Length: 12,015 words
Warning: Murder, Gore. Don’t read if you can’t handle those themes.
Summary: Who’s the killer? And more importantly...who will survive?
I groaned in my sleep in response to the shrill ringing of my phone. It was two in the morning, so I knew it could only be one person. I answered, ready to curse at him for waking me at this ungodly hour.
“Kim Taehyung do you have a death wish?”
“Good morning to you too, partner!” He sounded so disgustingly cheery that I scowled. “New case. Opened an hour ago. You need to come down.”
“Taehyung can this not wait four more hours?”
“Boss’s orders man. Nothing I can do. I’ll forward you the address you need to come to.”
“What’s actually happened?”
I heard him flicking through the notebook, probably notes he had made throughout the briefing. At least he’d gone to that without waking me up- for that, I was grateful.
“So there was a murder between the hours of 10 and 11. A dinner party between a group of..very prestigious friends. One of them, the victim, decided to retire to his room early and the others stayed downstairs. Then at some point, in that hour, the lights went out for a good half an hour. Lights came back on, butler went to check on our victim, lo and behold, he was found on the bed, stabbed in the back. House has already been cordoned off as a crime scene, and all the people present have been detained as suspects in said murder enquiry.”
“Thank you Taehyung, you’ve covered all grounds. Send me the address, I’ll be there as soon as. Get those annoying policemen away from the house before I get there please.” He hung up, leaving me to get ready. Great. I would have to solve a murder with less that two hours of sleep. They better have some coffee wherever this is.
This was my life. Detective Y/f/n Y/l/n, and my good friend and assistant, Kim Taehyung. I was well-renowned for it, known for solving what others deem impossible. The reason I wanted the police gone was they just got int the way, thinking everything could be solved with violence. If we left the job to them, everyone currently in that house would get arrested without a second thought.
Murder, at its core, is relatively uncomplicated. One person, either out of anger or for some kind of personal gain, decides to kill another person, and does exactly that, usually pretty sloppily and in an immediately incriminating manner.
That said, there are some people who sit around and concoct murder schemes so intricate that they seem less like real crimes and more like discarded plots.
I’ll give you a couple of examples. One of the most crazy ones I’ve dealt with was when a man found out his wife was cheating on him, a couple of years back. He managed to get a random stranger in the street to shoot her. How?
He gave said stranger a camera, badly disguised as a gun, asking if she could take a picture of his ‘beautiful wife’, because he had trouble with the button. So this person- presumably blind as fuck- agreed. Of course it didn’t take her picture- she ended up getting shot in the bloody back.
All ready and looking a bit less like the corpse I was just about to encounter, I set off. On the way there, Taehyung rang me again. “What?”, I started the conversation of pretty bluntly.
“Just checking you hadn’t fallen back to sleep. I can hear you’re in the car, so all’s good.”
“Taehyung. Ring me once more and that body won’t be the only thing getting buried.”
“Oh c’mon y/n, you without me is like a happy meal without the toy!”
I hung up.
I arrived at the destination, which thankfully wasn’t that far from my own home, and upon entering the massive drive, I immediately slowed the car down to a snail’s pace, taking in the huge mansion before me. Whoever the hell these people were, they weren’t short of cash.
I was just in time to see the last of the police cars driving off. Taehyung was waiting at the front door for me, so I parked up and got out, immediately asking “What you got?”
“Let’s walk and talk”, he muttered. “I’ve only just got to grips with the layout of this place. All the guests are in the dining room. So..victim was a 22 year old male, name, Jung Hoseok, known by his friends as ‘Hobi’. Apparently very friendly. No one had any issues with him, he wasn’t troublesome.”
“That’s what we always get told”, I replied. No one wanted to speak ill of the dead, and would much rather lie to us about what a lovely person they were.
“In there?”, I motioned at the closed set of wooden double doors and he nodded. Everyone in the room looked up when we entered the vast room. The long dining table stretched out, with everyone, bar the butler, sat around it. The group consisted of five men and two women.
“OK Taehyung, I gather you’ve already got the basics on this lot.”
