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Dim Sum Mysteries - 16. Chapter 16 - Deadly Games

The Dim Sum Club are getting closer to finding out the truth behind the murders, but it's putting a strain on Ryan.

Chapter 16 – Deadly Games

Friday, somewhere, 16:45

It didn’t feel real. I had hoped so much that maybe we could have prevented another death. I thought we had done all we could and even the Sheriff and the police were probably doing their best too. None of us knew how this Gunner could have made it through the walls we had created around our normally peaceful town. But the peace was broken. I guess, it had already been since that first message arrived.

Jeffry was by the computer, with Artie. Nicole was looking confused and frustrated at the same time as she paced absently to and fro. Anna was holding my hand and she was probably just as confused as the rest of us, even though she had just gotten here. Michael was by my side. I was grateful for the warmth of his presence. Victoria was probably somewhere in her room, gazing into her crystal ball for signs, signs for what we should be doing next.

And then I heard my phone vibrate in my pocket. A text message.

Friday, Mac Worthington High School, 09:59

I heard my name being called as I walked down the hallway. I turned around and saw Michael walking towards me.

“What’s up?”

Michael walked beside me as we headed to the chemistry labs to prepare for our final laboratory experiments of the year.

“I was thinking about what we’re gonna do if we do find out who the killer is,” Michael said.

“I guess we go to the police,” I replied.

“That’s the thing,” Michael said, sounding unsure of himself. “I don’t really want my dad to know that I’ve been doing this since he told me not to.”

I scratched the side of my head, not knowing what to say. “Um … we can make ourselves look like the victims, then. I’m pretty sure your dad won’t come down on you as hard.”

Michael nodded, but he still looked like he had some turmoil going through his head. I couldn’t guess what it is and I wouldn’t push him. Maybe there was something else going on. He remained silent for our entire journey to Chemistry.


Friday, Mac Worthington High School, 12:04

“Okay, mission briefing,” Jeffry told us. We had even barely sat down to have our lunch.

“May I eat first?” I asked, rolling my eyes.

“I’ve arranged for Bill and Andrew to meet the two of you in our old Dim Sum Club room,” Jeffry explained. “They’re our two main priorities, plus Michael. The rest of us are gonna go watch the Chess Club practice this afternoon. Technically, it’s not a competition, so it doesn’t have any reference to ‘winning’, like what the text said. But we can’t be too careful, right?”

“Wait, who’s Andrew?”

“He’s the captain of the track team,” Michael told me. “So, what should we do?”

Jeffry shrugged. “I dunno. That’s your job. Keep them busy or something. Stall.”

And then he just simply stood up and left. He turned around and winked at us, saying, “You should be careful what you do inside the manor, by the way. Secret cameras, don’cha know?”

We could still hear his laughter as Michael and I stared at each other, a look on horror on both our faces.

“Secret cameras?” I said. “Do you think he saw us—?”

“Fuck,” Michael cursed, his eyes wide.


Friday, Mac Worthington High School, 14:34

The bell signaling the end of the school day should have been coming any minute. I had been combing through the school to find Bill, but our school was pretty big. It was hard to find another single student unless you were both looking for each other. So I guess I was lucky when I bumped into Sharon, his girlfriend and Head Cheerleader, in the hallway on my way to my locker.

She looked kind of disturbed, like maybe she had just had an argument with someone or something. Or maybe something else was bothering her, like something that came only once a month. What? I was only guessing.

“Um, hi,” I said, wondering whether I could have said that anymore awkwardly.

She didn’t seem to notice me and walked past me.

“Sharon!” I called after her, and finally she noticed my existence.

Her glum face forced a sweet smile at me. “Oh, hi Ryan. What’s up?” She sounded fine, but I knew she wasn’t. Oh well, not my business.

“I’m looking for Bill. Do you know where he is?”

She put her hands on her hips, looked away from me and blew away a stray strand of hair from her face. She had an absent look on her face.

“Sharon!” I said, louder. “Earth to Sharon!”

