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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Mystery · #2318115
Was it a friend who has done that? That was what James and Kristie needed to find out.

A Friend or Not a Friend

     “It looks like murder to me.” Detective James Wynn pointed at the comforter covering the body of Steven North and Diana Peters from the neck down. He’s pointing at the knife holes with indentions in the comforter near their hearts. First, he pointed at Diana and then at Steven.

     “Look at those indentions. That tells me whoever has done this wanted to be sure they would die.”

     Detective Kristie Eddison leaned over and took a closer look at those indentions. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a purse. She reached in and took Diana’s wallet out of it. Kristie looked at it. “Her name was Diana Peters, and she was twenty-eight.”

     James looked at Steven’s wallet on the nightstand next to the bed where Steven and Diana were lying. He looked at Steven’s identification. “He was Steven North, and he was also twenty-eight.”

     “Any ideas who could have done this?” Kristie asked.

     “I don’t know who said this, but I remember a quote that may fit this murder. ‘A good friend will always stab you in the front.’ It looks to me like a friend may have done these murders.”


     Tiffany Marsh entered her living room with some snacks and something to drink. She placed it in the center of the coffee table in front of a couch where James and Kristie sat. James and Kristi helped themselves to the snacks and drinks while Tiffany sat in a chair on the other side.

     “We are very sorry about your loss,” said Kristie in between bits of food and sips of drinks. “I, we, don’t want to disturb you in your time of grieving, but we do have a double murder to solve.”

     James took a big gulp before he continued their conversation. “We understand that you used to be roommates with Diana. Why aren’t you still her roommate? Is it because of her involvement with Steven? Were you ever involved with him too?”

     “I have never been involved with Steven. I’m a friend of his too. We have been friends since the sixth grade. He isn’t the reason why we are no longer roommates.”

     “The reason why we aren’t roommates anymore isn’t because of Steven or Diana. It was because of me. Steven wasn’t the one I wanted to be involved with.”


     Victor Queen was just driving into his driveway when James and Kristie pulled up beside the curb in front of Victor’s house. James and Kristie met up with Victor just before he entered his house. “We have a few questions to ask you about the murders of Steven and Diana,” said James.

     “Why are you doing this now? I’m just getting home from work. Can’t we do this a little later after I have some time to relax?”

     “Would you prefer we discuss these murders where you work?” Kristie asked. “The way we understand it your boss and co-workers don’t like the way you have been acting since these murders happened. We want to know why you have been feeling like this.”

     Victor turned to face James and Kristie. “It’s not what you think the reason is. Of all their friends, I have known Steven and Diana the longest. I met Diana first when we were in kindergarten. We both met Steven a few years later in the third grade.”

     James looked at Kristie, then back at Victor. “We understand your feelings. It’s because you are grieving for your dead friends. Is that the only reason why you are feeling that way?”


     Greg Overland slowly shook his head yes. “Yes, Diana and I were involved for about a year. It started while we were in college together. Around a year later I got a job offer. We tried to have a short-distance relationship. But it didn’t work out. A couple of years later I returned to Nelsonville and by then she was involved with someone else.”

     “Was that someone else Steven?” James asked. “Why did your relationship not work out? Was it because Steven and Diana were already involved?”

     “I didn’t even know they were involved until they were found dead.” Greg unlocked his apartment and entered. James and Kristie were right behind him. “It was the distance that broke us up. As far as I know, there wasn’t anyone else involved with her at that time.”

     James and Kristie followed Greg into the kitchen where Greg started looking for something in an almost empty refrigerator to eat. “We all know what you have been doing. It’s because you think one of us has murdered them. I don’t know about the others in our group of friends, but I didn’t do it.”


     Helen Zeman looked around that small Interview Room. She smiled at the camera with the tripod at the end of the table she sat behind. Then she smiled at the two-way glass behind James and Kristie sitting on the opposite side of that table. Finally, she looked back at James and Kristie. “Of course, I know why you have brought me here.”

     “You think that I killed Steven and Diana because I threatened to do it a few hours before they died? I did threaten them. But it wasn’t a death threat.”

     “It was about their relationship with each other. I threatened to tell our friends about it. Neither one wanted me to do that. They tried to talk me out of it. But I wouldn’t budge.”

     Kristie looked at James before she continued their conversation. “What did they do when you didn’t budge? Did they threaten you? Was it self-defense? They threatened you. It got out of hand, and you killed them in self-defense.”

     “No, it could be self-defense,” continued James. “That might explain why you killed them. But it doesn’t explain why you took two kitchen knives into their bedroom when you just wanted to talk to them about their involvement.”


