-Please don't hurt her-
Claira stretched her aching bones, being careful not to bash Abigail in the face. She was still there, lying protectively beside her, one hand on Aira's shoulder. Aira rubbed it gently, to wake Abs and thank her silently for her constant support.
Claira pushed back the covers cautiously, trying not to disturb Abs before she was ready. The girl was still asleep. Let her sleep, Aira thought, let her enjoy the sweet dreams so she can not feel the horrible sinking feeling of loss. Something jabbed Aira as she remember the horrific news of yesterday. Her best friend, Roberta 'Robi' Clements had been murdered mysteriously.
"Aira?" Abigail moaned. Claira looked back at Abs. She pressed her finger to her lips, a small smile on her drained face.
"Quiet Abs." Aira nodded towards their room mate, Sara. Abs got out of bed, her uniform crumpled. She gave Aira a quick hug and started pulling more clothes from her draws. Quickly, Abs retrieved a new black top, skirt and socks.
"Looks like an extra trip to the wash house this week. I'm nearly out of coupons for those darn machines." Abs laughed at her last comment, but it wasn't a real laugh, not like how it had been before. Aira knew she was keeping her emotions in, under lock and key. She was like that. It only made her reactions worse. Aira tried to smile back, pulling off her pyjama top and stuffing it under her pillow, grabbing her own black vest top.
"I was thinking about that idea I had last night. About trying to find ... her murderer." Aira refused to even think of her dead friend's name. Aira continued to pull together her uniform as she listened to Abs breathing, thinking it over. Last night Abs had been against the idea. Would she change her mind now?
"Yes, I was thinking about that too. I ... " Abs started, only pausing to pull up her socks, "I agree. She deserves an answer. A name."
"Good. I was thinking of interviewing some of our friends. To see if they saw anything suspicious." Aira spoke clearly, instantly feeling better about herself. She smiled at the mirror, straightening her tie slightly. "You could go to the kitchens. That's where ... it happened."
Abs nodded, slightly disheartened at the prospect of visiting the crime scene. Of course Aira had asked her to go. Abs was the stronger one, the one more able to control her emotions. Abs cleared her throat, before standing up and facing Aira.
"The Headmistress won't let us see her though. She thinks it will be to disconcerting."
"Disconcerting, my ass! But we're not going to get around her. It doesn't matter. Martini && Murders can solve any case." Aira smiled.
" 'Martini && Murders'? Lets just see how we do on this case before giving ourselves a neat name." Abs laughed, put on edge by the sudden light-hearted tone. This was serious. Deadly serious.
"If you insist." Aira laughed too, smiling and giving Abs a sharp high five. There was a snort from the other bed and Aira froze. She wasn't prepared to give away this secret yet. But it was only Sara snoring. Aira relaxed. "Come on, let get investigating!"
Abs peeped round the corner. There were two doors at the end; Kitchen 1 & 2. Abs knew about these places well enough. One was the kitchen that made the meat dishes and the other made the vegetarian meals. Abs pulled out a hair scrunchy from her skirt pocket, tying her long, thick brunette locks up into a pony tail. She didn't want to be responsable for a food poisoning incident because one of her hairs got in the meals.
The coast was clear. Abs strolled as casually as she could towards the doors, her mind set on getting inside Kitchen 1 – the meat feast room. She glanced inside, seeing no one, and pushed the door open. She'd never been in the kitchen before and was pleasantly surprised at what she saw.
It was white, sparkling white, and plain, full of shelves, a variety of knifes and white counters, only a splattering of blood on one surface. The blood smelt fresh and it was horrible. Abs wished she'd never come in. But the fresh blood also meant someone was here. Abs gulped. She didn't want to be caught in a restricted area without permission.
Before she could turn and run, a man strolled out from a store cupboard. Abs raised her eyebrows at the sight of the amazingly aphrodisiacal young man, barely in his twenties. He placed a large slab of meat on the bloodied counter, pulled off his rubber gloves and placed his large hands on his hips.
"What are you doing here, young lady?" he scowled. Abs opened her mouth to speak, then closed it again. She didn't know what to say. What could she say that could possibly get her out of trouble? "Well?"
"I've never been in this kitchen before." Abs said casually. Her plan was to avoid the question at all costs, no matter what. The man scowled again. "What's your name?"
"Daniel Growlch." he growled, becoming impatient. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm looking for clues and the like."
"Oh?" Daniel raised an eyebrow. Abs smirked.
"Yes. I'm with Martini and Murders. I'm working on the murder of the school girl, Roberta Clements." Abs smiled innocently at him, milking it a bit.
"Ahem." Daniel pointed to Abs' uniform. She rolled her eyes in an isn't-it-obvious way.
"Ever heard of a cover?" Abs grinned at Daniel, strutting in her best detective way towards him. He crossed his arms, clearly not believing a word of what Abs was saying.
"You're not a detective. You're Abigail Murders, best friend of that dead girl." Daniel growled, narrowing his eyes. Abs' grin was instantly turned back into a frown of terror.