“Oh, sorry, I kinda spaced out for a bit there,” Sharon said, laughing a little. “Um, Bill said he just finished practicing with the football team so I think he’ll be at the changing rooms.”

“Great, thanks,” I said, getting ready to head there.

Sharon stopped me before I could get far. “Ryan, are you and Michael doing okay?”

I turned back towards her and raised my eyebrows at her. “What?”

“I mean, you two are dating, right?” Sharon asked, smiling at me. “Anyway, I wish the both of you luck. I only heard you two were going out, like, a few days ago. See ya!”

It took a while for what she said to register in my brain and when it did, my head was reeling. Somebody had outed us already! I mean, I never wanted to keep a secret forever, but I wasn’t ready to come out to everyone in school just yet. Now was not the right time. I was so caught up in my thoughts I didn’t notice Michael sneaking up on me from behind.

“Hello!” he said loudly.

I nearly dropped my phone as it slid down my open hand. In a rushed panic, I fumbled with it and managed to catch it before any harm befell it.

“Oops, sorry,” Michael snickered behind me.

“Don’t do that!” I reprimanded him. I couldn’t be angry at him for too long, not when he gave me a small, heartwarming smile.

“I managed to convince Andrew to take the bus home today,” he told me. “Yuki said she wanted to hold a quick meeting with the Japanese Culture Club. I’ll meet you in the front lobby when you’re done, all right?”

“Are you gonna go to the manor later?” I asked him. I hoped my mom wouldn’t get suspicious of me staying after school so often, but I think she was already suspecting something.

Michael nodded. “Sure, I guess. My dad gets home pretty late anyway, so he wouldn’t know.”

“Okay,” I sighed. I suppose my mom wouldn’t mind just one more day.

I watched Michael walk down the hallway, thinking about all sorts of things, but mostly about our relationship. Where was it going? I liked him more than I should have. Okay, Ryan, now’s not the time for some deep reflection. I gotta get my job done. Surely, it was more important?


Friday, Mac Worthington High School, 14:44

The changing room smelled like feet. I narrowly dodged a ball of sweaty towels some half-naked student threw across the room into the laundry bin and made my way to the locker area. That turned out to be a bad idea.

It was crawling with sweaty guys, some half-naked, some almost fully naked, getting changed and stuff. The scent of manly hormones kind of aroused me, but then again, not really. The smell of feet was not a turn on for me. I spotted Bill silently tying his shoelaces at a bench near the side. I approached him, walking tentatively towards him, trying hard not to step onto something on the floor. Some of the guys looked at me strangely, and I didn’t blame them. I mean, why would someone like me be doing here, of all places, anyway?

“Um, Bill?” I said. I tried to ignore the stares I got. I felt like a stray wildebeest in the midst of a pack of lions.

“Yeah?” he replied, sounding like he didn’t even acknowledge me.

Uh-oh. I hadn’t thought this far about what I’d say to him. I needed to think of something, fast. Something to suggest he didn’t go out alone today.

“Something wrong?” he said, and I realized I had taken too long thinking of something to say.

“Um, a-are you … you guys are getting ready for a game or something?” Man, I’m good.

“Huh? Yeah … well, it’s not really a game, just a friendly ending game, sort of,” Bill explained, laughing a little. “Summer’s coming and everyone on the team’s got holiday fever already. It’s been pretty hard to get them focused anyway, what with the murderers and stuff.”

I nodded at him. “Oh. Okay, good. Well, you guys should just stick together then.”

Bill raised one eyebrow at me. He was kind of good looking, I guess, but not as handsome and gentlemanly as Michael. But then again, maybe I was just being biased.

“I mean, the murderer might still be out there,” I added quickly.

Bill rolled his eyes at me. “Man, you sound like Sharon. She was all worried about me and stuff earlier. Man, can’t people be more relaxed? Even my folks are getting all noisy.”

“I guess, um, they have a point, you know,” I told him, half-mumbling. I tried to keep the conversation going. “Yeah, I just passed Sharon and she did look kind of worried.”

