Nadine La Fleur and the Disappearing EvidenceMature

            "Gregory, it's not that simple!"

            The chemistry classroom was well-equipped. And it had been cordoned off for the police to use as an on-campus headquarters for their investigation. There were two laboratory workers, crime-scene investigation types. They wore white vests, and were pouring their attention over the evidence from the dormitory.

            "What do you mean, Nadine? We've got him! Just give me the go-ahead and I'll arrest the brat myself!"

            A thoroughly cleaned animal cage, with Cottontail inside, sat on a desk, beside plastic evidence bags of Claude Vossian's apparel. The rabbit, though confused, idly munched on a lettuce leaf.

            Beside them, Nadine LaFleur and Gregory Fenton hovered. She grew impatient, "You don't understand, Greg. It's circumstantial at best!"

            A picture flashed, as one of the investigators continued to take overhead and side-view pictures of the face prosthetics from various angles.

            And behind them, a newly assigned officer spoke up, "We need time to confirm all this. And where's Brooks? She should have reported in half an hour ago. Ain't answering her phone either."

            "Well, this fecal sample here," one of the lab technicians indicated a petri dish, "Can be dated to the exact time of Claude Vossian's performance. Thus, this rabbit is not the one used in the opening of his performance. We have it on authority that the rabbit was in the arms of an audience member for the following three quarters of his performance."

            "So I should return this rabbit to the Larsson-Tayna dormitory?" Nadine asked.

            "The rabbit is an exact DNA match, though," a technician began, "to the hairs on the magician's coat. So, we have stumbled upon quite the paradox. If, in fact, that is the authentic coat of Claude Vossian."

            "Well," said Officer Fenton, "Claude's accomplice must be Joseph Tayna - that boy has clear links to Brittany from what her sister and I found in the private Sanderson dormitory. The other boy, Matthew? He's clean."

            "Malcolm," Nadine corrected. Greg seems flustered about something. Does he know something we don't?

            After a brief moment, the second technician looked up from a laptop where the camera's pictures had been uploaded. Her face looked grim, "Apparently not."

            "Oh?" Nadine was intrigued.

            Another software program was open upon the screen, where the hand-writing analysis program had been half an hour earlier. They poured over it, once again. The window showed three images, beside controls and information. Each picture looked similar to the other two, yet one pair looked more alike. One was an imperfect picture of Claude Vossian, as he had looked when in custody. The second two were student photos, overlayed with pictures of the prosthetics. The modeling software had fitted them onto the faces correctly - the faces of Joseph Tayna and Malcolm Larsson. However, it was Malcolm, rather than Joseph, that had an uncanny resemblance to Claude Vossian.

            "Well, well, well. Malcolm Larsson is Claude Vossian?" Gregory asked.

            "It looks that way." The third agent said, following along. And then he turned to look at the rabbit cage. It was empty, and the classroom door - which had been locked - lay open.


            The three cops and the two technicians of the investigation team all looked at the doorway, mouths open in surprise.

            What the heck? Wait -- if those two were in fact going at it, then I've got a motive!

The End

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