Writers (in order): Rory Kilgore, Beau Rehm*, CL, Eman Hussain*, Megha Mummaneni, Esosa Zuwa*, Julia Fox, Ash K., Nicolas Lima, Nina Li, Valencia Zhang, Vani Madhur Garg, Fiona Kuo, Rebecca Von Tersch. Editor: Irene Tsen.
*Wrote more than once
“Come on, Spot, let’s go see what the murderer buried.”
I biked behind the school, nearing the old lawns with my dalmatian running behind me. It was hard to bike while holding a shovel on the handlebar, but I was ready to dig up whatever it was that Kasey had buried. Yesterday I saw her hiding something out here. I mean, she probably hadn’t been hiding a body in a bag—maybe it was just trash suspiciously shaped like a body.
Kasey was the school’s queen bee, and she had straight black hair that went down to her hips. She was full of hatred and had so many enemies—who knew who she might have killed. She had been on a rampage yesterday; I saw her yell in the faces of at least four different kids, as well as the band teacher. Oh, and when I passed her in the hall, she was muttering angrily about the janitor because he saw something he shouldn’t have. (Perhaps I should have asked the janitor about what happened between the two of them.)
When I reached the lawns, I quickly got off my bike, letting it fall to the ground behind me. I had to be quick about this investigation, or else someone might think I was the one trying to hide a body. Spot had already started sniffing around—I could tell he’d found something when he barked, suggesting that I dig where his paws were. Spot was standing on a messy mound of dirt that was right at the edge of the forest. It looked like it had been stomped on; I guess Kasey wanted to make sure whoever was down there stayed down there. I was too curious not to take a look, so I picked up my shovel and began to dig, still thinking, What did Kasey bury and why on Earth did she do it?
It took me way longer than I had expected to uncover a dead body, or whatever else it could have been that Kasey had buried. The longer the seconds ticked by, the higher I could feel my anxiety rise, until I eventually fell into a rhythm of scoop, throw, and look. Spot seemed to grow equally as restless, occasionally running in circles to expend his energy. After what felt like hours of digging, I began to question whether I was actually digging in the right area. As soon as the thought occurred, however, my shovel hit something rather solid; not hard enough to be a rock, but definitely not as soft as the dirt I’d been scooping for the past hour or so. I started digging again with newfound vigor, the anticipation growing with every new jab into the soil.
After only ten minutes, I had uncovered enough to pull out the bag. I took a breath and then began to yank the bag out of the ground. It barely moved. I pulled harder, leaning back with all of my weight. I pulled it a few inches toward me. And then a few inches more. The bag was half out when I fell backwards onto my back.
Inside was the body of Kasey’s best friend, Clarissa Adams.
Bile rose inside of my throat before I could comprehend it and sprayed out onto the grass.
My eyes wandered across her body. Spot began barking but it became noise in the air. This was not happening.
Clarissa was in Aruba on vacation. Her Instagram was full of pictures and videos from her trip. She was alive!
But there was no mistaking the black curls, the dark brown skin, and the brown eyes open in horror.
This was Clarissa Adams.
This didn’t make sense. Kasey was bad, but not this bad.
A chill ran over my body, feeling like a disruptive force distorting everything. I wasn’t supposed to be here.