By O. Lucio d’Arc


Chapter 9

THE TEACHER? What the fuck does that mean? Carole feels like Marisa Hargitay on a bad day. Diz and Scott Free and Carole are sitting around the kitchen table, pondering. They have questions: How had the wall-writer gotten in? How did he or she know which room was Dave’s? And what does it all connote?

They pass a joint but remain unenlightened.

Scott Free, Diz and Carole are sharing a room, the girls in the bed, Scott Free on a cot at the foot of it. They want to be close. Especially now.

They think they should have a group meeting at 9 that night. Scott Free puts a note on every bedroom door.

By 9 they are all there, except for Adele, and Silver Boy, who is visiting his mother.

“She’s sleeping,” says Cher. “I didn’t want to wake her. This has been quite the bummer …” And she reaches for the bong.

“I think we need her here,” says Diz. “It’s important.”

Cher goes to get her. She is back in 10 minutes.

“She’s sleeping soundly. I can’t wake her. Maybe she took something to sleep.”

Diz and Carole go up to the room. Adele is laying on her side, facing the half-open window. But she isn’t sleeping. And she isn’t moving. And she isn’t breathing.

Carole shakes her hard. Nothing. She is lifeless.

“Jesus,” murmurs Diz, and we both look at each other.

Then we look at the wall behind us. Written in that same freaking red is:

“Take a nap every afternoon.”

It is signed, like the other, “L’insegnante.”

Carole pulls the sheet over Adele and they go down to tell the others.

And then some begin packing their stuff, hot to move.

Two murders in two days? Kind of suspicious, as the cops might say.

We call the police The Dim Clue Line.

But they don’t know that.

IN THE END, only Cher and Kat Ciao move out. The kids, you know.

Shockingly, the police department sends Raphael over again. Guess it is his case. Big break for him, he says. Proof that we don’t count for much, the Doldrummers say.

He talks to all of them, and fails to unearth any clues. The cause of death appears to be suffocation. With Adele’s own pillow.

They are absolutely freaked out. Two murders, and the perps have easy access to the house and all the rooms.


Oreste P. D’Arconte, who writes fiction under the name O. Lucio d’Arc, is a retired newspaper publisher and a weekly newspaper columnist. His short stories have appeared in the Murder Inc. trilogy of anthologies and he has had his poetry published in several literary magazines. A resident of Attleboro, Mass., he also wrote a hardback history of the Attleboro YMCA in 2017.