Flipped: A Murder Mystery

The First

The next morning I woke up to the sun peeking through the open curtains. Liz, I noticed, had already left for work, as her teaching job required her to wake up before the sun. This left the apartment completely silent, save for the birds outside and the rowdy downstairs neighbors who were blasting Metallica for the whole block to hear. The landlord was likely going to get a couple or more complaints today.

I swung my feet over the side of the bed and stretched my arms up above my head with a long, dramatic yawn to accompany the action. I picked up my phone to check my messages.

Liz: I’ll see you when I get home! Ily <3

I smiled and texted back:

Me: I love you too! <3

Just as I had pressed SEND, my phone began to buzz in my hand, and Wendy’s face showed up on the screen. I wondered why, after yesterday’s fiasco, she would be calling me, but I wasn’t one to ignore a phone call. I answered it. Her voice was muffled as if she were cupping the speaker against her mouth, and there were sirens covering up much of what she was saying (was she by police cars?), but I managed to make out small details.

Callum, I need–get to the gym. Someone on first shift–a body. I don’t know who–not telling you over the phone–get down here now!” she said before hanging up. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Someone found a body? I was suddenly glad that I was an average employee who had slept in and had not been to the gym early to find the body. Who was the body? Chills ran up my spine, and I was very grateful for my neighbors at that moment because I in no way could have handled the silence.

I quickly stood up, dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie, and drove to the gym. When I got there, police cars were parked outside, their lights flashing. I could hardly see anything between the lights, the crowd, and the sunlight glinting off of the windows. All I could see was the gravel in front of me and the horrified faces of neighbors that had come to see what was happening. There were screams, some gasps, and other people who simply stood still with their mouths shut tight.

“There you are!” Wendy shouted over the chaos. “What took you so long?!” Locks of hair were falling out of the braid that she had pulled over her shoulder. Her makeup was smudged around her eyes. She was an absolute mess, and I knew instantly that the death wasn’t some accident. “They identified the body, Callum,” she said once she had reached me. Her bright blue eyes were filled with fear. “It’s Jerry.”