     Brittany Franklin started running after she saw James and Kristie walking toward her. James and Kristie split up and caught up with Brittany a few blocks from where they first saw her. “Why did you run away from us?” James asked.

     “Because I know why you want to talk to me. It’s because of the murders of Steven and Diana. You think that I did it.”

     “We haven’t discovered who is responsible for the murders of Steven and Diana,” said Kristie. “That’s why we are talking to all their friends. We’re trying to find out who has done this.”

     Brittany struggled to get out of the grip that James and Kristie each had a grip on her arms. They let go of her anyway. But they kept blocking her from running away from them again. She kept trying to do it, though. “You said you think we think you are responsible for these murders. Why do you think that?” James asked.

     “Because I had a big fight with them a few hours before their murders. I’m not responsible for their murders. But I figured you would. After all, you think one of their friends has done this.”


     Andrew Roberts walked up to the car James and Kristie just pulled up to the curb in front of his apartment building. He leaned into the open window next to Kristie. “It’s about time you came to see me.”

     James looked past Kristie at Andrew. “Why are you saying that?”

     “I have been trying to find you for the last few days. Every time I get close to you, you leave to go somewhere else. I’ve even been by both of your houses. But you weren’t there when I was.”

     “Why have you been doing this?” Kristie asked. “Especially the part about coming to our houses.”

     Andrew opened the passenger door and helped Kristie get out of her car. “I know you think one of their friends is responsible for the murders of Steven and Diana. But I don’t think it’s one of us.”

     “If it’s not one of you, then who did it and why?” James asked.

     “I don’t know who it is or why they have done it. All I know is that it’s not one of their friends.”

     Andrew shrugged. “Maybe it was a burglar that didn’t know they were there until it was too late.”


     Carl Xander sat in the chair next to the desk that Kristie sat behind. James sat in a chair in between them. His knees kept bumping into the side drawers. “The other friends of Steven and Diana have asked me to represent them. We want to know why you think one of us is responsible for their murders.”

     “It’s because of how they have been murdered,” said Kristie. “Most knife murders happen in the back. A few in the stomach, arms, and legs. But they only happen near their hearts if it’s a friend, spouse, or lover. Since there are no spouses or lovers, it must be a friend who has done this.”

     “I have also been asked to represent them in knowing if you know which one of us did murder them. Of course, I know I didn’t do it. But the others have been saying the same thing. Haven’t they?”

     James looked at Kristie. Kristie smiled back. Now he’s looking at Carl again. “They have been. As for who murdered them, we do not know. What we do know is that every friend has a reason to murder them so far.”


     Linda Idle dropped her carry-on luggage when James and Kristie approached her. “No big surprise. I knew you would be here when I returned from my vacation.”

     “Where have you been?” James asked. “We have been trying to contact you. But all of our calls went directly to your voicemail.”

     “I got and listened to your calls. But I was on vacation, and I don’t answer my phone when I’m on vacation. Besides, I didn’t think it was all that important to call you back.”

     Both James and Kristie shook their heads sadly. “Two of your friends have been murdered,” said Kristie. “The same day you decide to go on a vacation. That sounds suspicious to us.”

     “It’s not suspicious. I had non-refundable plane tickets and hotel reservations where I went. If I hadn’t taken this vacation, I would have lost all that money, and I can’t afford to do that. Besides, I needed a vacation after the year that I have had.”

     “You didn’t even attend their funerals a few days ago. They were your friends. Was your vacation more important than them?”

     Linda smiled. “I was at their funeral, I just wasn’t personally there. But with Greg’s help, I was there.”


     “We know how all of you feel about being here,” said James to the eight friends of Steven and Diana. “This is the house where your friends were murdered, by one of you.”

     The eight friends started looking at each other with wonder in their eyes. “We know why we are here,” said Carl. “You think you know which one of us has killed our friends.”

     Kristie was the one smiling now. “We don’t think, we know who killed them.”

     “We also know all of you had a reason to kill one or both of them,” continued James. “The one who did kill them had the biggest reason of you all.”

     “This is when you start eliminating us one by one until you get down to the last three or four,” said Helen sarcastically. “That’s when the lights will suddenly go out and the killer will kill you too. Isn’t that how it always works out in movies and television?”

     Almost everyone started laughing. Everyone except for James and Kristie. “That only happens in movies and television. This isn’t a movie or television, but if you just want us to tell you who the killer is we will,” said Kristie. Suddenly all the lights went out in that house.

Word Count = 1,981

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