“Hey, Ryan, if you see her again, tell her to not worry so much,” Bill said. “I’ll be with my boys playing a few games if she wants to see me.”


Friday, Mac Worthington High School, 15:01

Michael wasn’t at the front lobby – Anna was.

“Where were you?” she asked me, her hands on her hips. “I’ve been waiting for like five minutes. Michael went ahead to the manor. And I’m coming with you there.”

“But mom–”

“I asked for her permission,” Anna said, smirking at me. “As long as I get back before six, she’ll be fine. So come on, let’s go!”

Well, there was no way to persuade Anna otherwise, so I let her come along. Not that I wasn’t uncomfortable with it, of course, but when Anna made up her mind like this, you either had to say yes or risk getting ignored by her for an entire week.


Friday, Victoria’s Manor, 15:28

I noticed Yuki wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the manor, so I had to ask where she was.

“Her dad didn’t like her staying after school so often,” Nicole explained as we all lazed around in the living room. “Anyway, what happened with Andy and Bill?”

“Michael got Andrew to take the bus back home,” I told her. “And Bill’s playing a game with the rest of the football team, so he’ll be fine, I guess.”

Nicole still seemed worried. “Um, okay then. I got Jeffry at the computer just in case, though.”

“Any suspicious movements detected so far, Detective Nicole?” Artie asked.

“Last time I checked, the Sheriff’s car was still parked at the station and Gary’s was moving around town,” Nicole said. “I guess the Janitor didn’t come to work today.”

We all made small talk and then we began to drift away one by one around the manor. I joined Michael at the backyard, sitting down on the deck, watching the garden. The garden was still a bit of a mess, but sometime during the week, Victoria must have had a gardener in here because the grass was trimmed, at least.

“I don’t like the way things are turning out,” Michael said as I sat down beside him.

“About what?” I asked.

“You know, about the murders and stuff,” Michael muttered. “It’s like we’re missing something, like we’re doing something wrong.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” I agreed. “And it’s not like we can keep an eye on everyone.”

“So … who do you think is the murderer?”

Well, I had no idea how to answer that question. I hadn’t even really thought about it myself.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It could be anyone, really. Some madman out there, probably.”



“I kind of think it’s someone we know,” Michael said, shaking his head. “Someone who has ties with the school.”

We heard footsteps behind us, and we both turned around, instinctively, to see who it was. It was Anna, looking unsure.

“S-sorry,” she mumbled. “I couldn’t help overhearing you guys talk about the murderer.”

“It’s fine,” I told her. “You know anything?”

“Well, Yuki and I’ve been researching on our two main suspects,” Anna explained, sitting down next to me. “You need to hear this, I think.”

Anna’s been doing her homework. She soon went straight into the details.

“So, you know the Sheriff is Mac Worthington’s granddaughter, right?” Anna said, and Michael and I both nodded. “I bet you didn’t know that she has a twin sister. Well, she had a twin sister.”

“Wait, what?” I asked, confused. “How come we’ve never heard of this twin sister?”

“Back when the Sheriff was still in high school, her twin sister was often bullied,” Anna said. “Her twin sister wasn’t very popular, for some reason, and she tried to join different clubs, maybe so she felt like she belonged.”

“What happened to her?”

Anna bit her lip, frowning at me. “Well … there was an incident back then. It was supposed to be a prank, but it got really bad. The Sheriff tried to stop it, and so did her friends, according to my source, but it went out of control. Melissa Worthington was shot and she died of her wounds. At least … she never came back to school and no one ever saw her again.”

“That’s terrible,” I commented. I was almost speechless. “How come we’ve never heard of this?”

“The Sheriff probably didn’t want it to get around,” Anna said. “Maybe that’s why she entered the police force in the first place. You know, so she could prevent stuff like this from something.”

“So now the Sheriff’s got a motive then,” Michael said, almost out of the blue.

“Whaddya mean?” I asked.