Taehyung nodded. “I’ll brief you and then you can see the body.” He pointed at the boy sitting on the far right of the table. “Min Yoongi. 23 years of age. Worked with Mr Jung in business. Grew to be a massive success, obviously. Known the victim since a young age.”
I gave him a curt nod, and wondered why he was sat a considerable distance away from everyone else. Maybe he was just upset at the lost of a childhood friend. Maybe...
Taehyung moved on, pointing at the person on the opposite side of the table, who subconsciously fixed his suit when he realised our eyes were on him. “That is Park Jimin. Former partnership with Mr Jung, but hadn’t spoken to him in months. This party was their first proper meet-up.”
Former partnership...Did he get kicked out? Was there an argument? I would have to wait and see. “This is ridiculous”, Jimin announced. “It was obvious none of us did it!”
“If I had a pound every time someone said those words to me and turned out to be wrong, Mr Park, I could’ve been rich enough to have been listed as a special guest at your ridiculously extravagant party”, I replied in a bored tone. “Now please do quieten down.”
Next to Mr Park, a girl- a very pretty girl. “She’s a good friend of the victim”, Taehyung informed me. “Choi Jinri. Same age as him too.” I raised a brow, but said nothing. Just friends? She didn’t seem too disturbed by what had happened.
Four seats down, was the next guest. A Mr Jeon Jungkook. “The youngest millionaire in our city, apparently. He was a good friend of Mr Jung’s, having only met a couple of years back at...a party, how ironic.” I glanced at Taehyung wryly.
He pointed at the girl next to Mr Jeon, the only one who looked visibly upset my the whole ordeal. “That’s Park Sooyoung. She is currently in a relationship with Mr Jeon, and is one year older than him. Not in the business scene as of yet- still pursuing an education. No known connections to Mr Jung, only here because Mr Jeon bought her.”
Taehyung leaned in to whisper in my ear, “I think this is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
I shook my head, whispering back, “You know better than to start ruling out suspects this early on Taehyung. Who’s the guy on our left?”
“And our last guest”, Taehyung announced, loud enough for everyone to hear. “That is Kim Seokjin. Also 23, but older than Mr Min by 9 months, making him the eldest of the group. Had been in contact with the victim- they met up for drinks frequently.”
“And last but not least, we have Mr Kim Namjoon, the butler for this prestigious event. He lives here along with Kim Seokjin as a full time butler. Normally, his day ends at around 8 pm, but he stayed up to help cater for this gathering.”
Namjoon bowed his head slightly as a form of greeting when Taehyung finished talking. I gave him a brief nod of the head and turned to Seokjin. “Oh, so this is your house?”
“Well yes, I paid for it. But it’s a shared residency in a way. The guys come and go as they please, and I even designated them their own rooms for when they want to stay the night.”
I acknowledged his answer with a simple nod. “OK”, I announced to the room. “Me and my colleague are going to have a close look at the crime scene. If anyone- and I mean anyone- of you try to leave, I will see to it that you are arrested, regardless of whether you are guilty or not.” Jimin huffed but said nothing.
“Taehyung, lead the way.” We both left, shutting the door firmly behind us. “What do you make of that lot then?” I thought for a minute. “Well, I cam already see possible motives, but...nothing conclusive. Has anyone touched the body? Move it about?” We started walking up the stairs- there were a lot of them.
Taehyung shook his head. “They only took some prints of the weapon, and found nothing. So the killer covered his tracks. Also there’s the problem of everyone being in the same room when the lights went out- so they’re all each others alibi.”
On our way up, I noticed a set of intricately carved, exotic looking knives- and there was an obvious gap where one was missing.
“Well, he hardly stabbed himself in the back Tae”, I replied.
“Maybe someone broke in?”, he suggested.
“Maybe. Although the residency is well secured. You must have seen those gates out front- and the padlock on those doors seems impossible to get through.”
“I had a dream you know”, Taehyung mused. “That I murdered someone. This line of work does weird things to you, honestly.” I blinked at him, and was just about to reply, when he finally stopped outside a door.