"How dare you." she snarled in a dark and quiet tone, blood boiling. "How DARE you. Roberta was not just any girl. She was the sweetest, the kindest, most beautiful and sensitive girl this school has ever seen. I will not let you call her 'that dead girl'. You don't even know her."
"Oh Abigail, sweet child. I knew a lot about Roberta. A lot more than you think." Daniel was smirking at Abs again. She narrowed her eyes challengingly.
"What did you know of Robi? You're no friend, nor enemy. She's never even mentioned you. She was my best friend, I think I would know." Abs murmured, hands clenched into fists. Daniel glared into Abs' beautiful green eyes knowingly.
"Her favourite colour was lilac - "
"No! Her favourite colour was sparkling blood red." Abs yelled.
"And she changed it because of ME!" Daniel yelled back, louder. Abs pursed her lips. "And she had a lilac dream catcher on her bed, with lilac feathers and little diamond shaped mirrors."
Abs covered her mouth in shock, frozen for a second. In that second Daniel smirked, pulled on some fresh gloves and picked up the largest butcher's knife, chopping the fresh, stinking meat. Abs' mind was rolling. How did he knows these things? All those little details. As far as Abs knew, Robi had never even been in the Kitchens. How was this knowledge possible?
"She didn't tell you, did she?" Daniel asked, chopping. Abs uncovered her mouth, her throat deadly dry. She gulped before answering.
"Tell me what?" it surprised Abs to hear how shaky her voice was, riddled with cracks. Daniel smirked.
"How much she loved me." Daniel spoke the l-word like it was the most disgusting thing in the world. Abs shivered at this knowledge.
"She ... loved you? But how?" Abs sunk backwards, leaning against a wall, the information starting to scare her away from Daniel. But Abs was curious and Daniel had information she didn't. Was it worth it to stay, to hear these horrors? And the smell of that place!
"It was all innocent enough, at first. The stares across the dinner hall, the smiles that crept to her soft lips. But then she began talking to me, trying to be my friend. Sure you must have noticed during dinner." Daniel continued chopping, the blood splattering on his previously clean apron. Abs nodded slowly.
"She was slightly more chatty towards you than any of the other waiters." Abs agreed reluctantly. Daniel smiled at her.
"Then she was coming here, chatting and laughing and ... flirting." Daniel spat the last word. Abs knew where he was coming from. Robi had been amazingly flirtatious in her life. Not that it surprised anyone. Being cooped up in an all girls school was not the best idea for anyone's love life. And Robi had always craved love.
"Well, that defiantly sounds like our Robi." Abs supposed casually.
"I didn't care at first. She wasn't hurting anyone, being here, talking. And I could just ignore her easily enough by claiming to be concentrating on my work. She didn't mind, just so long as she could watch me, feel my presense. Robi didn't even mind the smell. Unlike you, I've noticed." Daniel looked up and threw Abs a heart-stopping grin.
"Do you know what happened to her the night she ... died?" Abs asked, looking down, fiddling with her hands, unable to make eye contact with Daniel.
"I haven't finished, Abigail. One afternoon, Robi invited me to her room. That's how I knew about the dream catcher." Daniel prompted Abs, who had now slid down to sit on the squeaky clean floor. "I thought it was going to be ok, just talking. I was scared, somewhere deep inside. I'd already put my job at risk, letting her into the kitchen, but to be alone with a student, a minor. But I ignored my conscience. I let myself believe she wouldn't try anything."
"But she did." Abs gasped, quickly think of the very afternoon, only last week, when Robi had skipped double science with the mystery stomach bug. She must have been seeing him. Daniel nodded unhappily.
"It was fine, to begin with. We talked – well, I listened, she couldn't stop. But she must have sensed that. I wasn't hiding my emotions that well. She must have misinterpreted them, the silly cow." Daniel sighed. Abs growled. Daniel gave her an apologetic look. "Sorry. Then she lunged forward, and kissed me. I was caught off guard. While I tried to pull away, she was trying to push it further. I wasn't going to let that happen."
Abs bit her lip. She was afraid of how this story was going to end. Daniel droned on with his story, "I ran from her the moment I could. I took a few days off. I don't know how she survived."
"She was heart broken, I could tell. She could hide her emotions well, but not nearly as well as I. She just blamed it on distress at home and told me she was glad I was there. I'm the nearest thing to a mum her or Aira have had here." Abs admitted bitterly. "I never suspected this."
"Abigail, you really should go. The chief will be here soon, for lunch." Daniel said, not looking at Abs. Abs looked him over, noticing his shaking hands, his tearfully eyes. This disconcerted her. He was hiding something. Abs was definitely sure of it now.
"Daniel why are you shaking?" Abs asked cautiously, standing up slowly.
"I-I'm not. What are you talking about?" Daniel muttered, looking down. Abs walked over, curious.
"Yes you are." she murmured. She reached out a touched his hand. Daniel's hand flew up, striking Abs across the cheek. She staggered back, falling down against the wall. Abs was shaking as she drew back her hand, glimpsing the blood from her cheek. She looked up and saw Daniel walking towards her slowly, knife in hand. Then she let out a piercing scream that echoed down the long kitchen.
"No one's going to hear you Abigail. No one."