“I kinda of understand but the enthusiasm of the members is higher than I would have expected.” Said Clemens.
“Well, we are a murder mysterious association, a more casual person wouldn’t have joined us in the first place.”
The conversation continued for many hours discussing the pros and cons of killed people in certain ways or methods of disposing and hiding bodies. Finally weariness began to kick in for the different members and one by one the left to return to their room.
Clemens too was feeling the drowsiness and get up to leave before Qunicy stopped him and said, “Oh, before you go I wanted to finish explaining the schedule for you. We are planning to stay here for a little more than two weeks. The murder will happen sometime in the first week and the rest of us will have until the end of the second week to figure out who the murderer is. After that there is going to be a couple of days of relaxing and recovering and then we will depart.”
“So the murder will happen anytime during the first week?”
Quincy nodded, “Except today any of those days are valid. It usually happens closer to the end though to give the murderer more time to plan and the rest of us less time to solve the case. Still, if you could warn the other guest sooner rather than later that would good.”
Then Qunicy stood up himself and said, “Speaking of informing I am going to go make sure the robots know what is happening so that they won’t accidentally clean up the murder scene.” And then he left the restaurant.
That left Clemens alone with Somarliðr who was enjoying another plate. Clemens was about to take his own leave when Somarliðr put down his fork and said, “You should keep your eye out. Even though the murder hasn’t happened yet everything currently happening is still part of the mystery.”
“What do you mean?”
“Remember the murder has already been chosen and they are finalizing their plan. If you want to participate I recommend watching everything that happens. The slightest slip-up now could be the vital clue you need to reveal the murder.”
“And what if you are the murderer.”
Somarliðr roared in laughter, “Now you are getting it! Anybody could be the murderer, maybe this conversation now is just me trying to make you trust me. Such is the game that we are playing.”
“Well, at least you have me that you can trust.”
“Do I?” he said seriously, “Is there any why you can prove that you weren’t contacted earlier by one of our members and are already the accomplice of the murderer?”
Clemens swallowed before saying, “That is allowed?”
“It is the detective that cares about the rules not the murderer. Good livelong advice that. Marylou won once with that very strategy. The most important part of being both a detective and a murderer is lateral thinking. Do something the other person will not understand and you will get away with it. Among us that is the only way to succeed.”
“That advice sounds kind of scary when you say it like that.”
Somarliðr smiled widely in a way that send shivers down Clemens spine, “The others might tip toe around the idea but we are all murderers. People who enjoy planning the death of another person and how to get away with it. This association is a release for those desires.”
Clemens took a few steps backward before saying, “Are you serious?”
Somarliðr burst into laughter again and suddenly the seriousness was gone from him composure, “No way, it is a joke. It takes more than an interest in mysteries and puzzles to turn somebody into a murderer. But all of us are actors, good at pretending and hiding the truth. So don’t expect the fake murderer to be revealed so easy.”
Clemens took a breath of relief, “Well I suppose that part makes sense. It wouldn’t be a very fun game if you found out the answer easily.” Somarliðr nodded and approval and Clemens continued, “But I don’t think you’ve done much to make me think you are not the fake murderer.”
There was just some more jolly laughter at that.
Not long after Clemens found Sarita in the belly of the resort. A dimly lit observation room that opened up to an underwater cave. It was several floors beneath the main entrance room and there were no signs that lead to it. Still it was clearly a place for relaxation, assuming you could relax looking out into the darkest horrors of the ocean.
Clemens had only found out about the place recently and it was luck that Sarita has been there at the same time. After the first meeting here he had learned that it was one of her favorite places in the resort. He had mostly avoided it since then to let it continue to be her private sanctuary.
She was near one of the few lights in the room and even that would probably not be enough for Clemens to read by however Sarita has far better vision in dark areas than he did. She glanced up as he entered and set down the book.
“Does this have something to do with the new guests?” She guessed as he walked closer.
He nodded before trying to explain, “They are hosting a murder mystery competition here over the next couple of weeks and they wanted me to inform you about the details so that you wouldn’t be surprised when something strange happens.”
“I overheard a little when the first arrived not too much.”
Clemens cocked his head surprised that she had been listening in, “The short form is that there is a fake murder mystery happening where one of them is going to pretend to kill another one and then everybody has to figure out who did it. The face murder is going to happen sometime within a week and then after two weeks the need to have figured out who did it.”
