Chapter 21: Deaths Near The Lighthouse

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

(private)

Reads: 185

Thanks to the darkness, the rain, and the distraction of the light in the lighthouse, Reina and Kasumi didn't see Sachiko's body immediately. It was when Kasumi suddenly stopped that Reina did the same. Kasumi said, “Reina, I'm not certain, but I think someone is sitting on the ground against the lighthouse. They may be dangerous.”

Reina kicked her kickstand down, and she got off the bike to investigate. She told Kasumi, “I'll go investigate. Wait here.” She started towards Sachiko's body.

However, Kasumi kicked her kickstand down and caught up to Reina. She said, “We will investigate.” Knowing it was useless to argue, Reina decided to allow Kasumi to stay close.

As they moved ever closer to the figure, Reina held an arm out in front of Kasumi. Reina said, “Wait here. Something isn't right.” Kasumi reluctantly obeyed, and Reina looked down at Sachiko's body. She acted as if she were shocked, knowing how to replicate emotions via watching others during her lifetime. She switched her phone light on and shined it on Sachiko, before quickly turning her phone's flashlight off and briskly walking towards Kasumi. “We need to leave.”

“Why? Is the person okay?” Kasumi asked.

“She's dead.” Reina replied, before grabbing Kasumi's hand and trying to drag her back to the bikes.

As expected, Kasumi was distraught, and she asked, “Wait, you said 'she?' Oh god, was it Sachiko or Sayuri?” She seemed close to tears.

“Sachiko, I think. I am not willing to stay for much longer.” Reina said.

“No, we need to figure out where Sayuri is.” Kasumi refused. She led Reina by the hand and walked around the lone lighthouse tower, as that was all that was present on this lonely stretch of concrete. Kasumi shined her phone light around, even looking over the edge of the strip. With no sight of Sayuri, Reina said after they had circled the lighthouse, “I will report it.”

“Alright, I'll keep an eye out for any attackers.” Kasumi said. Reina had to admit that considering the circumstances, Kasumi was rather brave. They stood near Sachiko's body, and Reina made the call to the police. The two waited in the pouring rain until the police showed up, and once the police got some information from them then dismissed them, they biked back to the town. They stopped at the Rangu Mart, and stood near the entrance. The two made an announcement online calling off the treasure hunt, and once the announcement was made, the two sent out text messages urging the people they had encouraged to go treasure hunting to return to their homes. After the treasure hunt was canceled, Reina heard Kasumi sniffling. She glanced over at the girl, who had taken a handkerchief out of her pocket, and she cried.

“Reina, I thought we had a brilliant idea. We would hold a treasure hunt, and everyone would have a great time. I didn't expect it to end in tragedy...” Kasumi sobbed.

Unsure what to do, Reina merely said, “Sometimes things happen. Perhaps we should consider giving ClickClout a break for a while. It is important to grieve.”

“How can you be so calm about this?” Kasumi asked, almost seeming offended at Reina's apparent apathy.

“I am grieving, but in my own way. My grief is expressed through shock more so than sadness. I will come to my senses eventually.” Reina lied.

“Yeah, that makes sense, I guess...” Kasumi said, trying to clean her smudging makeup off her face. She had put on a little to seem more appealing to the camera. “Alright, so we will take a break from ClickClout. Shall we aim for a date to resume it?”

“No, we will continue when we are both in better spirits.” Reina actually had no intention of ever returning to ClickClout. She had eliminated Sayuri, with Sachiko's death being a “necessary” evil. Unless the next person to take interest in Daichi also had a ClickClout account, she considered herself done with it. “We should return to our homes for the night.”

“Of course, goodnight Reina. Please be careful.” Kasumi said, before leaving on her green bike. Reina returned to her own home, having already destroyed the clothes she had used for the murder at this point, and now she just had to check on Daichi tomorrow morning at school.

***

WEDNESDAY MORNING – WEEK 2

“So what was the deal with ending the treasure hunt so suddenly last night?” Kosuke asked while they were on their way to school.

“Sachiko was murdered, and Sayuri has gone missing.” Reina replied. “Kasumi and I saw the scene of the crime. I hope the police can figure out what happened.”

“Yikes. Yeah, that was a good move on your part. And to think that I was out there last night going to random coordinates!” He shuddered. “And I was alone, too! I mean, it's not like I couldn't defend myself or anything, but it's still scary to think about, you know?”