“OK, this is his room”, he confirmed, swinging the door open for me to enter. “Ladies first.” I rolled my eyes and walked past him. I stopped halfway into the room to stare at the lifeless body, face down on the bed. My suspicions about the knife were confirmed- the one in his back matched the set on the wall.
I bent forward slightly, spotting something underneath the victim. “Tae, what’s that?”
“What’s what?”, he responded, rather unhelpfully, may I add.
“Underneath the victim...”, I replied, edging closer towards the bed to get a better look. I crouched down next to his legs which were hanging off the bed, and motioned for Taehyung to come over. He crouched down next to him and I watched as he raised an eyebrow.
“...Money”, I confirmed, finishing off his sentence. As I pushed his legs to the side, moving him slightly, we could both clearly see the blood-stained banknotes. “Taehyung, look at the way they’re scrunched up...the killer placed them there after the victim died, or they’d be a lot smoother.”
Taehyung was nodding and writing all this down simultaneously. He always made notes which helped with interrogation, and was useful in case we ever needed to backtrack.
“I wonder what this means...a business rival? Is that what it indicates?”
“Possibly”, I mused, staring at Mr Jung. “Which would mean it could be Mr Min or Mr Park- both current and former business partners. Taehyung’s eyes widened. “How’d you remember that?”
Taehyung’s short term memory was awful. I gave him a small smile and said “Let’s get back down, we’ve seen enough. Want me to the lead the way in case you get lost?”, I teased.
“Thanks Dora, but I’ll manage”, he grumbled, haughtily overtaking me. I would have laughed at his childish behaviour, had there not been a dead body in the room.
When we got back downstairs, the butler, Mr Kim, had taken a seat, and Mr Park was pacing the room- the rest of them hadn’t moved. Everyone’s heads shot up in alarm when we burst in, solemn looks on our faces.
I didn’t waste any time, and started asking questions straight away. Turning to Mr Kim Seokjin, I asked, “Those knives hung up on your wall, on the way upstairs...who gave them to you?”
“I bought them whilst abroad”, he answered, despite the confused look on his face. “I thought they’d make for nice decoration...why?”
“How’d you get those through customs?”, Taehyung asked, shocked.
“I’m heavily influential, sir”, Seokjin replied in a strained voice. I could see we were already testing his patience.
I shot Taehyung a look before proceeding. I knew we were told to not tell suspects anything, but in my experiences, the person in question was more likely to break the more in control we seemed.
“Mr Jung had been stabbed with one of those knives”, I addressed everyone. “And that’s not all. The person who murdered him, decided to shove money under his corpse.” One of the girls, Sooyoung, let out a gasp and the boys looked surprised. In fact, they all reacted except Miss Choi and Mr Min.
“Now whether this was a clue, or whether the killer was mocking Mr Jung, that much is not clear. I turned back to Seokjin. “Mr Kim, this is a big house. Surely you have some form of CCTV to keep an eye on your surroundings?”
He nodded. “I had a couple installed. There is a screen in the kitchen that allows me to see what’s happening at any given time.”
“Does it record, or only let you see what’s happening now?, Taehyung asked him.
“There are control buttons at the back of the screen, that allow you to rewind back to 12 hours, and then it resets”, he replied. 12 hours- that was more than enough time. We only needed to check out the footage from just before the murder.
“OK”, I nodded. “We’ll be right back. Again, no one leave- I’m sure by now you understand the consequences.” We left the guests to sit amongst themselves in a shocked silence.
“Kitchen’s at the end of the corridor on the left”, Seokjin called just before we shut the door.
As Seokjin said, in the corner of the grand kitchen was a small CCTV monitor. Taehyung handed me his pad and pen, and started going back to around the time of the murder. I was staring so intently at the screen for any sign of activity, I didn’t notice the lights flicker.
Taehyung glanced at me a couple of times- I caught him in my peripheral vision. “What is it?” I noticed the flickering when I turned away from the screen to look at his face.
It was only a moment later, we were plunged in darkness, the screen in front of us also going black. “Shit, what’s happening?”, Taehyung muttered. I heard surprised voiced in the distance, so handing Taehyung his things back I cupped my hands, bought them to my mouth and yelled at the top of my voice, “Everyone calm down!”