“Think about it, Ryan,” Michael said firmly, “if the students of Mac Worthington killed her twin sister, she’d definitely have a grudge against them, right? What if she’s trying to get revenge by killing the club leaders, one by one, after they rejected her sister all those years ago …”

I was kind of shocked to hear that from Michael. He said it with a dark, scathing tone, like something genuinely bitter was going through his head.

“Don’t say that,” I said half-heartedly. I didn’t really want to draw his wrath towards me.

“But, Michael has a point, if you think about it carefully,” Anna said. “It was a stupid prank they played on Melissa, and she died for it.”

I still thought that it probably wasn’t enough for the Sheriff to just want to kill them in cold-blood to exact her revenge, not after all this time as Sheriff, protecting the citizens of our little town. Well, it wasn’t really a small town, more like a small city, but you know … details.

“What about our other suspect?” I asked, breaking the silence that had fallen over us.

“Oh yeah, you’re gonna need to hear this,” Anna said, sounding excited. “Apparently, an ex-marine who used to serve alongside him years ago recently came back to town for retirement.”

“What’s his name?”

“His name is Xavier J. Waugh,” Anna said. “I hear that Gary was best friends with Xavier and that Xavier had a criminal record after he quit the military.”

“You think he’s the killer?” Michael asked.

“I’m not sure, but it’s possible that he’s connected with Gary, if it means anything at all,” Anna said. “I’m gonna suggest to the others about investigating into his background next week.”

Anna stood up and walked back inside the manor, leaving Michael and I alone again. I scooted a little bit closer to him. He looked kind of down. I tried to perceive his thoughts, to try and infer what was going on through his mind. There was something troubling him, I could see that. It’s like a lot of things troubled him, or maybe it was just one thing that popped up in his mind, time and time again. He was always quiet when it came to things like this, I’ve noticed.

“Something on your mind?” I asked him softly.

“Um, not really,” he said, ducking slightly. “It’s nothing much.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, really.”


“Really!” Michael was grinning and laughing now. That was probably a sign that he wanted me to drop the subject, so I took a hint.

He leaned forward and planted a small kiss on the side of my head, which was a gesture I liked. He got up, so I quickly followed him back to the manor. There wasn’t much to do now, so we both headed up to the attic to meet everyone else.

We caught Nicole fighting with Jeffry over a box of cookies, but the latter gave up pretty easily and then returned to the computer, where Artie was. Only Yuki and Victoria were missing. Nicole approached us, her mouth full of cookie. She said something inaudible so I left Michael with her. I went over to Anna, who was sitting down quietly against the wall, and sat next to her.

“What time is it?” she asked.

I checked my watch. “It’s just half past four.”

She nodded. “Okay then. I hope nothing else happens for the rest of the day.”

She sounded kind of pensive when she said that. “Don’t worry,” was all I could say.

“I know that.”

“Okay, Gary’s car just passed Mac Worthington,” Artie announced suddenly, catching all our attention. “It’s heading over to somewhere just past James Street, I think.”

“Good, at least it’s not going somewhere suspicious,” Nicole said. “Er … what about the Sheriff?”

“Still at the police station,” Jeffry answered.

I looked back at Anna, who seemed to look a lot more relieved. “See? Nothing to worry about, right?”

We all kind of just wasted a bit of time after that, not really doing anything. I focused on trying not to make Anna worry so much, which was a bit unnatural of her. But then again, maybe she was just prone to worry a lot in irregular patterns, like my mom, who at one point, probably wouldn’t care about us much one day, and then start sweating over whether we had remembered to eat lunch or not the next.

“Hello, everyone,” someone said, making us all jump.

Victoria was standing by the door, staring at us with a glum look on her face. But then again, that was probably how she looked like every day, so I wasn’t surprised.

“I have some disturbing news which may be of interest,” Victoria said. “No, I really do think that is of interest.”

“Well, get on with it,” Nicole sighed.

“The spirits have told me that someone has just been murdered, in the middle of a public place,” Victoria said cryptically. “I suggest we tell Jeffry’s secret paparazzi club to notify the general public and call the police.”

