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County Bay was small and peaceful. It did not have many crimes, thefts, nor murders. It was a simple town with simple buildings and simple people. Until that fateful day.

Jerry and Barry were just your two average police officers from the County Bay Police Department. Jerry was behind the wheel while Barry was munching on a doughnut. The two were out on a countryside heading to a house that had reported a murder. It was a nice Sunday evening for such an occasion.

"So what's the situation we got here?" Barry mumbled, the powder on his lips flying into the air from the doughnut.

"Caucasian family. Way out into the countryside. Found their daughter Tammy Mayano in her bed, stabbed in the throat with a pointy object. Family consists of the mother, Leena Mayano, the father Hugo Mayano, their 7 year old son Damion Mayano, the grandmother Irene Mayano, and the maid Ivy Pistaco," Jerry explained. Barry nodded and bit into the doughnut again.

"I see. How far away are we?" Barry asked.

"About another twenty miles. Murder happened 'bout half an hour ago. Only road out is this one. The murderer hasn't passed us. It's too far from the city," Jerry explained.

"You mean to say it's gotta be someone in the family?" Barry questioned. Jerry glanced at Barry with a grave expression, concern in his voice.

"Probably, Barry. Probably," the officer said to his partner. The two drove on, hoping to see a car coming their way and make an arrest. But to no avail. The officers soon arrived at a beautiful giant mansion. Barry whistled as he got out of the car. Both officers casually walked over to the door.

Barry rang the doorbell. The officers waited for a while until the door was opened by a beautiful blonde-haired girl. She was obviously frightened and shaky.

"H-hello?" she greeted them. The officers tipped their hats to her, and she opened the door a little wider, still hesitant.

"Good evening, ma'am. We're the officers from the County Bay Police Department. We got a call about half an hour ago about a murder that has occurred?" Jerry explained. The girl nodded and opened the door for them.

"Please come in, officers," she welcomed them coldly. The officers went it to find multiple faces with sadness sprawled all over them. Most were crying. The officers stepped in and tipped their hats once more.

"May we speak to the parents of Tammy Mayano?" Jerry asked. A couple who had been holding each other with tears streaking down their faces stepped up towards the officers. Jerry, being the assertive man he was, asked for their names to clarify.

"Leena and Hugo Mayano, sir," spoke the father. Jerry nodded and looked around the place. There were too many faces for the likes of the officer. He cleared his throat and announced, "Will Irene Mayano, Ivy Pistaco, and Damion Mayano please step up?"

The beautiful girl who had opened the door, an elderly woman with a frilly dress, and a small, frail child stepped in next to the couple. Jerry looked over at Barry and elbowed him.

"You go check upstairs and see the body. I'm gonna see what these people know," Jerry ordered him. Barry nodded and left up the stairs to find the dead Tammy. Jerry called over the people he had named closer to him.

"I will be interrogating each of you to see what has happened. We have reason to believe the murderer may still be in this very house," Jerry said and received a number of gasps. People began to murmur. The couple held each other closer. The boy grabbed the father's leg. The grandmother seemed as she was about to faint. The guests looked at one another in suspicion.

"Alright, Mrs. Mayano," Jerry called her out. A timid middle-aged woman revealed herself from her husband's arms, her face red with her tears. She unraveled herself from her husband's arms as she stepped up to the officer. Jerry pulled her aside.

"I'm going to ask you a few questions, ma'am," he explained to her. The woman nodded and scrunched her eyes closed.

"How old was your daughter Tammy Mayano?" Jerry asked. The woman opened her eyes to look at him.

"She was only sixteen," she said, more tears coming from her eyes. Jerry nodded.

"And how did she get along with the family?" asked Jerry. Leena Mayano glanced at the officer's feet, thinking. She looked behind at her family and grimaced. Her husband gave her a weak smile, urging her to continue.

"She was wonderful. She loved us, and we loved her. We... her and I, acted like best friends. Her father took her fishing constantly with him. They never brought any fish back though because..." the woman stopped and swallowed hard, the memories hard for her to collect, "she loved animals. And she refused to have the fish killed."

"Her grandmother taught her everything she knew. She was a bright child. And Tammy was also very kind to the maid. Ivy was her best friend. Her brother and her fought often, but it was sibling rivalry. She always apologized, and they hugged afterwards."

Jerry nodded quietly. He appeared to be thinking while he was examining the woman. She seemed sincere, not too bright, but sincere. He got back to the case at hand.

"Where were you at the time of 6:32 PM this evening, Mrs. Mayano?" he asked her. She seemed hurt at the question and grabbed to the collar of her dress.

"I was downstairs. My husband and I were hosting this family get-together," she explained. The officer nodded.

