“Life On The Tip of a Needle” This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Why do we label life? Take time for instance, why do we as humans need to create a title for the passing of moments? Could it be that without time we feel helpless or lacking control over our own lives? Maybe it’s because without time, we lose reality, our perceptions of the world become meaningless. If we can’t recall the exact moment of which a memory was recorded, who is to say that it ever happened? Taking this idea, we can apply this logic to science and religion, both completely conflicting ideas. Without time, how can a scientist record the death of a person? Or how is a clergyman expected to recruit followers if he can’t recount the times for which his holy biblical events occurred? No matter how great of ideals they may be: without time, they cannot exist. However, when the three combine, they can weave a beautiful tapestry of mystery, consisting of conflicting thought and unrelenting hate.

A ringing is in the air. The sound of drop after drop hitting the newly formed puddle on the floor. The air is still, and nothing can be heard except for the drop crimson tears. His body still warm, life slowly escaping his eyes until they finally become as blank and cold as death. His face frozen in the most inexplicable grin. Soon a nearby church bell is erupting with its’ daily chimes to signify that service has begun.

“I-I don’t know how it happened,” spoke Matilda, the housekeeper, “I just went in to tell him to clean the bathrooms since it hadn’t been done for two weeks-Who would even bother killing him!? He had no enemies, I don’t even think he ever left the property …” The housekeeper, unable to keep herself from bawling anymore, unleashes a tremendous flow of sobs of which to make any attempt to question her further is impossible. Matilda was first to discover the body of James Monroe, a poor servant boy of seventeen years old; the two of them worked for Paul Everdell, the wealthiest man within five hundred miles. Everdell, gained his riches through inheritance, and even though he was brought up in a wealthy family he was known to be an exceptionally kind person even to his help. He even supplied homes to members of his staff that had nowhere else to stay. However, even with all of this in consideration, Everdeen was the only one in the house during the time of death making him the prime suspect for murder. “Hold on,” commands Detective Hansen, “You have told me all of this before Lou, and I told you the police can handle it. There is no need to start poking our noses in places we aren’t wanted; besides it seems like a lot of work.” Sitting across from the detective sits a well fit man in his mid-twenties, in an Italian suit that fits him perfectly. “Please John; this is my best friend they have in cuffs, Just go down there and take a look. Besides you could use the exercise.” Looking slightly offended, Hansen then stands “Fine, we can go check the scene of the crime, but if we don’t find anything I don’t want to hear about this again, and you’re just going to have to accept that your friend is a no good filthy murder…Oh, and one more thing,” says the detective as he then punches his companion with considerable force bringing the young man to his knees, “I believe it is you who needs the workout friend.”

Monroe’s body was found in the daughter, Lucy Everdell’s, room. Lucy had been away with Matilda on personal business when the boy was killed. The body was on the bed, however, it appears as though the body was pushed on to the mattress, because his legs were hanging off the foot of the bed. On floor a few of books were scattered on awkward positions. He was killed by a form of spider venom of which slowly causes all of the victim’s internal organs to collapse. The boy was tan, with bright green eyes, and thick brown hair, in his right hand he held a crumpled up message that read, “Meet me at 8:30.” On his right cheek there was a reddish tint, so faint that it was almost gone. After observing the room for some time, and taking a quick bathroom break, Hansen returns to his companion, “Wasn’t Monroe smiling when they found him? Why do the police think Everdell is to blame, and this isn’t just some suicide?” “Because, the Everdell was a veteran of war and had to spend some time in Africa, getting to know all kinds of poisons. Also, it is said that Lucy and Monroe were..er..intimate. So the-“ “So the police found a motive,” Hansen interrupts, as he stares at the window above the headboard, “Only one of these glass panels are cracked.” “Do you think someone could have shot him with a poisonous dart through the window?” “No. the panel is behind the headboard, the dart would have to go through one of these tiny holes on the intricate design of the wood fixture. However, I do think Everdell is innocent,” states Hansen as he picks up of what looks to be a bent sewing needle out of the carpet and places it into a bag.

Next door to the Everdell home was a tall church with a bronze bell that rang every Sunday to signify the beginning and end of service. Hansen and his partner enter the temple to talk to the head priest of the church, Michael Moore, after learning that Moore is a close friend of the Everdell family. “So how long have you known the Everdells?” ask Hansen as the two are offered to sit down. “Well I have known Paul for about twenty three years. We used to serve in the war together, He’d kill their soldiers and I’d bless ours, and believe me once someone like Paul has saved your life, you can’t call them an acquaintance anymore.” Moore finishes with a chuckle. Lou looks over to see that his friend is now clenching his fists in his lap, while trying to maintain a calm expression, until all three men notice the sound of footsteps approaching the door, there’s a lot of them. It’s only moments, until the priest’s office is filled with police officers along with Lucy Everdell and Matilda. Hansen stands and points to Moore, “He is the murder of James Monroe! Arrest him!” Completely distraught, Moore is placed in handcuffs, “What are you talking about!? I was leading service when that boy died! On top of that, how could I possibly have ran over to his house three acres away to kill him and no one notice I was missing!?” Lou intervenes, “He’s right, it would’ve been obvious if he had left because church would have just started, there just wouldn’t be any time for him to commit the crime and make it back to the church.” Hansen begins, “It’s simple.”