It was pitch black and I didn’t see how we could get back, so the only thing I could think to do was shout. It seemed to word- they stopped talking anyway. My mouth felt dry and I could hear the thudding of my heart- I didn’t have a good feeling about this at all.
We started creeping along in the dark, holding onto each other and continuously bumping into various objects, when we heard a shrill scream, somewhere close by, making us jump out of our skin. “Oh no”, I murmured. “Tae, this is bad.” We heard nothing else after that, and shortly after, the lights came back on.
We grew accustomed to the harsh brightness, before we started sprinting to the source of the noise. Taehyung ran straight ahead, down the corridor, while I opted to check in every room en route.
“Nothing in here”, I huffed, paying no heed to him, moving one room down.
“Tae, can you just shut up and look, someone could be seriously hurt-”
I stuck my head out to glare at him. “Found her.” He looked pale, like he was about to be sick so quickly, but warily I made my way towards him, bracing myself for whatever he was staring at. But nothing could have prepared me for the sight before me.
It was Miss Choi. She had been impaled in the chest with what looked like the fireplace poker with such force, that it propped her up against the wall behind her. Her now lifeless figure stood there, her eyes still open in terror, her mouth hung open- her cream now silenced.
I looked down at her feet, noticing a hand mirror placed right next to her, close to the growing pool of blood. Taehyung at this point had looked away, but I wordlessly tapped him and pointed at the small object.
“A mirror?”, he whispered. “Why?” I shrugged, gently pulling him by the arm to get back to the room. I could check the CCTV later, he looked like he was in shock, so I’d have t help him first. That’s what partners were for.
I opened the door, eyeing the people who now looked troubled themselves. “You all heard her scream, yet nobody went to see if she was OK.”
“Well, you did tell us we’d get arrested if we stepped out of this room”, Jimin snapped, and I stared at him in disbelief.
“Shut up Park”, Yoongi muttered. He glanced at me, a disinterested expression on his face. “We couldn’t see shit with the lights off and when they came back on, we heard your voices so we decided to stay put.”
Mr Jeon was hugging his distraught girlfriend. Seokjin was shaking his head slowly, biting his lip. None of them looked out of breath, or had blood on their clothes...so it couldn't be anyone here, surely?
“Did anyone hear this door open and close while the lights were off? Obviously Miss Choi opened it at some point to leave- or maybe even her attacker dragged her out?”
Namjoon replied, “No, no one heard a thing. Especially not at first when we were all shouting in the sudden darkness. What er..what happened to Miss Choi?”
“Killed with a fireplace poker”, Taehyung answered quietly. “Stabbed. Except this time the killer left a mirror next to the body and not money.”
I was thinking about the last time I saw Jinri alive. Sat there quietly, staring at the table, drink in hand. Her eyes seemed glassy and she was zoned out- almost like she was on something. My eyes flitted up to search for her glass, to find it was still there.
Mr Park was just about to move it, seeing as it was placed right on the edge and could topple off, when I suddenly held out a hand and ordered, “Don’t touch that glass.”
He frowned, but stepped away nonetheless. It seemed that the notion of spending a bit of time behind bars had Mr Park doing everything we asked him to.
“Oh my god”, Sooyoung was whimpering to herself.
“Listen here”, Mr Jeon snapped, obviously tired of trying to comfort her. “There is a killer somewhere in this house and you’re stood here having a chit chat with us? What kind of detectives are you exactly? Another one of our friends is dead!”
“There is no one else here”, Taehyung muttered shakily. He sounded scared- who could blame him- and that put me on edge too. “I managed to get to just before Mr Jung’s murder on the CCTV just before the lights went out. The only activity we have is Mr Jeon stepping out for a cigarette. Other than that, no one has entered. No one has left. There’s no one else here”, he repeated. Everyone was uneasily eyeing each other after Taehyung confirmed that we were alone.
I made my way around the table to Jinri’s drink and cautiously held the glass flute up to my nose, to see if I cold smell anything remotely suspicious. Her red lipstick was still smeared on the side of the glass. “She was really quiet and looked out of it”, I recalled. Taehyung picked up his pen with shaky hands, and I motioned for him to leave it- I could remember.
