Collaborating to Solve a Mystery

“I still don’t understand why we need to come here?”

“I’ll explain, again, once we’re inside.”

Traci looked up at the imposing building shrouded in darkness. During the day it looked cheerful and inviting, but tonight it looked like a horror story waiting to happen. Knees knocking like she just got off the amusement park cyclone at Coney Island, Traci took a tentative step.

“What are you doing?” Whispered Raun through clenched teeth, as he pulled on her arm to stop her. Traci was crouched over with her arms at ninety degree angles. Her foot poised to step on her toes.

Dropping her arms and straightening her spine, Traci looked back at Raun sheepishly. “Sorry. I’ve never broken into a place before.”

“We’re not breaking in. You have the keys! If anyone asks, you forgot something at work.”

Laughing nervously, Traci replied, “Oh. Oh yes.” She ran up the rest of the steps before she lost her nerve. Hands shaking, she inserted the key into the front door. Turning the knob slowly, breath held, she pulled the wooden door open. Inside was dark and gave her the creeps. “Did you bring a flashlight?”

Raun pushed her inside and closed the door. Another door greeted them.  Without a light to guide them, Traci fumbled to get her swipe card into the slot. “What’s taking so long?”

Annoyed by his impatience, Traci asked “You want to do this?”

“Just want to know what’s the hold up.”

“I can’t find the damn slot. We need light.”

“Turn it on then.”

“There is no light in this vestibule. We usually use the–“

“For heavens sake. Just give it to me!”

“Sure Mr. Big Shot B and E expert. Why didn’t you bring a flashlight?”

“Because we are NOT breaking in,” Raun replied angrily, as he snatched the card from her hands.

“No need to get testy. OMG! I am such an ass.” Traci pulled her cellphone out of her back pocket, and found the flashlight app. The vestibule filled with light. Raun inserted the key card, the light turned green. They both pushed their way into St. Peter’s Elementary School. The smell of a cleaning solution permeated the hallway. Raun took Traci’s phone, and shone it around the dark corners of the school as they made their way to the Headmaster’s office. Their sneakers squeaked on the polished titles.  They were both dressed casually in jeans and sweaters. Although it was October, the weather had been unusually warm during the day. The temperature had dropped, but was still mild.

night school  Disclaimer: I don’t own the copyrights to this picture.

“Ok. Now tell me what we’re doing here? We already know that Dr. Livingston sent me the email bomb.”

“No, we know that it was sent from his email, but we don’t know if he sent it.”

“I know it was him.”

Raun grumbled, “where’s his office?”

“It’s on the second floor. Lets take the stairs.” Traci led Raun to a wide staircase. They quickly ran up. Traci was a little winded from her fear of being in the school after dark and the illegal activity she was about to commit, even if she did work there. Raun did not look or acted winded. He seemed to be taking everything in stride. She was happy they were together, but would have preferred to have spent her Friday night doing something other than searching her boss’ computer. They reached Dr. Livingston’s office. Traci was afraid to enter. Afraid of what she would or would not find. Raun seemed to think that Dr. Livingston was not behind the nude photo email bomb. If not him, then who would want to harm her?

Luckily for them Dr. Livingston never locked his office. He always said he had nothing to hide. Raun opened the door and entered. They maneuvered their way around a small sofa, a coffee table, two armchairs, and floor plants before approaching the desk. The computer screen was blank, but when Raun touched the space bar, the screen came on showing Dr. Livingston’s desktop with apps and documents.  Raun rested Traci’s phone next to the computer keyboard, and sat behind the desk. He tapped the email icon. He first searched the Sent folder and then the Trash. He found nothing. Then he did some fast finger work, the screen went black, and white lettering appeared. Traci lost interest in what Raun was doing, and began to think of what could go wrong. To take her mind off their surroundings, she asked the questions tantamount in her mind.

“What are you doing?”

“Looking at the computer’s history.”


“Stop distracting me.” Traci left him to continue his work uninterrupted. She walked over to the door, and thought she heard the elevator’s ding. Who would be here at this time of night? Everyone should be in bed. Especially her and Raun, together. Smiling, she leaned her back against the door, and felt the knob slowly turning against her bottom. Eyes wide. Traci ran quickly through the maze of furniture to Raun. Tugging on his arm, she pointed to the door.

Annoyed, he pushed her away. “Stop. I almost have it.”

Traci leaned over and whispered, “someone’s at duh door.”

Raun sat transfixed for a minute staring at the door before pushing the chair away from the desk, and hastily pulling Traci underneath with him. There was barely enough room for the both of them. The computer was still on, and Traci’s phone was sitting next to the keyboard. Breath held, they waited to be found.


One thought on “Collaborating to Solve a Mystery

  1. Pingback: Perceptions: Snuffed and Stuffed… | H.E.A. (Happily Ever After)

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