From Chapter 1
“Oh, have you heard what happened at the rec center? I don’t think we ever had a murder on campus before!” Terra exclaimed. Hearing that, I abandoned my computer and joined them in the hall. I am nothing if not curious.
“Murder? I thought there was an accident?” I asked. I wondered if Terra exaggerated the situation a bit.
“Nope! Joe just called me from the paper, and he’s on his way over to get some background information for the paper,” Terra stated. Her husband, Joe, worked for the Cold Creek Gazette and I often wondered if it was just a natural consequence of his job that Terra seemed to know everything about everybody. It wasn’t like she was a gossip, but she always seemed to have the scoop on what was happening. On the other hand, she was very sociable, like Kim.
“Who was murdered? How?” I asked, still not completely convinced. I thought of the childhood game of telephone when the same sentence was repeated to a series of people, one after the other, and how different the meaning by the time it reached the last person.
“Oh, my god, I was there. I could have been murdered too!” Kim exclaimed, hands to her mouth. She clearly didn’t have any trouble believing what Terra said. Not knowing the details, I guessed it was a logical leap that she was in the same place and could have been affected.
“Joe didn’t say who, just that the scene was being treated as a murder scene. He was assigned to get backfill for the story that would come out. He said he’d be over to talk to faculty and staff in a bit. We turned the news on in the office, but so far haven’t heard anything. They may not be saying yet. You know, maybe they haven’t notified next of kin or something,” Terra continued with a shrug. Her nonchalance was a stark contrast to Kim’s response. Ali hadn’t said anything, but shook her head. Like her name, Terra tended toward being down to earth and that gave some credibility to the idea of a murder.
“Kim, did you see anything this morning that looked suspicious?” I asked thinking back to her comments about the questions she’d been asked. The questions and police presence were making sense if this was a murder.
“Sher, you know me on the treadmill. Headphones on and zoning out for five miles. I couldn’t even tell you who came and went while I was there. When the police interrupted us to ask questions, I think there were a few students and a man. I think I’ve seen him over in the administration building a few times and at college functions. I don’t remember his name though,” she related, shaking her head slightly. “Maybe if I paid more attention I could have stopped it…,” she added as she clapped her hands to her face again.
“Don’t be ridiculous! Unless it happened in the cardio suite, there’s no way you could have done anything,” I assured her. “I’m sure you would have done something if you could have."