“Don’t you guys think it’s ironic?”, Jimin suddenly spoke up. “Hoseok was money-crazy, always undermining others to make a quick buck. And whoever killed him pt money there. Jinri...Jinri was very big-headed about her looks. ‘No other girl can compare’, she used to say. And she was found with a mirror.”
I stared at him. The killer was associating the murders with the victims attributes?
“OK”, I said to him, Jinri’s glass still in my hand as I simultaneously thought about what could be in it. “Say you were next on the list Mr Park. What would your body be found with?”
He started spluttering and going red in the face at my question. Whilst he struggled to reply, I thought of something.
“Taehyung”, I gasped, holding the glass up. “Rohypnol!”
No one else knew what we were talking about. “That date rape drug?”, he asked incredulously. I nodded. “The very one.”
“How can you be sure?”
“We,, I can’t without any chemical tests or even an autopsy. But whovever takes it is physically incapacitated and has impaired judgment. They’re also confused.” That would explain Jinri’s state.
“Rohypnol is 10 times more potent than Valium and enters the bloodstream as quickly as 15 minutes after ingestion. A single 2-milligram pill has the same potency as a 6-pack of beer", I explained to the dumbfounded audience. “So say Miss Choi had drank most of the dose- it would be easy for the killer to wordlessly drag her out of this room without her complaining.”
Rohypnol causes an intoxication where users don’t care about what they do or cannot stop what happens to them. So my best guess of what she had taken would be that.
Seokjin leaned back in his chair. “Holy shit....but how did the lights go out and come back while we were all here?” I walked back to Taehyung, sitting down in the empty seat next to him. “I don’t know Mr Kim”, I admitted helplessly. “Not yet anyway.”
“They’re getting killed for the dumbest shit”, Mr Jeon exclaimed angrily. “Hoseok...I mean, who the hell isn’t competitive in business? That’s how you succeed! And Jinri..what the hell is wrong with a girl having a bit of confidence?”
“With all due respect sir”, Namjoon’s gravelly voice answered him, “There’s confidence, then there’s pride. Miss Choi I’m afraid, was the latter.” My eyes instantly widened at his words.
“Whatever the fuck she was Namjoon, it’s not worth killing her over it!”
I could feel a pair of eyes on me and sure enough Mr Min was staring at me. “You know something”, he hummed. It was a statement, not a question. Everyone looked at me expectantly.
I kept my eyes on Min. “Pride”, I repeated Namjoon’s words. “What is pride? Well, if you’re religious, anyway?”
He cocked his head. “Well in the religious sense, it’s a sin.” Bingo.
“A sin”, I repeated. “And what Mr Jung did in business...we can class that as greed, no?” For the first time since we got here, Min Yoongi actually gave a damn.
“A sin”, he repeated again, eyes slightly wide.
I turned to Taehyung, who as expected, was hastily scribbling down my thoughts. “OK”, I breathed, trying to compose myself. After all, this was only speculation. “That explains the significance of the money and mirror. Now there are seven deadly sins, correct?” Everyone nodded, staring at me earnestly.
“That means our killer has five victims left. Which would make sense as there are six of you left- five victims, one killer.” I was observing them all very carefully, seeing if anyone looked the slightest bit nervous that we were onto them, but I got nothing.
“Y/n”, Taehyung murmured next to me, pen poised, ready to write. “What are the seven deadly sins again?”
“Erm, so the killer’s got through greed and pride. So we have envy, wrath, lust, sloth and...”
“Gluttony”, Yoongi finished. The only way I could see out of this was if everyone honestly associated themselves with a sin- and then maybe we could narrow down the killer.
“Well, I’ll be the first to say that I’m probably gluttony”, Seokjin announced, clearly having the same idea as me. “I eat quite a bit.” I was surprised at that, probably because he looked so skinny.
His lack of hesitation in admitting that made him unlikely to be the killer. “And I nap so often, so I’m probably sloth”, Yoongi added. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be him either. As level headed as he seemed, it didn’t take a genius to figure out he hadn’t moved from his seat.