"That is all, Mrs. Mayano. Thank you, and my condolences for your daughter," he said to her. The woman nodded yet dropped to the floor in front of him and began to bawl like mad. Her husband reached out for her to help soothe her. Jerry patted the woman's shoulder but had to move on.

"Ivy Pistaco," Jerry called out. The blonde-haired girl stepped forward. Jerry moved away from the sobbing woman and called the girl over to him.

"Ms. Pistaco, you are the only one here not a member of this family, correct?" he asked her. Ivy moved her head up and down in a swift notion.

"Besides you, sir," she said. Jerry didn't smile.

"How would you then describe your relationship with Tammy Mayano?" he asked her. The girl gave a small, weak grin as her eyes began to tear up.

"She was like a sister to me. I loved her sweet, kind behavior towards every living creature. She was wonderful to me. I tried to be the same towards her. We shared secrets, and she occasionally got me a raise for my paycheck. That child was an angel," Ivy declared. The officer smiled.

"Where were you at 6:32 PM this evening?" he asked her. The maid shrugged.

"Serving drinks to the guests, I reckon," she answered. The officer didn't need anything else.

"That'll do. Thank you. Irene Mayano," the officer called out. The elderly woman came up to the officer as the girl walked away. The woman was wrinkled like a prune, and the sadness engraved in her face only made her seem older.

"I apologize for the loss of your granddaughter, Mrs. Mayano," Jerry said. The woman did not reply, only stared at him. Jerry continued.

"Did she ever cause you problems?" Jerry asked. The woman shook her head, still not talking. Jerry observed her cautiously.

"Where were you at-"

"Sitting on the couch. Watching my son kiss his beautiful wife. The same beauty my granddaughter had gotten," she interrupted him. The officer was taken back.

"At 6:32 PM?" he asked.

"Officer," the woman said, "I am old. Sixty-six years, to be exact. I can not keep track of where I am and what I am doing every minute of my life. But I do know this; I was on the couch. Watching my son be with his beautiful wife. The same beauty my granddaughter had gotten."

Officer Jerry nodded. "I understand," he said, "it just I need a general knowledge of your whereabouts at that general time-"

"And I understand you, too, Officer," the woman said, "so let me tell you where I was at that general time. I was on the couch. Watching my son with his beautiful wife. The same beauty my granddaughter had gotten." Jerry looked puzzled.

"Wait a minute. Was she watching him with you, or was he-"

"I was on the couch," the grandmother said, "Watching my son and his beautiful wife. The same beauty my granddaughter had gotten." Jerry stared at her blankly. She stared in return. He nodded after a moment.

"You are free to go," he told her, "back to your son and his beautiful wife." The old lady grimaced.

"The same beauty my granddaughter had gotten," she added. She walked away. Even though she was very suspicious, Jerry almost felt sorry for her. He had to continue.

"Hugo Mayano," he called. The husband of the woman came to him, his wife nowhere to be found in his arms. He was a well-built man, tall, and quite good-looking.

"Look, Officer," he said to Jerry, "I have lost my daughter this evening, never to see her again. I have called you in here to help solve this murder case. The morgue hasn't even arrived yet from the small town down the hill, and her body is still up here. I am tired, I am scared, and I am very upset. I did not kill my daughter; I wouldn't have the heart to do so."

Hugo stormed off. Jerry scratched his head as he looked at the man as he hugged his mother. The little boy was watching them. The guests were spread out, talking and crying. Just as Jerry was about to walk towards the guests, Barry stormed down the stairs.

"Jerry, I think you need to see this," he said. Barry seemed frantic. Jerry rushed up the stairs with Barry to one of the bedrooms. On the bed was laying a pale girl in a white dress. She seemed asleep if not for the blood that was coming from her mouth.

"What is it, Barry?" Jerry asked.

"First of all, look at the windows," he said, pointing, "They're not broken. And they're locked. All of the windows upstairs are. No one could have gotten in that way, nor out due to all the people downstairs which means-"

"-the murderer has got to be down there," Jerry finished, "Shit. I interviewed the family. The grandmother is somewhat suspicious, but I'm not certain. It might be one of the guests."

"That's not all," Barry said, "feel her neck." Jerry glanced at the girl, wishing he had gloves. Still, if Barry said to do so, it must have been important. He walked up to the girl and looked down at her face.

She was beautiful, just like her grandmother said. The blood coming from her mouth did not distort her complexion. Carefully, Jerry placed his hands around her neck. Gasping, he felt around.

"It's broken," Jerry said. Barry nodded. "See how that bone in the front shifted backwards? It's crushed. There was a heavy weight placed on her neck. Got any idea what she might have been doing?"

Jerry examined the neat room. He shook his head.

