The clock struck twelve and...Bang!
Fireworks exploded overhead, a jovial display of sparkling colors and celebration. A new year, a new beginning. Fireworks set on a timer to mark the moment everything was meant to change. It was a stark contrast to the scene Officer Sanches overlooked.
The body had been covered, but the occupants of the home couldn’t be sent away for proper questioning. It was New Year’s Eve, or, Day, now, and the station was overfilled and overworked already. Sanches could handle this.
The three bedrooms held the suspects, the body was in the kitchen.
Sanches sat down on the bed across from the victim’s sniffling sister. Mascara streaked her cheeks and blood stained her hands, her little gold dress, and clumped in the ends of her long hair. “Can you tell me what happened?” Sanches asked.
The woman choked back a sob, “I-I was in the bathroom. I heard, I heard, a scream, from Kay, I thought, I thought they were just having fun-” she sobbed, “Oh god, oh god, she’s dead, she’s really dead…”
Sanches took the box of tissues from the nightstand and offered her one, “It’s okay, Chelsey, take your time.”
She took it and wiped her eyes, smearing mascara across her cheek. “...I-I came out and Ez had-had the knife and-and Kay was bleeding, and-and Jonas was kneeling over her. I-I tried…I tried to help but, but it…” A fresh wave of sobs drowned out whatever else she was going to say.
Jonas paced the floor, anxious, caged in the small room. “Tell me what happened,” Sanches prompted.
Jonas slowed his pacing, but didn’t stop. “We were in the kitchen, me, Ez, and...and Kay. I was...we were just partying, and then Kay tried to change the music on Ez’s phone and...and she just went off on them. Things escalated and...and...there was a back and forth. Ez grabbed a knife, and then...and Kay…” He trailed off, running his hands through his hair. “I can’t believe she’s gone,” he breathed.
“What happened after that?”
Jonas breathed a shaky breath. “Ez was just...brutal. I tried to help Kay but...but I couldn’t…”
Ez sat motionless on the edge of the bed, staring at their hands, sticky with blood, as they lay in their lap. Sanches sat down beside them. “What happened, Ez?”
There was a long pause before Ez spoke. “I was in here,” they said slowly, their eyes roaming over their lap like they were watching the memory unfold in their bloodstained palms. “We ran out of champagne, Chelsey asked me to get some more.” Their gaze wandered up to the mini fridge under the desk, covered in stickers. “I came back upstairs, and Kay was on the floor. I-I thought she’d just passed out at first, but then I saw the blood…” Their eyes squeezed shut.
“What did you do after that?” Sanches asked.
It took Ez a moment to respond. “I...I freaked out, called 911. Jonas said it was an accident. I-I don’t know what exactly happened…” Their shoulders shook with a suppressed sob.
When backup arrived hours later, all three suspects were arrested.
Sanches checked the coroner's report when it passed over their desk. Cause of death: hemorrhagic shock caused by a single stab wound to the neck. Kay didn’t even have the chance to scream.