“This makes no sense!” Adolf screams, staring at the open closet door.
“How did she die?” Maria shrieks, pulling her hair.
Alex is pacing the floor, but a lot slower now than ever before.
“Who is it?” Adolf asks. “It has to be one of us. “But we both know it’s not me. The landlord said so himself.”
“But it’s not me either!” says Maria. Then she looks at Alex. “You! We never accused you!”
Alex glances at her for a second then goes back to pacing. Maria is about to march over to him to do who knows what, but Adolf intercepts her.
“He can’t be the killer,” he says. “He’s been the one defending everyone.”
“Exactly!” Maria argues. “So that we don’t think it’s him.”
“No,” Adolf wrestles with her to keep her still. “Because that’s what his name means.”
Maria wriggles her way out of his grasp and stands on the opposite end of the room with Adolf standing between her and a still pacing Alex. “So what are you trying to say?”
Adolf looks at the open closet door at Lucy’s body on the floor then at Maria. “There’s only one explanation.”
Alex stops and takes a deep breath. “I know who it is.”
Maria looks at him, but he’s not looking back. He’s looking at me.
“Landlord!” he shouts and the landlord appears.
“Have you figured it out?” the landlord asks.
Alex steps up to him slowly and says, “The killer is the teddy bear.”
Adolf’s and Maria’s jaws drop. “That’s your guess?!”
The landlord looks at me then back at the group and his trademark smirk appears on his face again. “Correct.”
Adolf and Maria blink in shock and their mouths hang open.
Alex lets out a heavy sigh, drops into a crouch, and puts his head in his hands.
“Wait…” Adolf says. “How…? I don’t…what?”
Alex sighs again then stands back up. “His name is Ares. Like the god of war. It means “ruin”. And everyone who touched him died.”
Maria and Adolf look at me in Lucy’s arms and the last time anyone has looked at me with so much disgust is when Todo was humping me. But I’m just as confused as they are. I thought I was just telling a story.
“Well done,” the landlord says. “You’ve earned your right to live here free of charge.”
Adolf’s face is burning with righteous rage and Maria would probably explode too, but she’s all out of juice by now. There seems to be a pool of vengeance stirring slowly behind Alex’s face, but he keeps it cool.
“No thank you,” he says firmly. “We’ll leave now.”
“So soon?” the landlord asks. “You’ll miss the last surprise.” He raises his hand, snaps his fingers, and Sophia, Sadiq, Lucy, and Todo jump back to life, coughing and barking to everyone’s shock.
“What happened?” Sadiq asks.
“You died!” Alex shouts, and tears are in his eyes.
“Really?” asks Lucy. “Did we go to Haiti?”
And as everyone else is coming back to life and going back to normal, I feel myself changing as well. Until I can’t string together any more thoughts. And things are blurry. And…
That was weird.