Officer Nikolas Otto opened the drawer labeled CINDY ARRAN MURDER RECORDINGS. He played the first recording, an interview with Samantha Martin.
"Samantha Martin, January 14th, Cindy Arran case audio recording. Go ahead. What's your story? Tell us about yourself, anything that you think is important."
"Well, my name is Samantha Martin, you know that. Um, I was, like by far, the most popular girl at my school. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and am on the cheer squad. I'm stereotyped so often that I've learned to laugh it off. It really bugs me that people seem to think that I'm either really mean or really dumb, because people often tell me that I'm the nicest person they know. And I'm a straight A student. So tell me, am I dumb and mean? No. I'm not.
But people who haven't, like, met me, well they don't know that. They, like, automatically assume the worst. And the few people who don't like me convince new students that I'm some kind of controlling bitch, if you'll pardon my language.
That's exactly what happened when Cindy Arran moved to Orange Grove, where I live. When I met her, Cindy was rude to me, just straight up rude. And since the police are making me do this, I'm going to tell you the full story. Should I edit the swearing out, because there's a lot of that.
"Um, yes, that would be good."
"Yeah? Okay, thanks.
"Hey, Samantha." A tall, pretty blond that I'd never seen before greeted me before school started.
"Um, hi. Do I know you?" I asked, smiling.
"No. But Iza's told me all about you and your b-switchy ways." She sneered at me. I was stunned.
"You've got it all wrong! I never wanted to-" I began, only to be cut off by the new girl.
"Save it. Iza told me that you would say that, but I'm smarter than that. I know all about you." She smirked at me, and then swept by. I stared at her retreating form, totally shocked. What had I ever done to her, or anyone?
Weeks passed, and slowly I began to retaliate to Cindy's mean jabs and comments. Retaliation is not in my nature, but I couldn't exactly just let her and Iza walk over me! My friends stuck up for me, but that only got me accused of controlling them.
But the icing of the cake was at the biggest dance at Orange Grove High, the Winter Formal. For about a month, I hadn't received any comments from Cindy or Iza. My best friend, Bella, told me that Samantha felt like I was one of those stereotypical mean girls from a book or movie. Excuse me? I was so… pissed. How dare she!
First, Cindy offends me. Then, she tries to get voted in as cheer captain, which she accused me of sabotaging. I didn't, but she framed me, so now I'm in Principal E's bad books, and she's the captain! But then, Cindy has the nerve to act all innocent? Wow, that's deep."
"Miss, can you please lower your voice?"
"Lower my voice? Oh, sorry. Right, anyway, I'll continue about Winter Formal.
So, I wasn't really all that suspicious, just anxious for the Samantha-hating to stop. Of course, that's impossible.
So I got to the Formal fine, with my boyfriend Nikolas. He's really nice and cute, you know-"
"Ma'am, please focus!"
"Right, right. Sorry, anyway, we got there fine. But about three songs after I get there, she spills red Hawaiian punch all over my dress. All over my beautiful, white satin gown! ALL OVER IT!"
"Miss, do you need a few minutes to calm down?"
"No, no I'll be fine. So I was pretty pissed at Cindy by then, but I had to get out of there. Everyone kept making fun of me, and pointing and gossiping. Cindy yelled at me that now, I knew how she felt. I was crying, sobbing,"
"Here's a tissue, it's alright, only a dance."
"Thanks, Officer. So I went up to the Camera room, where there's a bunch of cameras to watch the school. It's right above the gym, so I went up there to watch the rest of the dance. Bella came with me.
Then the DJ played a slow song, and I saw Cindy come up to Nikolas and whisper something in his ear. He smiled and shook his head. She stomped her foot and grabbed his hair, pulling his face against hers."
"Miss, can you keep talking?"
"I-I'm sorry." … … … …. … … … "SHE KISSED HIM!"
"Sorry officer. Caught up in the moment. Nikolas, being a wonderful boyfriend, tried to pull away, but someone beat him to it; the man who checked the invitations and permission to be at that dance. He pulled her away and dragged her to the pool- I watched the screen for the swimming pool room in the school. He tossed something into the water, and the water sparked, I swear! I'm not lying, I swear on the Bible! Then, then he picked Cindy up and swung her towards the water. I don't know what they said, the camera's don't have speakers. But it was terrifying."
"Ma'am, here's some water."
"Thanks."… … "Then he thrska herjai in thehr poalk"
"I'm sorry, speak up!"
"He threw her in the pool. I'm not lying. Please, believe me! I'm TELLING THE TRUTH! I SWEAR!"
"I believe you. Continue."
"So I ran downstairs and tried to catch up to the man. He was talking to Iza. She asked him if Samantha had been killed and he replied 'I think so'. She said, the girl with the blond, Nikolas and he nodded. I realized that they were planning to kill me, but killed Cindy instead. They had been plotting MY DEATH!"
"The man told her that the girl had been kissing Nikolas, he said it very smugly. But then Iza paled totally, and punched the man. I guess that part of the plan was to let Cindy kiss Nikolas as well, but the man forgot. Gosh, Iza was so pissed!"
"Who exactly is Iza?"
"Former Orange High graduate, maybe twenty years old?"
"I see. Thank you for your time. You've made this case a whole lot easier."
"No problem officer."
"Exit is three doors down on the left."
"Thanks, I remember."
"Most people don't, end up in Harmful Substances lab. Oh, BLEEP, is the recorder still on?"
Officer Otto rummaged around until he found the followup sheet. He quickly scanned it, searching for the accused murderer.
Accused: Iza Gentol and Harry Werter OR Samantha Martin
Followup: Gentol/Werter Guilty.
The officer sighed, shook his head, and stuffed the file back into the drawer, pushing back his white-blond hair out of his eyes.
That night, he mentioned the case at dinner to his wife.
"I found that old case about old Cindy Arran's murder. Remember, the one you were accused for?" Samantha looked up from her food, blond hair falling back into place.
"Yes, I do. But let's not depress ourselves, how was your first day as a police officer?"
Nikolas sighed. "Uneventful."