“Someone died? How do you know?” Michael asked, raising one of his eyebrows at her. “And don’t give me any of this spirit nonsense.”

“I had advised the Junior Journalists to investigate about an hour ago,” Victoria went on. “You may check the report on their website, if you wish. They update it quite quickly.”

Jeffry began quickly typing something into the computer. No doubt he was on the Junior Journalists’ website. I had known about it, of course, but it mostly dealt with boring news so I had never visited the site very often.

After a short pause, a small gasp escaped Jeffry’s lips. “Shit, you gotta be joking me. This is just a joke, right?”

Artie stuck his face in front of the screen and shook his head. “How’d they get the info so fast?”

“Someone tipped them off,” Victoria added in, but we were still all a bit dazed.

“Who?” I asked, after having searched for my voice. “Who was killed?” Unconsciously, I must have been preparing myself mentally on how to handle the impending news.

No one answered me straight away. Anna was on the phone with somebody.

“Yuki?” she spoke into her phone. “Um, I just got the news that someone … oh, right … really? Oh my God, no way.”

We all were looking at Anna’s direction now, with the same look on our faces – we wanted to know what she had heard.

“Okay, I’ll tell the others. Keep me updated,” Anna said, then snapped her phone shut. “Gary Reed was found dead near Sands Avenue.”

“How’d she know?” somebody asked – I didn’t know who, though.

“Hello? Her dad’s in the police, remember?” Anna replied.

We all fell silent. Victoria stepped away from the room, but everyone just ignored her.


Friday, Victoria’s Manor, 16:45

It didn’t feel real. I had hoped so much that maybe we could have prevented another death. I thought we had done all we could and even the Sheriff and the police were probably doing their best too. None of us knew how this Gunner could have made it through the walls we had created around our normally peaceful town. But the peace was broken. I guess, it had already been since that first message arrived.

Jeffry was by the computer, with Artie. Nicole was looking confused and frustrated at the same time as she paced absently to and fro. Anna was holding my hand and she was probably just as confused as the rest of us, even though she had just gotten here. Michael was by my side. I was grateful for the warmth of his presence. Victoria was probably somewhere in her room, gazing into her crystal ball for signs, signs for what we should be doing next.

And then I heard my phone vibrate in my pocket. A text message.

I fished my phone out of my pocket to read the message that Yuki had sent me.

Info is cnfrmed. Dad says Sheriff is otw to Sands Ave. Check comp!

I got up, almost having a hard time prying Anna’s fingers off of my hand, and went over to the computer. Indeed, I saw the Sheriff’s blinking red dot, and it was definitely heading to Sands Avenue. But then …

“Why is Gary’s dot still moving?” I asked. It had been right at the edge of Sands Avenue – now it was heading westward, away from the bulk of the suburbs.

“Impossible,” Artie said dismissively, almost scoffing.

“Nope, Ryan’s right,” Jeffry said. “I thought he died?”

“How’d they identify him so fast?” Artie asked, shaking his head in confusion. “That’s abnormal.”

“There was a witness, according to the Junior Journalists,” Jeffry explained. “Principal Gladys was walking her dog nearby at the time when she found the body. She was the one who called the police.”

I couldn’t take my eyes off the blinking blue dot labeled ‘Gary’ on the computer screen. “You think the Gunner’s behind this?”

Jeffry shrugged. “Probably. Who else could it possibly be? The question is, why is Gary’s dot still moving?”

“Don’t tell me …” Nicole gasped, aghast. “What if the Gunner’s using Gary’s car?”

“We can track him or her down then more easily then,” Jeffry concluded. “Looks like the Sheriff isn’t the killer this time around, then. And neither is the Janitor. It must be someone else.”

Yeah, but who? I guess everyone had that same question in their minds and yet we had no way of finding out the answer. At least, it seemed that there was no answer at the time.

“Okay, let’s all try to keep a level head here,” Michael said. “We should all go home right now, so we don’t get caught by our parents again. If we get back home before the news of this spreads, we could probably avoid some more grounding.”

