“This place sucks,” Nathan
said, looking up at the carpet of grey converging above. “I’m gonna get an ulcer.”
“The attitude of those administrators certainly wasn’t cheery,” Nathan’s boss, Inspector Diego Harris,
retrieved his notepad from within the depths of his coat. “But our job isn’t to complain, Inspector
“Yeah, yeah. I just think this whole damn place could be a bit nicer.”
Diego Harris and Nathan Jones were detectives—not the glamorous fictional sort, who went about England whenever they wanted, high on whims and intuition and copious amounts of illicit substances. No, they were detectives of the official kind—of the Missing Persons Unit.
The two stood outside the entrance to HAGAY’s admin office, a featureless brick building shaped like a box. It stood stark from the rest of the campus and its late-19th century Victorian architecture, like a petulant child in the grocery refusing to leave without candy.
“Money’s crazy, huh?” Jones said idly. “They can just call us all the way up from London to look for this girl, and boom, we gotta show up. I didn’t even know they could ask
for this kinda thing.”
The inspectors’ division had received instructions to discreetly
search for a missing student—a girl by the name of Sofia Wright.
“Leave the background questions for an auditor,” Harris said. “Let’s review our info.”
The two strolled down the courtyard as they talked. Classes for the day were coming to a close, as students went about the grounds, headed back to their dorms or to the various clubs at HAGAY.
“167 cm, medium build, brown hair. No previous run-ins with the law,” Harris said from memory. “Described by the admin as ‘excitable, a bit peppy.’ Last seen on the 15th. Didn’t show up for class the next day. Teachers were a bit concerned, but didn’t say anything. The dorm mother reported her missing when she checked her room on the evening of the 16th.”
“Can we search her room?”
“The dorm mother will have to be with us, but yes, we can.”
Sofia’s room perfectly defined the term ‘organised chaos.’ Numerous notebooks sat on her desk and her wastebasket was stuffed with crumpled origami. Clothes sat on her side table, folded but not tucked away in the dresser. A whiteboard hung from the ceiling, detailing study plans and ideas in illegible handwriting.
The two detectives combed through the notebooks, finding nothing more than standard notes for Sofia’s courses. A search through the dressers and desk yielded just as little.
Thankfully, the wastebasket held some recourse—a crumpled origami frog, detailing a clandestine meeting on the pier at night, held the week prior. Further examination revealed another crumpled sheet—the girl had some investigation notes of her own, listing some students’ names and their room numbers.
“Maive… Orlando… Daniel…” Jones muttered as he read the list.
“The meeting time matches up with the time range of disappearance,” Harris cross checked his notes. “Come on—we’ve got some kids to grill.”