What’s my Name? – Chapter 4

Adolf kneels over Sadiq’s body on the floor and shakes his head, fuming.

“How did this happen?” Lucy yawns, standing next to Alex.

Adolf keeps shaking his head. Then he suddenly glares across the room and screams, “MARIA!”

“I didn’t do nada!” she shrieks.

Adolf leaps to his feet and marches towards her, but Alex intercepts him and yanks him back. “You’re the only one who accused him of being a killer! So you killed him in his sleep just cuz he didn’t like your stupid dog!”

“I didn’t do it!” Maria screams back. But there’s a tremble in her voice and she sinks down into an armchair.

“You’re just a bitter…! Freaking…!” Adolf wrestles with his words as he wresltes with Alex’s hold. “Why won’t the curses come out?!”

“I didn’t do it,” Maria sobs into her hands. “I promise.”

Adolf finally calms down and Alex slowly releases him.

“Maria, you’re the only person in here who made it obvious you didn’t like Sadiq,” Alex says. “Did you kill him?”

Maria looks up and sniffles. “No.”

The group sighs.

Then Maria adds, “But that’s what he gets for accusing Todo.”

“Are you kidding me, Maria?!” Adolf lunges for her again, but Alex grabs him.

“Let her go,” Alex tells him.

“She’s the one,” Adolf grumbles. “Let’s just accuse her and get this over with.”

Alex looks at Maria in confusion, the struggle visible on his face.

“What’s the matter?” Adolf asks.

“Maria’s always been the best person out of all of us,” he explains. “I don’t think she did this. And I don’t feel right handing her over to this creep, either.”

“People change, Alex. Maybe all this spell did was bring out who we really are.”

Alex shakes his head. “I don’t know.”

“Whatever we do,” Lucy yawns. “We need to do it quick before someone else dies.”

“Todo, get back here!” Maria shouts. And the dog barks and trots back to her.

Adolf wipes his eyes in disbelief. “Was he just humping the bear?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Alex waves it off. “What are we doing?”

“It’s Maria,” Adolf says.

Alex sighs.

They look at Lucy, but she’s shaking her head and thinking to herself.

“What’s the matter?” Alex asks.

“I stayed awake all night,” Lucy responds. “I didn’t see Maria move from her spot.”

Alex and Adolf look at Maria.

Te dije!” she shouts. “But you don’t wanna believe me!”

Alex sighs again. “I don’t know. Maybe she did something to Sadiq while we were all talking. Some kind of santería or something.”

Santería?!” Maria screams. “You think I’m…?! Okay. Fine. Go ahead. Accuse me.”

Alex sighs for what feels like the seventeenth time. “This doesn’t make sense. If it’s not Maria, then who is it?”

“It’s not me,” says Adolf.

“I think we’re missing something,” Lucy speaks up. “We know everyone’s name in this room. But what if the killer’s not in this room?”

“What do you mean?” asks Adolf. “You think there’s a sniper next door?”

“The person had to be in the room when the spell was cast,” Alex points out.

“Exactly,” says Lucy. “And who was there when the spell was cast who’s not here now?”

There’s a moment of silence as they think it over. Then, the revelation hits them all at the same time and their jaws drop.

“The landlord!” they shout.

“What’s his name?” asks Adolf.

“We don’t know,” Alex says.

Adolf grunts. “That son of a b…! Ahhh! Why can’t I…?! Screw you, nobility!”

“Landlord!” Alex calls and the man appears inexplicably yet again. “What is your name?”

The landlord looks at Alex, then at Todo and smirks. It’s unclear whether the smirk is from the answer or from the fact that Todo is clearly itching for another humping. “My name is Isoba.”

“And what does ‘Isoba’ mean?” Alex asks, taking a bold step forward.

The landlord looks at all of them and his smirk slowly vanishes. “‘The one who walks stealthily.’”

Adolf makes one of those, “what-the-heck” faces. And this must explain why the group never hears the man coming.

“We think you’re the killer,” Alex says nonetheless.

Isoba smirks again, raises his head, and says, “Wrong.” Then he turns on his heels.

“Wait!” Alex stops him. “Can you at least give us a hint? We’re dying here.”

The landlord looks at him then at the others. “I would love to help you. But I can’t bear the thought of robbing you of your own victory.” Then he turns again and, true to his name, walks stealthily away.

The group is speechless. They spend the rest of the day in silence. And when night falls, they stay awake for most of it, sure that one of them is going to kill the other in their sleep. But to their surprise, none of the guys or girls breathes their last. As a matter of fact, no human being in the house is hurt that night. But in the morning, Todo is dead.

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