By Chadd Hennig
This is Part One of a four-part series. A new part will be published each issue. Read the story, then cast your vote for who you think murdered Garret here!
The lights flicker on and off as we sit in a tight circle, afraid of the impending doom lingering in the cabin corridor.
“So, we should probably talk about what happened,” Cody croaks, his voice sore from screaming.
“I mean, what is there to say?” Lexi replies as she gives Cody a snarky look which she holds for too long.
“Well, Garret’s dead. That’s a start, Lexi,” says Todd. Out of the four of us, Todd is seemingly the most affected by what just happened, given his shaky hands and eyes which continue to swell.
“Louisa, what are you thinking right now?” he inquires between sobs.
“I’m thinking that it has to be someone here, one of us in this room right now,” I say.
“And how do you know that?” Cody asks.
“Because we’re trapped here! Trapped in the middle of the woods, inside a cabin which is beyond snowed-in.”
“But we’re all friends. What possible motives would any of us have for killing Garret?”
“That’s true. I guess I don’t really know who would do it.”
“Well, it wasn’t me!” Lexi declares.
“HEY!” I shout, in a desperate attempt to get everybody’s attention.
“Obviously no one is going to confess to killing Garret, so we’ll have to do this logically.”
“Yeah, everyone will provide an alibi which will prove how they aren’t guilty,” Todd adds.
“And how will we know no one is lying?” Lexi snaps back impudently.
“This isn’t a big cabin. It isn’t likely that anyone has had much time alone,” I say, trying to shut Lexi up.
“Except for the killer.” Of course, she had something to respond with; she had that one ready.
“We’re getting nowhere. I’ll just go first,” says Todd. I wonder how his alibi will compare to what I’ve seen him do all night, which is primarily flirting with Lexi. Come to think of it, Lexi did mention having a thing for Garret. I switch my focus to listening to Todd and brush the strange thought aside.
“So I arrived around six hours ago, at 8:00 pm, just like the rest of you. Right before the blizzard. When I first got here I went to the living room and laid down on the couch.”
“No, you didn’t. You went into the bedroom to unpack.” Cody says.
“With Garret,” Lexi chimes in.
“What’re you trying to say? That I killed Garret then? He didn’t die until 11:00!”
“11:00 is when we found him, Todd. He could have been killed much earlier than that,” Lexi challenges.
“Oh be quiet, Lexi! We all had dinner together at 10:00, including Garret,” I contend. Everyone falls silent.
“Anyway, I unpacked, then I went to lie down in the living room. I was there up until dinner, talking to Lexi the whole time.”
“It’s true,” Lexi testifies.
“Ok, and after dinner? What did you do then?” questions Cody, his eyes narrowing in on the speaker, as if detecting a certain transparency that Todd would rather not reveal.
“I just went back to the couch. I’m telling you, I didn’t kill Garret. I haven’t done much of anything since we got here.”
“That sounds about right,” says Cody. Lexi and I nod our heads in agreement. I glance out the window, and although it is almost completely barricaded by snow, I make out the familiar evergreens, which at this moment have never been less green. I also hear the sound of the crisp winter air that still manages to find its way into the cabin.
“Louisa, it’s your turn.”
To be continued...
Who do you think murdered Garret? Vote here.