“So we have lust, wrath and envy left”, I said, looking at the four remaining people. They all looked seemingly confused and I sighed in frustration. “If Mr Min and Mr Kim are telling the truth, at least three of you are going to get killed”, I told them.
“Well...I guess being the butler to such prestigious guests, I could be envy”, Namjoon admitted. I guess that made sense. Seeing richer people in a better position day in day out...he was only human after all.
Taehyung still looked nauseous. “Tae”, I nudged him to get his attention. “We’re not on the list, don’t worry. And no one else will die tonight, OK?” He nodded, not making eye contact. Something told me he didn’t believe me.
“OK. Gluttony, Sloth and Envy....That’s three of y-”
“This is bullshit!”, Jungkook interrupted. “You have just theorised this based off...what?! Fucking hell”, he ran a hand through his hair. His girlfriend looked startled by the sudden outburst. “Kookie, please calm down. What they’re saying makes sense...”, she whispered.
“You could be wrath”, I commented wryly. He seemed like the angry type. Jungkook just looked away, refusing to acknowledge us anymore- which was fine with me. After all, this was our job.
“Who called the police after the murder of Mr Jung?”, I asked the guests. Namjoon held up a hand. “I did. It was me who found Sir after the lights came back on, and I immediately rang the police.”
“Did you ring before or after you told everyone else about the body?”, Taehyung asked him.
“We heard him shouting for help, telling all of us to come up quickly”, Seokjin replied. “And then he called the police.”
“What do we do if the lights go off again?”, Sooyoung asked shakily. “We can’t just sit here until the next person is killed.”
“Baby, no one else is getting killed, don’t worry.” His words were flat and spoken without emotion. What the hell did she see in that guy? Ignoring him, I responded to her. “If the lights go off...there’s not a lot we can do but run and hide. If you can manoeuvre around this house in the dark, use that to your advantage. The gates outside the property are electric...and so you can’t really leave unless someone opens them before the lights go out.”
Just as I spoke, the lights started flickering, making everyone flustered. They all got to their feet in sheer panic, except me, Taehyung and Yoongi. “Everybody calm down!”, I yelled over the racket. Taehyung held onto my upper arm and the last thing I saw was the look of dread on his face before the lights went out.
Everyone went deathly quiet in the darkness. “OK”, I whispered. One of them was the killer waiting for their next victim to make a move, so it was imperative that everyone stayed calm.
“Everyone, relax. Nobody move. Nobody make a sound.” I heard a small shuffle of feet behind me. If the sound was from behind me, then the only one that could be moving was Yoongi.
“Mr Min, care to explain what you are doing?”, I asked sternly, still whispering.
“Well detective”, he replied sarcastically, “If we pull those curtains back near where Namjoon was stood, then at least we would have moonlight to see each other.”
I hated to admit it, but he had a point. “OK, but you stay where you are. Namjoon, you still stood by the window?”
“Mr Kim Namjoon?”
“Yeah?” I sighed in relief at the gruff response. “Are you near the window?”
“No, not anymore. I moved when the lights went.”
I heard Jungkook tut in annoyance. “Well do you know where the bloody window is from where you’re stood?”
Before Namjoon could reply, I heard a stifled sob, coming from behind me and Tae, roughly where the large double doors were situated. Shit. “Sooyoung?”, I heard Jungkook call her name. “When the hell did you move?”
It was a fair question. I hadn’t heard her walk around the table either- she must have been really light on her feet. “Miss Park”, Taehyung called out, a lot more gently than Jungkook did.
“I know you’re scared, but please don’t put yourself in further danger by leaving this room.” Tae clearly didn’t think she was the murderer. But I could see why. The amount of force Jinri had been stabbed with...Sooyoung just didn’t looks strong enough.
“I can’t do this anymore”, she whimpered. “How could I possibly me in any more danger than right now, in the same room as that psycho while it’s pitch black? I’m sorry..”, she was full on crying. “I can’t stay here, I’ll come back when the lights come on.”
We heard the small creak of the door opening, but couldn’t see for shit, so I started to call her back. “Oh no you don’t”, I heard Jungkook mutter. Then I heard heavy footsteps, presumably his, going after her.