We all nodded and agreed with him. I had to get Anna back home as soon as possible anyway, or else my mom would do far worse to me than take away my Internet access privileges. We rushed downstairs – I had to go back into the kitchen to help Artie pick up a few empty water bottles – and then we all poured out of the manor. Anna had already gotten into the car and Jeffry had already disappeared. While I was stuffing all our garbage into the bin, I saw Michael and Victoria were holding their own little conversation near the former’s car. They looked kind of serious, and maybe I shouldn’t be nosy, but I was quite curious as to what they were talking about. Oh well, I guess I’ll just leave them be …

Just as I got into the car, somebody knocked on the window. I lowered it down and Nicole leaned forward towards me.

“You’re not going with Michael?” she asked me.

I shook his head. “No. I gotta get home.”

“You sure?” Nicole said, tilting her head at me. “He’s been talking with Victoria a lot lately. I kind of overheard their conversation, and it sounds like they’re gonna go follow the Janitor’s car.”

“Why would he do that?”

“I dunno. Why don’t you go with him?”

I pointed at Anna, who was sitting patiently beside me. “She needs to be home.”

Nicole shrugged and smiled sadly. “Well, okay. I wouldn’t want Michael to be wandering off by himself, if I were you.”

She left, leaving me confused and indecisive. Anna looked at me strangely.

“Are we leaving or what?” she commented.

I knew I had to get Anna back home pretty soon, but I didn’t want Michael to be on his own right now either. He had been acting strange.

I got out of my car and called Nicole. Thankfully, she noticed me before she got into Artie’s car. I strode over to her quickly, taking a quick glance back at Michael. He was already getting inside his car now.

“Nicole,” I said, turning back to her. “Could you do me a favor?”


Friday, somewhere on the streets, 17:03

“I don’t know why you want me to bring you back home,” Michael said, his eyes set straight onto the road, unwavering.

“I know you want to follow the Janitor,” I said.

“How do you know that?”

“Yeah, well, first you’re heading the wrong way,” I pointed out. “Second, this blue dot labeled Gary on your GPS unit … you’re following its path.”

We were now heading through Brownwood Street, which was a road that ran parallel to Sands Avenue. The two roads joined together several blocks away, though. At least, that was what the GPS thing in the car said.

“Okay, okay,” Michael sighed. “I just want to do some undercover investigating.”

“Why?” I had no idea why Michael would want to approach danger so willingly.

“I have my reasons,” he responded. “I just can’t tell you.”

“Well, why not? What are you hiding from me?”

“Ah shit, Ryan, I can’t tell you everything,” Michael said. He was getting angry now, but I was still adamant about why’d he want to put himself in danger like this. “I just need to talk to someone.”

I could only stare at him for a while, confused. “Who is this someone?”

“I can’t tell you, okay?”

“This could be dangerous,” I reminded him, half reprimanding him. “You know that, right?”

Michael looked like he was about to slam down on the brakes and kick me out of the car. “Ryan, could you just shut up for a while?” His voice had turned loud. “I know what I’m doing!”

I immediately fell silent. I looked away, his words stinging me painfully. He wasn’t always like this. Something had gotten into him. At least, he was driving more smoothly now. The air inside the car was suffocating, full of tension. I’d do anything to defuse the situation, but I was at a loss at what to do. So I stayed quiet. We both stayed quiet for some time, until we reached the end of Brownwood Street. We were almost heading to the edge of town now.

“I guess this isn’t the right time to interrupt.”

Michael almost crashed the car into a nearby tree at the side of the road. I grabbed onto anything I could grope at that moment, holding on for dear life until Michael got the car back on the road properly. My heart was still thumping with shock even as the car stopped swerving.

I turned around to look at Victoria, who was sitting calmly in the backseat. “What the hell, Victoria! How long have you been there?”

“Since we left the manor,” she replied simply. “Are we still far from Spring Park now?”

“Why didn’t you say anything? You nearly got us killed!” Michael shouted back at her.

