Plan a “murder mystery” dinner party. Create the dinner menu and the guest list, and design the murder plot.
At quarter to four in the afternoon on the 13th of November, almost all things were prepared for that night’s ultimatum. It was a gloomy day; and based on the rumbling of the skies and swift flashes of lightning, it looked like it was going to rain soon. Yes, a rainfall would be the apt element to complement the dinner party. “Why?” she smirked, and gradually the thin curve turned into a grin as she answered the question quietly to herself.
The organizer, turned and looked away from the glass windows that stood from ceiling to the floor covering the entirety of the hall. She was wearing a black coat over her red cocktail dress and sighed at the sight of a vase rolling on the table, about to fall off of it. The hall was well-lit and spacious, even too spacious for just one table. But this table was extensive that it could accommodate at least twenty people. Vases of white roses as decorations and three bottles of fine wine lined the middle of the table. There was a dais with a podium and wireless microphone on one side of the hall where it faced the wide wooden double door –the only doors in the room, in fact. Just by the look of the entire hall, the event was clearly a formal and extravagant one.
It was half past six and the rain started to fall. It was not much audible but it was obvious by looking out on the glass windows where blots of water was angrily shooting then dripping, creating abstract designs on the glass. Compared three hours ago when it smelled mostly of disinfectants, the hall then smelled like food. Two men with kempt hair in tan aprons on top of white long sleeves came into the hall carrying a pitcher of water and house tea, along with other people who looked highly undressed for the occasion –just tees, denim pants and dirty Chucks. They’re early, at least.
Moderately, people were arriving and marching into the hall. Talking and occasionally laughing way too loud, these people were dressed elegantly: pearl earrings, grand suits and all. Undoubtedly, they all knew each other. After being seated, they were talking and sharing their opinions about one topic after another.
A girl came into the hall, wearing a casual black dress with that familiar grin on her face. And behind her, a man wearing a chef’s traditional uniform. She stood in front of the fifteen people sitting on the long table, scanning for empty seats while beaming at her friends. She took a seat and was followed by the chef. All of them, excluding the men in aprons, exchanged conversations and bursts of laughter, some were even wiping the tears off their faces.
The girl signaled the organizer, and another set of men in aprons marched into the hall carrying and putting down on the immense table bowls of crisp lettuces, cups of different nuts, cooked chicken meat, sliced boiled egg, bread crumbs, fresh grapes and tomatoes, and different kinds of salad dressings; casseroles of fresh-out-the-oven lasagna, calamari, xiaolongbao, golden-fried chicken pops, and honey-glazed steak topped with pineapple slices; platters of roasted chicken and deep-fried pork belly. The group of friends are wowed and enjoyed their good food, and ended the course with sundaes and fruit salads. But a party is never a party without alcohol.
At eleven in the evening, all of them were tipsy; even the men in apron. They were invited to join in the fun. Some of them were running back and forth from the hall and out to the restroom to puke. The hall was deafening over the music that made their hearts pump harder than it should, and the rain outside was still pouring along with the thunder that never seemed to subdue. Grand dresses and suits were marred with wine and pasta, shoes and high heels were all over the floor. One girl was too intoxicated and managed to step on a shred of glass, which then panicked the rest of the crowd because her toe was bleeding and a pool of blood was composing on the carpet. One of them, who happened to be a nurse, kneeled and performed first aid.
“Did you know that blood smells thicker on rainy days?” the girl on a black dress said smugly, hands on her knees and observing the operation. “And sound travels faster, too,” she added.
Nobody heard this except for the girl with the gushing toe who seemed to have sobered up with all the blood she was losing. She repeated the question in her head, and the verge of syncing such information was disrupted when the music in the background slowly faded and a scream echoed outside the hall. Everyone froze and the only noise left was the rumbling skies and the pouring rain outside. It was quiet for at least five seconds, then one of the girls loomed in the open wooden double doors looking horrified.
Two boys who wore suits earlier but now are shirtless paced towards the girl then proceeded outside, where everyone else followed except for the patient, the girl in the door and the nurse who was then comforting her. Outside, a crowd with faces of horror were converged in the restroom where lay the girl on the black dress, a bullet hole just above her left eye, swimming in her own blood.