"No sign of a struggle. From the looks of the way she's laying, I think she was resting," Jerry said, glancing to the floor to find a book by his feet, "Maybe reading." Barry nodded.

"If she was in this position, when the murderer came in..." he began. Jerry looked at him, urging him to continue. Barry looked away.

"Then the murderer must have been someone she trusted when he or she came in for her to not move at all. You're right. It's gotta be someone downstairs," Barry concluded. Jerry and Barry left the room and headed downstairs. The people were still assorted the same way they left them. Jerry pointed to a general area to his left.

"You finish interrogation over there, I got it here," Jerry explained. Barry contentedly agreed. Before he could walk away, Jerry quickly stopped him.

"You know what you're doing, right?" Jerry asked him. Barry gave him an obvious look.

"I've been on the force for over 15 years. I'm not a trainee. I'm a professional. Of course, I know what I'm doing, Jerry," Barry claimed. Jerry stared at him for a moment before letting him head down to his spot.

Jerry walked over to one of the other two families that had been there. It consisted of the mother, father, and their eight-year old daughter who was sitting with Damion. Jerry greeted the parents as warmly as he could.

All he could get from them was that they had been to church and arrived late to the party around 6:00. They had stayed the entire time downstairs until their daughter Mary had to go to the bathroom. Only the mother and daughter had left to go upstairs.

The police officer took that into consideration as he looked down upon the children. As they looked up back at him, he tried to smile.

"Is that true, young lady?" he asked. The little girl nodded quietly and scurried off the couch into her mother's arms. The boy watched her as the mother picked Mary up and kissed her cheek. The mother was weary, her eyes red.

Jerry glanced at the boy and smiled again. The boy didn't seem to pay attention to the officer.

"You gonna find the person why... my sister is... dead?" the boy asked. A pang of pain shot through Jerry's heart. He bent down towards Damion.

"Don't worry, young man. We will find the person who took your sister away from you," the officer said as gently as possible. The boy looked down at his feet.

"Everybody loved her. She was perfect," the boy said, "She loved everyone." Jerry wondered who could ever murder a girl like her and take her away from her family. Jerry was angered by the thought.

"We will get the guy. Don't worry, son," the officer reassured him. The boy nodded, his attention still to his feet.

"She didn't like me, though," Damion said. Jerry's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Oh?" he asked, "Why not?" A tear fell down from the boy's eye, but he quickly wiped it off and shrugged. The officer put a hand on his shoulder.

"I'm sure she loved you," said Jerry. The boy didn't reply. Barry came up to Jerry and pulled him aside.

"I don't know who did it, Jerry," said Barry, "every alibi has support behind it. They all saw each other at that point in time. The only 'clue' I have is this boy, about the girl's age, who looks like he had a bit to drink. But he was seen too," Jerry scratched the back of his neck. They had no lead, minor suspicions, and a dead girl upstairs. Barry interrupted his thoughts.

"What do we do?" he asked. Jerry looked around the room. His attention was caught by a figure in the back he hadn't seen before, hidden in the shadows. Jerry was so mesmerized by the figure that he walked away from Barry subconsciously. Only the figure's feet could be seen.

"Hello?" he asked the figure. The shadow moved its head toward the man. Everyone became silent. The room developed an eerie feeling, as if it was just Jerry and the figure. Jerry didn't say anything.

"Hi," the figure said. The voice sounded feminine. The police officer looked cautiously at the figure.

"Where were you?" the officer asked. The girl sat down on the steps.

"I was sleeping. I woke up to go to the bathroom. I had too much to drink," the girl replied. The officer looked behind him to see Barry turned away.

"Why didn't my friend see you?" Jerry asked. The girl shrugged.

"I don't know. I reckon he saw me. Maybe he just didn't say anything," the girl replied. Jerry was getting suspicious at the girl's whereabouts.

"So you were upstairs this whole time?" Jerry asked. The girl nodded. "So what do you know about this murder?"

The girl tensed up. "Murder? What murder? I had been sleeping," she replied, "All I know is there is an awful smell coming from that room behind me." The girl seemed surprised. The police officer looked confused.

"Who died?" the girl whispered. The officer turned his head in amazement.

"Tammy Mayano," he answered. The girl was quiet. After a few moments, she mumbled a soft 'oh.' Her body began to shake. The officer was bewildered. It had been as if she had never noticed. She stood up and began to head towards the bathroom.

"P-pardon m-me... I-I n-need to-to wash my... face," she whispered, crying. Jerry watched her go.

"Wait!" he said. The girl didn't stop. She only told him one thing.

"Ask the boy. I woke up and saw him upstairs," she said. She went into the bathroom and closed the door. It felt like a dream. The room seemed to come to life again as Barry came up to Jerry.