I decided that there wasn’t anything to get all shocked about, so I tried calming myself down. “Um, so why are we heading for Spring Park?”

“That’s where Gary’s mark has stopped,” Victoria told me. I looked over to the GPS unit. She was right – the blue dot had stopped in the parking lot of Spring Park.

“Is it safe to be there?” I asked. I couldn’t help being cautious.

“It’s in a public place,” Victoria said, almost sounding nonchalant. “Besides, I think I know who’s there.”

I wanted to ask who, but I decided not to ask it aloud right now. I was about to find out.


Friday, Spring Park, 17:37

Victoria led the way as we drifted through Spring Park. I felt slightly safer seeing other people there, even though they were complete strangers. This was better than being caught alone by some possible murderer, I suppose. I didn’t know how Victoria knew the way, but I guess I had learned to trust her instincts, sort of. It was either her instincts, or it was because of the ‘spirits’ helping her out. Well, whatever.

There was an old man in jeans and a simple black leather jacket standing near the edge of the lake, smoking a cigarette. I could tell he was kind of old, but he stood straight. He was wearing an old, frayed baseball cap. I had never seen the person before, but I had a pretty good idea who he was. I didn’t know how I should have felt about that, though.

“Mr. Waugh,” Victoria said. She sounded so bold.

A stream of smoke jetted out of his mouth. “That’s me.”

“I know why you’re here.”

The old man let out a small chuckle. “Youngsters these days claim they know everything, but they don’t.”

His voice was clear, crisp. It didn’t sound raspy, not anything that you’d expect from an old man, or maybe from a suspected chain smoker. Maybe he wasn’t as old as he looked.

“Gary was the murderer, wasn’t he?” Victoria asked. I was puzzled; why would she say something like that? It was obvious that he wasn’t the killer, since he was just murdered about an hour ago.

“What good would it do for ya if he was, or if he wasn’t?” Mr. Waugh retorted. “I can see where this is going. I suggest ya kids stay out of it, if you know what’s good for ya.”

“Please,” Michael cut in. “We don’t want to have another one of us killed. We just want to know who the Gunner is and to stop all of this. We just want answers.”

Answers? We? I guess Michael wasn’t talking about me and him. It was Victoria and him. The two of them knew something, something that no one else knew. I felt like I was eavesdropping on somebody’s important conversation.

“You kids are better off not knowing anyway,” Mr. Waugh said. “Leave these things to grown-ups, all right?”

“Don’t underestimate us!” Michael said, a bit indignant. “We’ve been trying to help keep the Gunner’s targets safe, trying to intercept the Gunner’s messages.”

The old man scoffed. He still wasn’t looking at us, instead staring out across the lake at something invisible. “Well you haven’t been doing a good job at that, huh? You’ve failed twice, not counting that first girl.”

Michael opened his mouth to argue, but he seemed to decide against it. Instead, Victoria interjected, “That first girl was my cousin.”

I saw some hesitance in Mr. Waugh’s face. “I know that.”

“How did you know about the murders?” Michael asked.

“Gary told me,” the old man responded, bringing the cigarette to his mouth. “He told me all about the murderers.”

“You’re more connected to this than you think, I know that,” Victoria said, still bold. “Please, we just need some information. We can help. I know you want to stop the murders too, or else you wouldn’t have come here in the first place.”

“I came back here because of personal reasons,” Mr. Waugh replied, his voice even though it sounded like he was getting angry. “Why do ya insist on finding out who the murderer is? Who is she to you?”

“So it’s a she,” Victoria said. “You know who the murderer is, don’t you, Mr. Waugh?”

The old man was silent. His cigarette, now almost a stub, was thrown away carelessly onto the ground. He crushed it with his boot.

Victoria put her hands on her hips. “Well?”

“I only know what Gary told me,” Mr. Waugh said finally. He still hadn’t looked at us in the eye. “He described a woman. But he hadn’t seen the woman herself. Just what that kid told him.”

