Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2266986-In-Plain-Sight-part-one
by Lunar
Rated: 13+ · Draft · Death · #2266986
A murder mystery following a young girl in a private school, set in the early 1920s.
When one thinks of a murder, they most likely think of an intense event - a gentleman sporting a deerstalker cap, a pipe sticking out of his mouth as though it were some magic potion that made people’s minds clearer. The murder the detective must solve is a mystifying puzzle. Although it has been published in every newspaper across the country, the best investigators near and far are stumped by the complexity of this particular mystery. Against all odds, facing many dangerous feats, the detective manages to solve the murder and everyone is impressed! He receives praise after handshakes after medals after awards. Yes, this is what most people expect.

Take your detective, donned in his deerstalker cap and all, and replace him with an unsuspecting eighth-grade schoolgirl who has never even seen a mystery film in her life. The stylish investigator outfit, plaid swarming all the articles of clothing, is gone and in its place is a stuffy, itchy school outfit with the only traces of plaid on the short dark skirt. The hair, typically well-kempt with many cans of hairspray, spilling out from underneath his cap - replaced by dirty blonde unruly hair that is always pulled back in a ponytail. That detective, starting as a professional that you can put your trust in, just changed into an inexperienced basic girl just trying to make her way through her education.

That is me. Rye Cleveland. I never wished to get caught up in such a terrifying event, gosh, my goal in life was to become a successful farmer and live quietly. That is why people call me Rye - partly because of my hair color, and partly because of my fascination with agriculture. It’s been quite a long time since anyone’s called me by my real name, even my mother. The fact is, I, too, have forgotten what my birth name is. Folks usually poke fun at me, mostly because I’m a farm woman with quite a southern accent sent to a school in the U.S. made for polite and petite girls. I do not fit in at all, and the other students made that clear. Even the teachers, especially Ms. Jakob, seem to pick on me. The teasing does not get to me anymore, unlike when it used to. But after all that I’ve seen, a little taunting just bounces off me like rubber.

It all started at school. “Harmonie Academy” is its official name, but most of the girls here just call it “Tone-Deaf Academy”. Quite the sense of humor they have. Harmonie Academy, although a popular school where when someone graduates they wear the fact they went there like a badge, certainly has seen better days. The ladies here, myself included, have stumbled on countless protruding cobblestones in the floor and had to frantically swipe at their faces to rid of the sticky old cobwebs lining the walls. The classrooms are not much better - the desks are years old and the chairs creak when you sit in them. Even the blackboard, the only thing one would assume to be easily fixed, is stained with unknown substances that stubbornly cling to the board no matter how hard you scrub.

I was in Ms. Jakob’s classroom. No one can stand her, especially not me. She wears the same stiff blue dress every day, with only a singular pearl necklace around her to add any sort of uniqueness to her outfit. As usual, I was avoiding eye contact with Ms. Jakob and staring out the cracked window at the grey landscape. Ms. Jakob suddenly slapped the blackboard with such intensity that I started and nearly fell out of my seat. “Miss Cleveland!” She barked, and I could feel the eyes of ten other students burning a hole into my head. “I sure hope you are dreaming about how to pass this class! Because if you keep not paying attention, a miracle will be your only hope!” I stood up swiftly, dusting the back of my school uniform. I wanted to retort with a sharp comeback, but my breath caught in my throat. I hated being called out in class, and my eyes couldn’t help but fall on the wooden paddle hung on a hook behind her. Instead I simply took a shuddery breath and scraped my chair across the floor, sitting back down quick as a flash.

Ms. Jakob touched her pearl necklace, rubbing her fingers along the pristine spheres as she gave me one final glare. “Now,” She began, a slightly bothered tone still lingering in her voice. “We will resume class unless someone ELSE wishes to cause a distraction and prolong this period.” Ms. Jakob scanned the classroom, as though looking for someone who wanted to cause trouble. All the girls were silent, dodging her piercing gaze and awkwardly rubbing the backs of their necks. I tried my best to focus on the front of the classroom and sit up straight, but my fingers still tapped against the bottom of the desk impatiently. Ms. Jakob, seemingly satisfied, turned to the blackboard and picked up the chalk. “As I was saying, the way one graphs a variable is by…” I tuned the rest of her speech out as I put my chin in my hand and attempted to look as though I was paying attention.

Finally, the chalk stopped squeaking against the board and Ms. Jakob set it down with a clatter. “Before we excuse class, does anyone have any questions?” She asked. Her voice was raspy from the non-stop talking, but she still kept her eyes trained on each of us. A girl next to me, with long, flowy black hair raised her hand gingerly. “Um, Mrs. Jakob, about the homework…” She began to say quietly. Ms. Jakob suddenly stomped her foot on the ground, causing everyone in the classroom to jump. “I’m NOT MRS. Jakob!” She yelled, the poor black-haired girl trembling. “It’s MS. Jakob! Not MISS! Not MRS.!” With that, Ms. Jakob stormed out of the classroom, leaving everyone dumbfounded. There were a few beats of nervous silence, but I stood up first, used to Ms. Jakob snapping at her students.

Slinging my heavy leather backpack over my shoulder as though it were weightless, I offered a hand to the black-haired girl, still sitting back in her chair. “Sorry about her,” I said. The other classmates in the room had finally recovered and left, most likely to go eat lunch in the mess hall. After I thought about it, I realized that I did not recognize this black-haired girl. She most likely transferred to our school recently, although she picked an odd time because of the frigid and dark weather outside. Our town wasn’t nicknamed “Glacier Town” for nothing - we always get hit with some of the coldest and intense winters anywhere across the state, which makes it an unpopular tourist stop and an even more unpopular place to live.

Despite the snow slapping against the cracked windows, a chilling breeze wrapping around us, the girl didn’t shiver as she looked up at me. She and I were both wearing the same short-sleeved button-up blouse and short plaid skirt that were our school uniforms. I wished she would hurry up and stand so we could get out of there and into the warmth of the mess hall. I’ve lived in Glacier Town all my life, and even I was freezing.

The girl pushed her dark hair away from her face, and I let out a small gasp. Her bright blue eyes pierced through me, her thin lips pulled in a judgemental grimace. Her skin, nearly ashen but with bright red dots on her cheeks, was practically the color of the winter outside. She cautiously took my hand, almost stumbling as she got to her feet and grabbed her bag. My heart thumped in my chest. Why did I suddenly feel so nervous? It was most likely the mysterious aura she gave off, but I felt hot, although the draft was still nipping at my legs and arms.
© Copyright 2022 Lunar (lunarorbit at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2266986-In-Plain-Sight-part-one