Sunday, May 22, 2016
1st 5 Pages May Workshop - Alexander Rev 2
Name: Sarah Alexander
Genre: YA Mystery/ Suspense
Title: Clueless Academy
Have you ever wondered what happened to the characters from the Board Game Clue? They were all cleared of murder and went on to live normal lives. But in the young adult mystery novel, Clueless Academy, their children are also suspected of murdering their professor.
Rawling Pratt is the Headmaster of an elite preparatory school that houses six very unique students; Indigo Plum, Magenta Scarlett, Hunter Green, Jasper Mustard, Pearl White, and Sapphire Peacock. They were all present at a party that was broken up by Miss Waddington. An hour later, her dead body was found in the cafeteria. A piece of evidence was found that tied all six of them to the crime. The only problem is that they maintain their innocence.
The six students must find a way to get past their differences and work together to find out who the real killer is. As if this wasn’t difficult enough, they are being guarded by crooked special investigators, Headmaster Pratt is planting evidence, and one of them has already been arrested.
It becomes a race against time to find the real killer and it all ends in a good old fashioned gun fight.
Indigo Plum was called into the detention office first thing morning. She had partied pretty hard last night and was definitely not in the mood to deal with Headmaster Pratt. She had put on a merlot colored blouse and black skinny jeans. Normally, she would wear heels with this ensemble but today she was barely walking straight. Flats were the way to go. Hopefully they would assume her unbalance was from exhaustion instead of inebriation.
“Miss Plum, thank you for deciding to grace us with your presence. Have a seat. We have something very urgent to discuss.”
She sat down at a desk overlooking the field of her elite preparatory school and admired the mountains. They always helped her to feel at peace. Then she looked down at the gate and saw the armed guards. There appeared to be more than normal and she was instantly on edge.
“What can we do for you Headmaster?” Indigo asked in a mocking tone. He choose to ignore her and addressed the five other students who would be subjected to his tirade.
“You have all been called here because we have proof that you attended a party at Hunter Green’s suite last night. At around Miss Waddington called to inform me that she was headed over to shut said party down. An hour later, her body was found.” Headmaster Pratt seemed to be barely holding it together. His voice wobbled on the word dead and he took a minute to get control of himself again.
Indigo’s mouth fell open and her body tremored a bit. She had no idea that this was what he was going to say.
“I will be questioning all of you to determine what happened when you left the party. One of you might have seen something that could be useful in determining who the killer is. We have some suspects in mind but I am not at liberty to discuss it with you.” Pratt stood up a little higher as if to show how superior he was.
“But how could this have happened? You boost about your security measures all the time. It’s in like every brochure. How could you let a murderer on campus?” Indigo sounded angry but that was because she was desperately trying to hide the fear. She pouted her lips to keep them from shaking.
“Miss Plum, some respect please.” He said but Indigo noticed that he did not answer her question.
“The police have been notified but until they get here, the school’s investigators will be analyzing the remaining evidence. I can say that we do have evidence that each of you was in the hallway around the time of the murder.” He said this a little harshly.
Indigo felt herself start to panic. She looked over at her friend, Sapphire Peacock and saw the same alarm in her eyes.
She could hear her heart beating but she refused to show him any sign that he was affecting her. Any type of weakness may be deemed an admission of guilt. Indigo squared her jaw and looked him dead in the eyes. “I thought that we were just witnesses. You’re making it seem like we’re suspects.”
“As I said, we are just looking to get a time line to figure out exactly what happened. One of the armed guards here will be escorting you to my office for questioning.” He turned to leave the room but Pearl White stood up.
Indigo looked at her and rolled her eyes. Pearl must have missed the memo about being strong as she was a sniffling mess.
“The guards are here for our protection right? The killer, he could still be out there.” Pearl’s voice had a slight hitch in it.
Pearl was currently seeing Hunter, Indigo’s ex-boyfriend, so Indigo desperately wanted to ignore what she had to say. However, she had to admit that Pearl made a valid point. The very real killer was still out there. It had never crossed Indigo’s mind that the killer might still be in the school. Sure, she was sad for Miss Waddington’s death but it hadn’t occurred to her that her safety may actually be at risk.
“The killer, he or she, is definitely still out there. It is the guard’s job to protect us. I have called in every one on our payroll so there is extra protection in case anyone tries anything else.” He gave all six of them a pointed look and Indigo could not shake the feeling that Pratt knew a lot more than he was letting on.
Hunter joined the conversation next. “Shouldn’t we have an attorney present? Aren’t we being questioned in a criminal trial?” He sounded exactly like his lawyer father and spoke in a calm manner. But Indigo knew better, she noticed that his knee was shaking from distress.
“I’ll be questioning you, not the police. At the beginning of the school year, your parents authorize me to act as your guardian if anything were to happen. So really, think of our talk as one with paternal motivations.” Pratt smiled but it was not pleasant. He looked like the Grinch before he stole Christmas.
Hunter looked like he wanted to say something else but quickly quieted. It was actually Magenta Scarlett who felt the need to add her two cents.
“How was she killed?”
“She was bludgeoned to death with at least two weapons. At this point, we have not identified or found them. Does anyone have an idea what they could be?” He looked around again accusingly. “I mean, did any of you see anything on your way back to your rooms last night? Anything out of place?” Nice recovery, thought Indigo.
“Headmaster, if we saw a bloody hammer on the floor, I think one of us would’ve said something before now.” She tried to make light of the situation but this was clearly the wrong response as everyone gave her frustrated looks.
“Do you think this is funny? A teacher has been killed! She was young, beautiful, smart, and caring. Where is your compassion Miss Plum?” She figured this was a rhetorical question and kept quiet.
Luckily Sapphire chimed in for her defense.
“Indigo is just grieving. She doesn’t know how to handle this much emotion so she made a joke. I’m sure she understands the travesty ahead of us.” Indigo smiled at her friend.
The truth is, she had locked up her feelings and refused to show the weaker ones to anyone. Sitting in the middle of the floor and rocking back and forth was not going to bring Miss Waddington back. Besides, Pearl was basically doing that already. No, she would keep her emotions together and look back on them in a private space.
“Well this is not the place for any of this. I want all of your cell phones. We need to keep your stories pure so we don’t want you talking to any of the students outside.” He walked down the aisles of the classroom and took each phone.
As Pratt passed Indigo, he stopped for a second too long and gave her an appraising look. She felt uncomfortable and thought she smelled alcohol on his breath. But that was probably just her. Hopefully he didn’t notice.