"So what do we do?" Barry asked. Jerry stared at him. "What did you say about that boy again?" Jerry felt as if he had some lead, finally, to this case.

"Here he is," Barry said as he led Jerry to a tall, muscular young man with brown locks, "Michael Duncan. Cousin of Tammy Mayano. Sixteen years of age, caught drinking." Jerry examined the young teen before him.

"So where did you get the alcohol, boy?" Jerry asked him. The teen seemed flustered.

"I found it," he murmured. Jerry's eyebrows shot up in shock. He had this.

"You found it? Where did you find this... spare alcohol?" Jerry asked. Michael shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck. He knew he was in for it.

"Kitchen. On the table. No one was drinking it, so I decided I might as well have some. I didn't drink much though. Three shots of vodka," he explained. The officer shook his head.

"You were drinking under the age limit. No excuses. That could have been enough to intoxicate a fellow like yourself and lead to stupid decisions," Jerry said. Michael's eyes widened.

"No! It's not like that. I didn't kill Tammy. I couldn't! I loved her; she was my favorite cousin!" Michael argued. Jerry didn't take it.

"We're going to have to take you in for some questioning, sir. Cuff him," Jerry said. Barry took out his handcuffs and arrested Michael. The family was buzzed. Off all people, for it to be the cousin. Leena ran towards Michael.

"You murderer! You killed my daughter!" she screamed at him. Hugo quickly grabbed her. "Hush, sweetie, hush," he told her. She whimpered and began to cry violently into his chest. Damion ran towards them, and Hugo picked him up as well.

"He killed her..." Leena whispered into his chest. Hugo hugged her tightly. Jerry shook his head.

"We aren't sure, but it is most likely that he did due to intoxication," Jerry said.

"But I'm not drunk!" Michael protested. Barry tightened his grip to get a groan from Michael. Jerry felt proud. This was a tough case, and it appeared he solved it. Just then, Mary tugged on his leg, and as the officer looked down upon the little girl, she smiled.

"Why didn't you intra... inter..." she seemed at a loss for the word.

"Interrogate?" Jerry asked. The girl nodded.

"Yeah, why didn't you interrogate me or Damie or my dolly?" the child asked. Jerry smiled. Even though, he had no need to, he bent down and kneeled on his knee.

"Well, sweetie. Where were you and your dolly when this happened?" he asked her. The girl smiled. "With my mommy. Then we came here and played with Damie." Jerry's heart melted at the girl's innocence. He lifted his leg up and glanced at Damion.

"And you, kiddo?" Jerry asked. Damion stared at him and hugged his father.

"I brought the mail in for my momma. Since she was so busy with the party," the boy said. Jerry ruffled the boy's hair and instructed him.

"You take care of the rest of your family, ok?" Jerry asked. Damion thought about that for a moment, buried his head into his father's neck and nodded. "I will," he said. Jerry looked at Hugo.

"The morgue should be here any moment. I suggest you folks all go home at this point. Once again, I am sorry to hear about your daughter," he declared. Hugo would have shaken his hand if they weren't occupied, so he only nodded.

"Thank you, officer," he said. Jerry and Barry left the house just as the morgue had gotten there. Michael trailed behind quietly. Barry stuffed him into the back of the car as Jerry climbed into the driver's seat.

"Man," he whispered, "What a case." Barry climbed into the passenger's seat.

"You ready to go?" he asked. Jerry nodded, confident he really did have the killer. Since he was a minor, he'd face a different court but hopefully receive a similar punishment. They backed up from the driveway and drove off.

Michael was quiet. Barry grabbed the pack of doughnuts from the floor and took another one. Jerry was staring out into the road, thinking. Something was missing. Something wasn't right. Jerry let the feeling sink.

Barry decided to talk on the trip. He chatted about little things, and Jerry pretended to listen, trying to figure out the missing piece. Barry was talking about the weather when it finally hit Jerry.

Jerry stopped the car suddenly. The car screeched to the side loudly. Jerry and Barry were shot forward. So was Michael. Barry grabbed for his chest as if hanging on to his life.

"Dear god, you nearly set off the airbags!" he screamed at Jerry. Jerry couldn't move.

"We left the murderer behind," he whispered, dumbfounded. Barry was confused, shaking his head.

"No," he said, "He's in the back." This time, Jerry shook his head, still hypnotized in his thoughts. He gravely and slowly turned his head to face Barry.

"I told him to take care of the rest of his family," he whispered again. Barry still did not understand.

"Who?" he asked.

Jerry only replied with, "The mail never comes on Sundays."

The End

If you have not figured it out, well the murderer was Damion. It was pure jealousy. The figure you saw was Tammy. Please tell me what you thought of it! Thank you xoxo