“What kid?” Victoria was sounding like she was getting a little desperate now.

“Ah, I forgot his name,” Mr. Waugh chuckled. “Neville, Nemo …”

“Ned?” Michael suggested.

“Yeah, that kid,” Mr. Waugh said. He folded his arms. “He went to Gary a few days ago. Told him all about what he had been forced into. I guess that’s why he got killed today by the Gunner, poor man.”

“Ned was forced into becoming an accomplice to the murders?” Victoria concluded. “That’s … something I hadn’t thought of.”

“Why’d you steal Gary’s pickup truck?” Michael forced another question.

“It’s not his. It’s mine. I came back into town using that. It’s pretty similar to Gary’s, though.”

“Wait, you were at Mac Worthington, then?” Michael said. “We saw it there –”

Mr. Waugh laughed a brash laugh. “I let Gary use it, see. His was a bit rundown. Got me to fix it, even though he knew engines better.”

Michael’s shoulders slumped. “Oh.”

“Judging by what Gary got told by Ned, it looks like the Gunner’s getting impatient,” Mr. Waugh said. His tone had become ominous. “She might be preparing something bigger, something dangerous. You kids gotta be careful.”

“You don’t need to tell us that,” Victoria said, sighing. “I guess that’s enough information. Just to be sure: you’re not the murderer, right?”

Mr. Waugh shook his head and chuckled, “No. I just got into town a few days ago, after all.”

“Why are you here in the first place, Mr. Waugh?” Victoria asked.

For the first time in our – or rather, their – conversation, he looked at us all with piercing blue eyes. “Like I said – it’s personal.”


Friday, Mac Worthington High School, 18:20

I had forgotten to take some of my textbooks out of my locker to study over the weekends in my excitement today. The murders were interesting, and I felt like we were close to finding out what was happening, but we had exams coming up! If I didn’t at least pretend to study over the weekends, my mom will turn me into a pincushion with her collection of knives.

So there I was, fishing out my textbooks (thank goodness some of the teachers and students were still there, so it wasn’t creepy), when I hear footsteps behind me. Michael just went to find his locker, so that couldn’t be him.

“Hi, Ryan.”

It was Sharon and Bill. What were they doing here? Oh wait … Bill just had that game.

“H-hey,” I replied. Talk about awkward.

“Um, I don’t know how to say this but …” Sharon began.

Bill’s eyes flickered towards Sharon and then to me. “We found out about the Dim Sum Club by accident. Um, we won’t tell anyone or anything, but have something to tell you.”

I closed my locker and looked at them. “What is it?”

“You’re investigating the murders, right?” Sharon said. “And we heard about those really freaky text messages. And … I think Bill got one earlier today. We kind of discussed it for a while, before deciding to tell you.”

“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “You got a message from the murderer?”

“Yes, but don’t shout,” Sharon said, her eyes wandering cautiously to her sides. “Do you want it? I’ll forward it to you now.”

“Yes, please!”

Another text message! So, Bill was supposed to be the Gunner’s new target this week. Was she targeting another one for next week? Was she preparing for this “something bigger” that Mr. Waugh had mentioned? As I walked back towards Michael’s car, I couldn’t get the thought of the new message out of my mind. I wasn’t sure how to handle this.

It read: Sing a swan song, green feathers, and grand finale.

Copyright © 2011 MarkSen; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I've really enjoyed the story so far, though at first I was a bit unsure whether I would continue reading. I guess I had a hard time accepting the premice of the story since it is not extremely believable to get so many murders while school life remained seemingly unaffected. However, I was easily hooked by your style of writing after the first three chapters.


Dim Sum Mysteries is full of humour and Ryan's somewhat clueless point of view and his endearing personality work wonders. Well done on that!


As for the plot, it puts me in the mind of classic comedies where the hero runs around the city in search of something that always eludes him. I am really curious as to what you have planned next.


Chapter 16 is actually the first one where detective work finally pays off with some tangible information, so maybe the Club is moving forward.


Looking forward to the rest :)

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