“A young woman of eighteen is crying in the street. A thick downpour of a rain is falling, a thunderstorm is blooming. The wind is swaying the trees violently from side to side. The cold makes the young woman’s tears run coldly down her pale cheek. A warm hand brushes a tear away. The young woman looks up to see a reassuring figure beckoning her to follow. Once entering the warm indoors, the woman is sits down and is offered a warm cup of tea. Being asked of her troubles and of how she came to be outside, she explains that she has become lost and is trying to find her way back to reality, but that time was only going to continue to remind her mistakes. Seeing that the subject of the conversation was only depressing her more, the figure offers her warm dry clothes. After changing, the woman asks the figure back into the room. The mood has changed, what was once plutonic has now become more physical. It wasn’t until a week had gone by that the figure had found out that the young woman had become pregnant. Unaware of what to do, the figure decides to come up with a plan to kill her to keep her from ruining his life.
As all of you may have guessed, this figure is none other than our own Mr. Moore, and the young lady, none other than Ms. Lucy Everdell.” Lou interrupts, “But Hansen, Lucy isn’t the one that was killed, it was the servant boy, and I thought Lucy was being intimate wi-“Hansen stops his companion, “Hold it Lou, I’m not quite finished yet. As I was saying, Ms. Everdell was pregnant and Mr. Moore had decided to kill her before the secret got out. So early yesterday morning, Moore waited until Lucy and Matilda left to set up his deadly trap. He took a sewing needle dipped in the poison from an African spider’s venom (of which he knew would frame Mr. Everdell) then stuck the needle through the bindings of one of the books on Ms. Everdell’s bookshelf. He then threaded the needle using an extremely thin fishing string which was fed over one of the canopy bar and through the headboard and a thin space between one of the panels of glass in the window. The string led all the way up to the top of the church where he could manipulate his deadly device from a distance. All it took was for him to pull the device causing the book with the needle to slam in to the victim’s head, then continue pulling so that the needle would get pulled out of the binding, go through the hole in the headboard, out the window, and back to him.” “Even if that were true, wouldn’t people notice if I was standing on the roof pulling on some string!?” Moore belts out. “Yes, unless they thought you were doing something else, like ringing the church bell perhaps? You volunteered to ring the church bell yesterday so you could activate your device with no one raising suspicions, then all you had to do is keep pulling until you got all the evidence wound up and placed in your pocket. You could then ring the bell and go through service like usual and dispose of the wire later.” Lou starts in again, “But how did he know that she would be there at that time?” “That’s because he sent her a letter telling her to meet him there at that time, a letter that she never received.” Lucy then begins to talk in an almost in audible volume, “Everything Mr. Hansen has said about my pregnancy and what Mr. Moore and I did was true. Except I also told Matilda and James, Matilda, after my mother died, treated me like one of her own, So I knew I could trust her and that she’d be able to help me.” “Would you please tell Mr. Moore why you told James?” ”I-I told him…because he was the father…That’s why I was crying last week, because I had just found out about my pregnancy” Every aspect of Paul Moore’s character changed in to a mortifying creature of pure shock. In almost an instant, Moore fell to his knees, tears running down his face. “I…didn’t…know. I’m so sorry Lucy, I just didn’t know. I thought it was our child, I thought it was my mistake that I had to fix. I’m sorry Lucy, I’m so sorry…” Lucy trying to hold back tears both of sadness and disgust, “…But detective, Why didn’t I get his message?” “Because Lucy, James had read the message before he gave it to you, and being the servant boy he is required to be up at early times of the day, unaware that you had left, he had most likely seen Mr. Moore leave your room and thought the worse and decided to confront him at the meeting time.” Immediately an officer bluntly yells, “how can you be sure of any of this!?” “Well although a good part of it is speculation, I noticed that when I was in Ms. Everdell’s room that her books were sprawled on the floor, as if something forced them off the bookshelf. Then I noticed that one of the window panel’s behind the headboard was cracked. The same window pointed towards the church. It was Lou that made me note the small holes in the design of the headboard, so small that only a needle could fit. Most likely the needle didn’t come out of the binding as easily as Mr. Moore would have liked, because it was bent before it got to the window. With the force of the bent need being pulled against the window, it cracked that panel just before the string snapped, leaving the needle as evidence to the truth.” Hansen now displaying the bent needle he had picked up earlier. “As for the pregnancy, when I went to the bathroom, I happened to notice a pregnancy test reading positive, Matilda had already said to the police that she was going to tell the deceased to clean up the bathroom because it hadn’t been done for two weeks and knowing that Ms. Everdell and Mr. Monroe had been together, I assumed it must have been theirs. However that still left the unclaimed message with a meeting time and the African poison to account for, and once Mr. Moore mentioned his time in the war with Mr. Everdell, all was clear.” The officers begin to walk the now bawling priest out of the room. “Lucy there was one more thing, the reason why James Monroe was smiling when he died. It was because, he saw the picture of you on your side table. He knew that he was dying and that the trap was meant for you. He was happy because even though he had to die, you would still be alive. You and the child the two of you created. So even though what may have happened way gruesome, know that he was happy and that he will always be with you…” “Thank you Detective Hansen,” is heard from the muffled up sobers of the young teenager. Lucy and Matilda say their goodbyes to the detective and his accomplice, and go on to retrieve Mr. Everdell back so that they may go back home, and begin to recover from the gruesome events that have occurred.

Back in their office, “Thanks again for clearing my Friend’s name, but one thing has been bothering me about that case…” Lou says in a questioning tone. “It’s no problem, what’s bothering you?” “Well I just don’t see how you knew that Moore, and the Everdell girl ever did anything.” “Ha ha, well Lou, like I said; a lot of it is speculation,” says Hansen as he laughs laughs hysterically at his now befuddled friend.





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