“Two weeks isn’t too long for them to be staying.”
“Have you decided if you plan on staying around or not? I know you were debating about it.”
“I think I’ll stay, at least for a while. If they start getting too noisy then I might leave but for now I’ll stick around. After all I still have a book to finish.” She pointed at the book as if trying to justify her decision.
Clemens nodded, “Alright, well, then, I will see you around.”
He then headed back to the hotel section. It was getting late and he was beginning to feel tired.
Sarita returned to her book. Unlike Clemens she didn’t follow a clock and just stayed up when she felt like and and slept when she felt like it.
She continued to sit there reading, unaware of what was to come.
The next couple of days were fairly routine. Each of the guests fell into their own routines. Beyond mystery stories they didn’t have that many hobbies in common.
Quincy had taken root in the library section. He had some kind of board game that he was a master of and which he continued to practice. Clemens tried his hand at a few games against Quincy but even with a massive handicap there was no beating the master.
Zosi was one of the most unpredictable. He seemed intent on visiting and experiencing every different attraction in the Poseidon Resort. One day he could be seen bowling with Nitzan and the next he was out exploring the ocean. The one thing consistent was that he hadn’t done the same thing twice.
Nitzan divided his day equally between physical exercises and intellectual activity. He also seemed fairly friendly despite his imposing looks. He had played some bowling with Nitzan but he also played some of Quincy’s game. Since exercise seemed to be a secondary importance to many of the other guests he was often found alone in the gym in the early hours of each day.
Isaac, like Zosi, spend much of his time wandering the resort although he didn’t seem to be as interested in actually partaking in the activities and seemed more intent of examining them. He had a little notebook that he was constantly writing things into. Also unlike Zosi he seemed to return to a few of the same places and could be occasionally found watching very old movies in the theatre.
Somarliðr spend a large portion of each day visiting the different restaurants in the resort. He had become exceptionally skilled at pacing himself and could sit in a restaurant of hours slowly enjoying his found. He had a small tablet that wrote into, making reviews of all the different meals that he ate. He had also taken several books from the library to read while eating.
Demetra had found a bar that seemed to suit her. One with a primary red glow with simply classic music playing. On Clemens first visit to see what she was doing she told him an excessively long tale that she had learned, practically a small one person play. It was something she was experienced in doing. She also seemed to dabble in a few of the other activities in the resort and a couple of times Clemens has seen her in the swimming pool..
Severina spent most of her time sealed away in her room preventing people from seeing her activities. Still she spend some of the time eat and some more taking piles of horror movies and privately locking herself away in the theatre. Occasionally she would pass by Clemens or one of the other guests and laugh to herself alone the way.
Marylou had taken one of the private study rooms where she had setup a board full of pictures, string, and tacks connecting everything. Clemens didn’t understand what is was for but Marylou said it was for designing one of her puzzles. Beyond designing whatever it was she was doing she spend a good amount of time playing the game with Quincy. She seemed to be the only person who seemed to stand a chance against him.
Something Quincy had mentioned was that the routines was important. Everybody falls into routines and the murder will use that to take advantage of them. Even somebody like Zosi had something like a routine. Figuring out where he might go next was not that complex since he seemed to do things that were different from the thing he had most recently done.
It had been five days since the meeting and Clemens was beginning to doubt a fake murder would actually take place.
Chapter Four — Murder at the Poseidon Resort
It was Isaac that first noticed something. He had planned to watch one of the old movies that he liked so much with one of the other guests. However when that guest failed to show up in time he grew suspicious that something had happened.
He knocked hard on the door to the adjacent theatre to alert Severina. She was slow in responding to his call but she did eventually creak open the door. Then the two of the crossed the main hall to the location they could have guessed that the missing guest would be at.
There they found him. Nitzan, found dead in the middle of the gym. The floor around his body was wet as was his clothes. With the death confirmed Isaac sent Severina off to fetch everybody else.
The murder had happened.
“Of course it goes without saying that he isn’t actually dead.” Said Quincy quietly to Clemens after he gasped at the sight, “However he is under the effects of a sleeping medication to make this first experience a bit more authentic. Tomorrow he will be right as rain but will remain in his room for the majority of the event to keep things more real.”