Hide and Seek

Weirhu Wee

Weirhu Wee

Winner of a Merit Prize in the Undergraduate Category of the 16th English Short Story Writing Competition

On that damp summer late night, an unusual sound is made in JK High School.
The fire alarm rings. The fire-sprinkler system splashed loads of water in the science lab and principal's office.
During the suffocating examination period, that night, a young man wearing a hoodie walked into the office.
From the moonlight shining on him through the window, a faint angel’s wing logo sewed on his hoodie.
He calmly ripped off the packaging of the exam papers, then tore them into pieces under the heavy flow of water from the sprinkler.
Standing at the window of the office, he watches as the pieces of exam paper pour down upon the ground. As if it’s a paper rain of freedom and rebel.

The next morning, students go to school as usual, but with a heavy and depressed feeling they wear on their face, facing the harsh examination period today.

“Ahhhhhh!!”, a lady screams in high pitch.

Everyone else gathers around her; students surround the ripped pieces of exam papers. The lady holds one big piece while both her hands are trembling, dyed red with blood, with a sentence written:

“Why don’t we die together?”

Students start to pick up the pieces and fit them together like a puzzle.

“Isn’t this.. our exam paper?” said a student.

“What?” others replied.

They started to whisper everywhere.

“Ding Dong”...” Ding Dong”... All student’s phone rings and received message gradually.

Message shown: “As you wished, I have done what you guys asked for. Enjoy your exam-free day.” from an unknown number.

Students panic, the whole news is known by the campus now.
In the atmosphere of panic, an ambulance sound grows louder as it nears the school. Police sirens follow.

Ambulance staff push aside the students and quickly pull the stretcher off the ambulance rushing to the side entrance of the hallway. All the students crowd around to see what is going on.
A couple of officers are there on stand-by by the side and block the hallway. Some police take pictures of the victim for evidence.

The scene is chaos.

The social media account and website of JK High School goes down. All students are reporting about the dead student in the school. Eugene, calmly taking in the scene, takes a photo, then leaves to his classroom.

After the chaotic moments, the school principal and teachers escort the students back to the classroom in an orderly manner for an advisory period. In classroom 3-2, not a single student pays attention to the teacher. The teacher stares at the students seriously and sighs. The death of the unknown student has gone viral on social media, and students on the forum are discussing who the dead student was and what happened to him.

Eugene sits in the first row in the classroom, turns off his phone, puts it back in his drawer, opens up his notebook, and resumes his studying.

An announcement is made by the principal: “Dear JK students, due to the chaos brought to school today, we are sorry to announce today's examination has been canceled. The exam will be postponed, so please pay close attention to the new date. Lastly, our deepest condolences to Sky and his friends for losing an outstanding student in JK High School. We will give the utmost support to them and all students, whoever needs counseling. Please talk to your teacher as soon as possible and seek help if you feel the need. You are dismissed from school for the day.”

Students' voices resonate everywhere on campus...
“Who is Sky?”
“Sky? Never heard of him.”
“Oh.. Sky, was he the one with good grades?
“What? Was he murdered?”
“There is a murderer in our school?”
“Scary.. Jesus, I'm leaving!”

Students quickly rush out.

In the late afternoon, the entire school staff meets with police.

A final statement is issued by an officer:
“After a thorough investigation and an autopsy by a professional team, unfortunately, other than trident-shaped deep cut at the neck area, no other injury was found.” He shakes his head heavily.

Sky was born an orphan, he didn’t have friends, he didn’t have a family. Why was he targeted?

The trident shaped cut is the only clue to work with. JK High school’s CCTV was off during the examination period. Then there's the triggered fire alarm and ripped exam papers. What is the correlation and why..on the same day?

A sense of coldness blows across the meeting room, followed by a loud noise of a door banging from across the hallway.
One policeman runs up to see through a crack in the door, a person with a black hoodie, running off the campus. It was too late to catch that person. The police announce that JK High school will be locked down for 3 weeks for investigation.

“NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO COME IN, EXCEPT RELEVANT PERSONNEL!” They shout and leave.

The next morning, there is nonstop investigation and blockades around the campus. The strict and serious atmosphere is palpable.
As police are unable to solve the mystery, they have invited the FBI and detective to come in to investigate. The FBI look officious and decide to start the investigation from where Sky lives.

Arriving at Sky’s residence, a small quarter size of a normal room; it looks tidy, not violated by intruders, yet a white piece of paper placed above the desk, is particularly conspicuous. One of the FBI heavily gasps...
Big letters printed in red: “Stop wasting your time, the truth has sunk into the deep sea.”
As they open up his old laptop, a pair of angel wings appears on the illuminated screen. Yet, none of the FBI or police notice anything suspicious about that. Scrolling through the laptop, everything else is formatted and empty. The house appears to have no other DNA except Sky’s...The FBI has run into a dead end.

Days and the investigation of the hidden truth have come to the final day, and the police and FBI are wrapping up the case.
No witnesses, no guesses. Only silence.

Yet, in three weeks, no evidence has emerged, and no ones knows the truth. The criminal was flawless: Nothing was left behind, not a single fingerprint or DNA.
Only Sky’s death remains certain, an unsolved mystery that has astonished the town.

School reopens, as if everything is back to normal. Students gradually come back to school. It's as if no one remembers or knows about Sky’s previous existence.
The bright sunrise shines on the campus, and the mascot of JK High School, “Mermaid”, reflects in Eugene’s eyes.
Eugene walks to the hallway that Sky has died in blood. Stares at it, silently. His background picture of his phone, reveals the selfie of Sky and him, wearing the angel wing hoodie.

An undercover detective dressed as a student in uniform walks into the campus following behind Eugene, watching him look toward the mascot...He seems to found a clue.

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