“Jungkook you fucking idiot, leave her!”, Jimin yelled. Then I heard Jimin shuffling around. Well that ‘keep everyone calm’ plan had certainly gone to shit. “I’m going to go and hide somewhere else”, Jin exclaimed, leaving promptly.
We were met by silence. “Namjoon? Mr Min?”, Taehyung called out softly, but we got no reply. Both of them must have silently slipped out with everyone else.
“Shit!”, I cursed in frustration. “Why can’t anyone just listen? And they’ll all know the house well, so they could be anywhere!” Fuck’s sake!”
“I heard like four of them run upstairs”, Taehyung explained. “Maybe we should too...four people y/n...that’s the majority. I’d hedge my bets and say the next victim’s up there. We have a chance to save them.”
I nodded in agreement, even though he couldn’t see me. “We need to leave this damn room first. Y/n, did you bring your gun?”
“Tae, when have I ever come armed to an enquiry?”
“Just checking”, he grumbled. “I thought you kept one in your car.” I rolled my eyes, but didn’t say anything as my hands brushed against the solid wood of the door. “Found it, let’s go!” The marble stairs were a couple of metres ahead, and slightly to the left, and I found them with ease.
I shivered slightly, knowing Jinri’s body was not that far from us, but tried to focus on getting upstairs before anything happened. I hadn’t heard any noises just yet, which was simultaneously nerve-wrecking...and comforting.
“How the hell is this bastard controlling these lights...”, Taehyung muttered, more to himself than me as we quickly but silently made our way up. As soon as we got up on the huge landing, we heard a distant thud, and we both started running.
I only stopped when I noticed I was alone. When I ran right, Tae must have gone left. I slowed down to a cautious walk, my mouth suddenly dry. Yes we weren’t on the killer’s list, but we were still an obstacle I’m sure they’d be more than happy to dispose of.
“Tae?...”, I called out in a tiny voice, another thud making me jump. I decided it would be best to remain quiet- that way I wouldn’t attract any unwanted attention. I crept along the carpeted corridor, the sound of my breathing getting harder to control with the growing unease and anxiety. I felt as if someone was going to jump out at any moment. I could just about make out my surroundings, the light coming in from the windows of the various rooms- every door in this corridor was open.
As I walked past yet another room, I opened my mouth to scream as a hand shot out and grabbed me, dragging me inside. My scream was cut off as the person pulled my back towards their chest, ,muffling any noise with their hand.
“Shh”, I heard a harsh whisper in my ear. “It’s me, Yoongi.” It took me a couple of minutes to calm down, but I eventually relaxed a fraction against him, and he slowly took his hand away. “What the fuck was that?”, I whispered weakly, my heart rate still refusing to subside.
“You were aimlessly wondering around. Do you want to get killed?”
“No, course I don’t”, I replied. “But my friend...my friend and I heard a noise and got separated. This side of the house seems empty, so everyone else must be on the other side.”
“Nah, I reckon Seokjin’s hiding in his room, which is down the corridor. And Jungkook and Sooyoung must be together, wherever they are.”
I raised an eyebrow. “That leaves Mr Park and Namjoon.”
“Namjoon...I reckon Namjoon’s hiding downstairs. He’s a big guy. I woulda heard him if he was up here.”
“You think Jimin’s the killer?”
“I don’t know. But luckily it’s not my job.” I let the snide remark slide. I couldn’t help myself as I reached for his hand when someone outside the room whispered my name.
I stood there frozen, until Yoongi cleared his throat as a blatant attempt to make me let go, which I did instantly, feeling embarrassed. It took my brain a moment to register that the whispering was Taehyung, so I made my way to the door and called out quietly into the corridor, “Tae, in here.”
“Can you see the door to your left?
“Me and Mr Min are in here.” I heard his careful steps until he was finally in the room, shutting the door quietly behind him. “Well Mr Min, if anyone dies in the next few minutes, at least we can rule you out.”
“Wow, I’m impressed”, he replied sarcastically. “You guys sure are the best detectives money can buy.”
