There were two freshmen living next door. Shanna, the tall leggy blonde that was ninety pound soaking wet. Hannah, her identical twin, decided she wanted red hair to be the “sexier” twin. The moved this this past fall and it has been hell ever since. They are the center of attention in this hall. All the guys flock to them. There are parties and sex on the weekends. That was fine, but the giggling.
One was a high pitched, girlish laugh very squeaky. The other was nasally and sounded like a Canada goose. Together, it was the most horrid of sounds. She would rather have an ice pick lobotomy. Sometimes there would be a knock on her door.
“Hey, Muriel! We are having a party. You want to come join us?”
“No, thank you,” she would reply. “Some of us actually take school seriously. I have a research paper to write.”
“Oh, Muriel. Don't you know that you need to have fun sometimes? These are the best years of your life!”
She shook her head. “Thank you for your invite, but I really do need to work on this paper. It is 75% of my grade in this class.”
The giggle again. Muriel wanted to punch her in the face. She shut the door and plopped down on her bed. It was going to be a long night. One of these days, she was going to snap and tell them off. She tried to request a room in the quiet levels of of the dorm building, but there were no single rooms available. She complained to the R.A. and even Student Services to no avail. The twins tried to make friends with her, but it was nothing more than a passing acquaintance. It wasn't going to happen. She found them way too annoying.
She sat up and grabbed her computer. Maybe she could be lost in her work. She put headphones in her ears and cranked up the volume just as the giggling started. Squeak squeak HONK! Squeak Squeak HONK!
Three days later, Muriel stormed into her room, slamming her door, and throwing herself on her bed.
“FUCK! Fuck fucker fucking fuck!”
She grabbed her pillow and screamed in it. After a moment, she gathered herself and opened her backpack. She pulled out a green folder and opened it. It was the rough draft of her paper. The red that covered her paper was heartbreaking. It looked like her advisor broke open a pen and dumped all the ink onto the paper. She picked up the note tucked in the pocket of the folder.
“There are moments of absolute brilliance but moments of absolute crap. I don't know what is going on, but this needs to be corrected. If you are having problems, you need to let me know. If this is not fixed you are going to fail. You have an exemplary school record, I would hate for this to bring you down. You are better than this. You have spring break to get it done. Fix it!”
She threw the folder across the room, knocking over an empty can of soda. She was seething. How was she going to fix this? Was it really that bad? She worked so hard on it. She needed this grade so she could apply to the program she was working so hard to get. There were only four spots available for applicants applying from around the would. It was fierce competition.
Squeak squeak HONK!
She jerked herself upright.
Squeak squeak HONK!
She stood up and faced the wall.
Squeak squeak HONK!
Her blood boiled and her fists clenched. Them.....them....THEM!!! It was their fault she was having issues. Them. They kept her awake. They kept her in a constant state of stress. It was them. They are the problem. Them and those stupid, nerve-racking laughs. If she was going to get this done, she needed them to be quiet. She needed them gone. She needed them....
An idea formed. A wonderfully evil idea formed.
Two weeks later, Muriel entered her room and plopped on her bed and let out a big sigh. She did it. She managed to spend the whole of spring break fixing her paper. Her advisor was correct. It was a mess. She was able to refocus and finished. She sat up and pulled out her green folder and looked at the note he left her.
“That is what I am talking about! I have added a few notes and edits here and there, but I'm very pleased with this. See my notes at the end for resources and recommendations for the next section of research. I think you will enjoy meeting up with a couple of the people listed. They are experts in this field and are very interested in your research. Keep it up! That program has your name on it!”
That was what she needed to hear. She would move on to the next section. This was going better than before. She had a spot in the program. She just knew it. There was a knock on the door.
Two police officers came into her dorm.
“Miss Hasting, we just wanted to let you know that we sent the dogs through the building and we have finished our investigation. The students are safe to return to the cafe downstairs. Thank you for your cooperation. If you hear or see anything, please let us know.” He held out a card.
“Do you know what happened?” she asked taking the card.
“Yes,” said the officer, “it was a drug overdose. They consumed tainted mushrooms they bought from a dealer in the city. Thankfully, there is no evidence of foul play here at the school. The deaths were declared accidental. We have no way to trace it back to the dealer, but we will pass it on to the appropriate department. There is a big drug issue in the city, we know that, and more and more students are overdosing like this."
She crossed her arms. “Oh man. That really sucks. Are their parents okay? Do they need anything? I didn't really know them, but I can't imagine what they must be going through.”
“We can't give details due to privacy, but I will pass your kind words to them. You may see them at some point. Now that the investigation is finished and the case closed, they will be packing up the dorm. Maybe you can help them. They will need it.”
She thought a moment. “That is a good idea. I can rally all their friends and support their parents.”
“That's an idea. I'm sure they will appreciate it. Don't do drugs and have a good rest of your semester.”
“Thank you officers.”
She shut the door and plopped back down on her bed. Tainted mushrooms. She laughed and grabbed a book out of her bag and opened it to a marked page.
“Aminita bisporigera, is one of many many mushrooms that are called Destroying Angel mushrooms. The toxin is responsible for.....blah blah blah....symptoms appear five to twenty hours later. By the time the animal who ingested these types of mushroom show symptoms, it is too late. The toxin is absorbed into the liver and kidney, causing them to fail. Fatal if treatment is not is not received immediately after consumption.”
She smiled. What an idea. What a wonderfully evil idea. Now that there was peace and quiet, she could get back to work.