rejected when you snap at Emma that you wouldn’t have stayed with me for one more second had you known. That you would have kicked me out of your fucking flat the second you found out.

I stare at you. “How could you?” I almost don’t recognise my voice. It’s uninflected and dead. I feel dead and empty. My two loves in life. One is dead, the other rejects me. I feel lost and dead. I want to swim in Lethe, want to forget my miserable life.

“It wasn’t me!” You yell and look at me as if you expect me to rescue you. Think again my dear. Why would I help you after what you have just said about me?

“You were the last one to leave this room before Leo found him.” I reply. “And didn’t you say you went looking for Egon?”

“But I told you!” Your eyes are wide, skirring from one to the other. “I couldn’t find him anywhere!”

“And you looked in the kitchen as well?” Emma asks.

“Of course! But you all saw him. You know I couldn’t have seen him from the door!”

“Doesn’t mean anything.” Otto points out. He actually growls, now that he feels sure that he knows the murderer. To be honest, there’s not much doubt left in anyone of us. We all feel sure that we know the murderer. “You could have killed him and then claimed that you hadn’t found him.”

You stare at him for a second, for more than one second actually. Your eyes dart from one to the other of us, searching for some doubt about your guilt. You don’t find any; even my face is cold and unmoved. Perhaps it’s nothing to do with your supposed guilt, but more due to the bitterness you inflicted. Whatever.

You shake your head, slowly, almost imperceptively and start to retreat to the door.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Leo’s sharp voice stops you for a moment, before you turn around and dash towards the door. Unfortunately for you, Otto is closer to the door than you are. And the moment you make a hastly movement he darts forward, blocking your way.

Leo shouts and Emma rushes towards you. Oh my poor, struggling Josephine. You scream and trash your fists about. Leo joins the scuffle and soon you’re not only trashing your fists, but your feet as well, when the three of them overpower you.

All your voices mingle together, yours and the voices of our… well, friends. You alternately shout for help or protest your innocence. All to no avail. I don’t move. I can’t. I don’t even know if I want to help you. I think I don’t.

Before I can make up my mind, our friends decide to lock you away in the small library next door. No point in trying to interfere anymore, is there? I remain immobile in my chair, watching you being dragged out of the room, listening to all your cries and pleas. Finally, Otto, Leo and Emma return, silent and quiescent. No one utters a single word as they sink down to the seats you had inhabited before your little inquisition. I watch them gravely as they return to their own private, scared worlds.

*****

Your angry shouts from next door have subsided, the mocking of the raindrops continues. I can’t take it anymore. I rise from my chair and leave the room. Our friends ignore me, too lost again in their own private, scared worlds.

I turn the key to the neighbouring room and step into your prison, locking the door behind me. You’re sitting behind the desktop, head buried in your hands. I can’t help it, I still love you.

I will miss the touch of your soft hands.

Upon my arrival you lift your head and gaze at me. The emptiness in your eyes almost kills me.

“It wasn’t me.” You whisper, voice hoarse and cracked from all your shouting and screaming. “I didn’t kill him.”

I step around the desktop and stare down at you. “I know.” Oh my dear, beloved Josephine. “I loved you. Both of you.” I pick up the golden paper knife, your eyes wide and strained on the movement of my hand. “I still do.” I reach out with my free hand and stroke through your hair. “But I had to choose. They told me to choose.” I can see realisation dawning in your eyes. “Seems I chose wrong.” My fingers tighten around your hair and I yank your head back, cutting of your shrill cry with the paper knife. The rain rushing loudly in my ears, I drive the blunt, golden blade into your throat again and again.

Ultimately, my fortitude ceases and I sink down to the floor, the paper knife still buried in your throat, my face buried in my hands. I don’t know how long I sit there, or why no one invades this room, but eventually I get up again. I look towards the huge windows, sunrays breaking through the colourful scenes of the stained glass. The raindrops fade away, whispering their praise to me. And I look down at your silent form, leant back and crimson stained.

I am alone.

Date: 2010-04-11 05:51 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] millionstar.livejournal.com
I LOVED this, Stef, so much. I'm a big detective fiction fan, and this was awesome. :D Great plot and nice twist at the end - and dare I say I would love to read more of this genre from you at some point. *nods*

xx

Date: 2010-06-20 08:22 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] muserocks1.livejournal.com
oooohh i liked this! had to get used to all the names and way of writing (loved the "you did this" and "you did that" thing. but it was good! i LOVE a good "guess who did it" and it turns and spins around and you keep guessing... can imagine that's hard to write! love the end, so dark! :)

Date: 2010-06-20 08:23 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] muserocks1.livejournal.com
and with the "you" i mean the main character describing Josephine :)

Date: 2010-06-20 09:34 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] muserocks1.livejournal.com
Trippy is good! I like it. It's good.

Date: 2010-10-06 07:01 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] farawisa.livejournal.com
woow. that was some heavy stuff. written very well. loved it. well done!
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