The two wheeled into the high school parking lot, and put their bikes away. Reina noticed at the big tree in front of the school that Kasumi was speaking to Daichi. An instant thing that Reina experienced anytime another girl was speaking to Daichi was this sensation of her blood boiling. But then again... perhaps it was nothing. Maybe Kasumi was asking Daichi about his experience with the treasure hunt the previous night.

Reina joined the group, and Kasumi acknowledged her then said, her heart heavy, “Good morning, Reina. The police found Sayuri's body last night. She had a concussion and had consequently drowned underwater. Her fingerprints were found on the weapon at the scene, so they think it was a murder-suicide.” She sighed shakily and continued, “As for those remains the police found in the incinerator last week, there is strong evidence that points to those remains belonging to Moriko. Of course, nothing has been confirmed yet. They will likely get confirmation within the next month.”

Daichi remarked, “I am beginning to see a pattern here that I find rather uncomfortable. Why is it that every girl I speak to winds up dead shortly afterward?” His eyes had widened, and he had a look of horror on his face.

Kasumi hummed and said, “It is suspicious, isn't it? Perhaps you are just unlucky.”

“Perhaps, but it is enough to make me dread dating...” Daichi sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “I swear that if another girl who is associated with me dies within the next few days, I am going to have no other choice than to start rejecting any and all romantic advances.”

“Perhaps your worry is unwarranted. It could just be a cruel coincidence.” Kasumi reasoned.

“What do you suppose it would take to ease your mind?” Reina asked.

“No more deaths.” Daichi replied, before he exited the conversation. Reina noticed that he was running high on emotions at the moment, so perhaps he wasn't serious about rejecting all romantic advances. However, she was going to take his words seriously for the time being.

Both Kasumi and Reina watched him walk away, and Kasumi said, “He's such a sweet boy. It's a shame that he is beginning to fear himself.” She looked to Reina and said, “See you later, Reina.”

Kasumi headed for the front doors of the school, and Kosuke – who apparently had been watching quietly for a while – joined Reina. He said, “First Moriko, now Sayuri and Sachiko. Who's next, Kasumi?” He remarked.

“Quite likely.” Reina spoke without thinking.

Kosuke shot Reina a look of shock, before asking, “How can you be so sure about that?” Reina did not answer, instead heading for the double doors of the school. Kosuke followed behind, shooting Reina suspicious glances every now and then.

Kasumi was waiting by Reina's locker, her hands behind herself. In the next row of lockers was a girl who appeared to be an upperclassman. She had dark brown hair, sported a pair of thin, wire-frame glasses across the bridge of her nose, and had her hair tied back in a long ponytail. She was pale-skinned, her undertone likely cool. There was a mildly masculine vibe that Reina got from her. The girl in question was speaking to a girl from Reina and Kosuke's class, and she seemed quite serious. She had a blue floral-print notepad out, and she was taking notes with her pen. Kosuke nudged Reina as they walked and he whispered, “Don't stare.”

“Who is she?” Reina asked.

They were close enough for Kasumi to hear at that point, and she smiled and said, “That's my friend, Yoshida Yume. She wants to be a detective one day, and ever since Moriko allegedly died she refuses to believe that it was an accident. She believes the same about Sayuri and Sachiko's death.” Kasumi looked to the girl in question and quietly exhaled. “I suppose there's something to her hypothesis, but I do wish she would relax a little. Perhaps the recent deaths are nothing more than an accident and a murder-suicide, respectively.”

“What was Moriko to Yume?” Reina asked, alarmed to hear that Kasumi was friends with the school detective. This could prove problematic.

“A close cousin.” Came Kasumi's reply. “They were good friends.”

Reina finished exchanging her outdoor shoes for indoor ones, saying, “I hope she finds what she is looking for soon.” With that, she headed for class. On the way over there, she thought that she needed to cut Kasumi out of her life. But how could she do so sneakily? Would it be more advantageous to keep Kasumi in her friend circle? How emotionally vested was Kasumi in this relationship? Probably not too much, since they had just became friends.

Kosuke caught up to Reina, and he noticed how deep in thought she seemed to be. He asked, “What's up, Rei? You seem awfully contemplative.”

“I am wondering if I should continue being friends with Kasumi. I don't want to be wrongfully accused for something.” Reina replied.

“And what would you be accused of? Murder? It would be a bit of a stretch.” Kosuke remarked. Good, the boy was still oblivious, despite implying otherwise not too long ago. Reina hoped that it would remain that way. Dropping off their stuff in their classroom, they headed to the gym for the memorial service for Sayuri and Sachiko.


Submitted: March 18, 2021

© Copyright 2022 A. Rhetters. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

Other Content by A. Rhetters