THE DAY OF THE MURDER

THE MURDER OF THE CEO

Sherwin—a black teenage boy—flicked through several television channels before resting on The Jerry Springer Show. He kept the remote glued to his hands in case someone caught him watching this trashy show. Sherwin didn't have a dad, and his mum always worked. To prevent loneliness, he always invited his best friend over to his house.

He suddenly heard two loud gunshots.

Bam. Bam.

He switched the TV off and waited ten seconds.

Bam.

Since the noise obviously didn't come from the TV, he got up quickly and ran upstairs to his room. As he ran, he thought about all the weapons he kept up there. He had nine revolvers under his bed, three bolt-action rifles in the wardrobe, a Beretta-25 automatic imported from Italy under his pillow, a bazooka behind the Playstation 2, and three grenades hidden inside his desktop computer.

Sherwin remembered that thirty minutes earlier he had allowed his best friend Jon (the white boy) to play in his room. He vividly remembered telling the boy not to touch any guns. This was not America—but Australia. And in Australia, guns were illegal.

Sherwin barged into his bedroom, almost taking the door off its hinges.

"Jon, what are you doing?"

The white boy stood near the open window casually. He held a bolt-action sniper rifle in his hands. "I know this looks bad, but I swear I saw someone…someone trying to get in my house! I had to protect my dad and my sister! Something's happening at my house!" He pointed out the window. "Look!"

Sherwin looked out the window into Jon's double-storey house across the street. The clouds were grey. Heavy rain was looming.

"My dad's in there! My sister's in there!" cried Jon. "We gotta do something!"

Jon was right. Something seemed strange. A window on the top storey of Jon's two-storey house was completely shattered. The glass fragments lied on the front lawn below.

"Come on!" cried Sherwin, grabbing a revolver from under his bed. "Let's get to your house quick and see who did this!"

Armed and ready for bloodshed, the two boys ran out Sherwin's house, crossed Bird Street, and ran into Jon's front lawn. Jon's house had a Lexus parked in the driveway. In the middle of the front lawn was a fountain.

"Whose room is that?" said Sherwin, pointing to the window that had its glass shattered.

"That's my dad's bedroom."

Sherwin turned his head and saw a twelve-year-old girl—Jon's little sister—walking out the front door. Her name was Abigail. She would've looked like a princess in her white dress were it not for the bright red bloodstains all over her face, arms, and clothes. The blood dripped down all the way to her bare feet. Red footprints trailed her as she walked to the fountain.

"Holy shit, Abby, are you okay?" said Sherwin, giving her a quick check to see if she had any bullet wounds. She had none. "What happened in there?"

She looked straight ahead, as if Sherwin never said anything. "He's been shot," she said in a monotone.

Sherwin kicked the front door so hard it broke off from its hinges and flew into the living room, shattering several vases as it flew.

The two boys entered swiftly, scanning every last corner with their weapons.

Bam!

They heard another shot from upstairs. The intruder was still inside.

The two boys ran upstairs, noting the bloodied footprints on the carpet. When they got up, Jon cried out, "STEPHEN! STEPHEN!" (Stephen is Jon's dad.)

No reply came.

Upstairs, the two boys stood outside Stephen's bedroom door, horrified at the river of blood seeping out through the carpet from under the door.

"Oh, God!" said Jon, putting a hand to the doorknob. "What if my dad's dead?"

"The intruder might still be in there. We can get revenge."

Jon loaded his rifle, turned the doorknob, and stormed into his father's bedroom.

Jon's father Stephen lied on the floor near his bed. Richard Huygens—a teenage Middle-Eastern exchange student—stood over the old man with his hands up.

"I didn't do it," said Richard, his voice without emotion. "He killed himself. He committed suicide."

Stephen lied on the ground with his business suit still on. Blood spilled from his chest, staining his white shirt. The 55-year-old CEO had bullet wounds through his chest and through his head. Whoever shot him had shot him twice.

"This couldn't have been a suicide," said Sherwin. "There are two bullet wounds."

"He shot himself in the chest first," said Richard, "then shot himself in the head. I saw it."

Police sirens screamed outside.

"Why would my dad kill himself?" said Jon. "He's the richest man in Australia."

Sherwin pointed to the floor. Near Stephen's hands was a gold-plated Colt-45 M1911 automatic pistol. The weapon's position near the CEO's hands strongly suggested suicide, but something else suggested otherwise. It was a white cloth, commonly used by criminals to wipe away fingerprints. Richard could have shot the CEO, wiped away any fingerprints on the gun, and then wrapped Stephen's hands around the gun handle, putting the CEO's fingerprints on the weapon.

The police came in and, not knowing which boy did what, arrested all three of them.

Sherwin sat in the back seat of a police car with Richard to his right and Jon to his left. All three boys were handcuffed. The policeman driving the car seemed relaxed. He whistled a slow tune and tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.

"I swear the old man killed himself," said Richard.

Sherwin spoke. "How could a man shoot himself in the chest and still have the energy to point that heavy gun to his head?"

Richard thought about his comment. "I didn't kill him. That's the bottom line."

Sherwin turned to Jon. "When I found you in my room, you had a sniper rifle. How many times did you fire?"

"Just twice! Then I ran outta bullets."

"Who were you shooting at?"

Jon paused for three seconds. "I saw Gyron Hag in my front lawn. I was shooting at him."

"Who?" Sherwin had no idea what his best friend was talking about. "Who is Gyron Hag?"

"Gyron didn't kill Stephen," said Richard. "It's impossible."

"Gyron must've had something to do with my father's murder." Jon clenched his fist. "Gyron is a dangerous man."

"Who is Gyron Hag!" said Sherwin, frustrated with his own ignorance. "Why do you two keep talking about him?"

"Gyron was the guy I saw…he was the guy I was trying to shoot from your room with the sniper rifle. He's the gun who keeps stalking me!"

Sherwin wondered whether Jon was telling the truth. Perhaps Jon shot his own father with the sniper rifle and made up a fake person. "What does Gyron look like?" he asked.

"He's an old, fat man with shorts and no t-shirt." Jon closed his eyes, probably trying to visualize. "He had a hairy chest. He carried a metallic purple briefcase."

"A purple briefcase!"

"Yes! A purple briefcase."