We both ignored him as I turned around to where I thought Tae was stood. “Did you hear a second thud after we split up?”
“Yeah, it sounded a hell of a lot closer. Sounded like a drawer opening and closing, rather than something being dropped. But then I heard footsteps coming towards me, and I ran.”
“Boy, these lights sure are taking a long time to come back on”, I commented uneasily.
“Don’t worry Miss Y/n, I’m here if your hand needs holding”, Yoongi commented, clearly amused with himself. I narrowed my eyes. “Mr Min, with all due respect, do one.”
That shut him up. Only a moment later, the lights started to flicker back on, which was our cue to leave the room and start searching for whoever was alive. “Everyone, if you can hear me, come out!”, I ordered, once the lights were on.
Slowly, the guests started appearing. We already had Yoongi with us, so obviously we knew he was fine. Seokjin was the first to appear. Then Jimin. Then Jungkook. Four of them were here, so two were missing.
“Miss Park? Namjoon?”, I called tentatively. I got no answer. I turned to Jungkook. “Were you not with Sooyoung?”
He actually looked worried himself. “No. I couldn’t find her, so I hid in Hoseok’s room thinking it was the safest place to go. I called for her, but got no reply.”
I immediately started searching all the rooms, Taehyung quickly following my lead. Jungkook slowly took a seat on the top step, looking dumbfounded. Yoongi went back to the right half of the house to look into the room there, and Seokjin stayed put, his eyes flitting between Jungkook and us.
Jimin leaned against the wall, head in hands. “I can’t take this anymore”, he announced to no one in particular. “I can’t...I want to leave.”
“Jimin, the gates outside are locked, and only Namjoon has access to the control panel at night”, Seokjin reminded him gently. “We’re stuck here.”
“Well find Namjoon!”
He was borderline hysterical. “Mr Park, I’m gonna need you to calm down”, Taehyung took a small break in checking the rooms to talk to him. “That kind of attitude isn’t helping any of us. If you need to take a breather, feel free to go back into the room we were all sat in before, but please- either help us or stay quiet.”
Jimin stayed quiet. "Shit!”, we heard Yoongi exclaim in the distance, which had us all running to the source of the noise. He was in the penultimate room of the right corridor, stood at the doorway, hand covering his mouth.
It was Sooyoung. Her face was unrecognisable, and there was also lot of blood staining her clothes on her nether regions. What also caught my attention was what was seemingly a piece of paper placed between her arm and stomach. My stomach churned as I pushed past Yoongi and walked towards the body.
“Move”, Jungkook ordered pushing everyone out of his way. He stopped at the sight of his girlfriend. His face scrunched up in pain- which slowly turned to disgust as his eyes landed on me.
He only said the one word, but it sent shivers down my spine. “This is all you.” He suddenly lunged for me, grabbing the hem of m shirt to pull me closer. He gripped my shoulders and shook me harshly. “She’s dead cus of you!”
Taehyung immediately intervened, trying to pull him off me. “Jeon, let her go!”, Yoongi yelled pulling at the younger boy from behind. “Get away from her!”, Jungkook paid them no attention, and opted to yell at me instead once Yoongi had got him off me. Taehyung stood in front of me, his shoulders heaving.
“Mr Jeon, this is not acceptable. I’m sorry about what happened, but we can ensure we’re trying our bes-”
“-Your best, my foot!”, he screamed, stunning Tae. Seokjin and Jimin stood uneasily at the doorway of the room, not quite sure what to do with themselves. “Three people! Three people have died now and you’re no closer to finding who did it!”
Yoongi let go of him as he sank down to the floor in defeat, angry tears rolling down his face. I looked away from him and turned back to the body, eyeing that piece of paper.
Had Yoongi not called me into that room, I would have kept on walking down the corridor and possibly bumped into whoever did this. Then it dawned on me- wasn’t Seokjin’s room just next door? And where the hell was Namjoon?
“Tae. The butler. Go find him”, I managed to say. I slowly reached for the paper in her hand, wary of Jungkook’s dark gaze on me. What was on the other side shocked me to my core. It wasn’t a piece of paper. It was a photo.