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MURDER ON THE 6TH – Motive  

“Wait! I can explain! This isn’t what it seems,” says Phillip. 

But he doesn’t pick up the phone, 

He just lets it ring with everyone staring, 

Like they knew it was him all along. 

Like this mystery’s resolved. 

Like the case is open and shut. 

He must have knifed Mr. Koech because he’d been thrusting his wife! 

“If memory serves, 

You first started coming here soon after Mr. Koech started staying here,” Henry observes. 

“I’ve seen you around the building.” 

Everyone is stunned. 

« Monsieur Sif ! Vous? Meurtrier ? Criminel ? 

J’aurai dû me méfier, mais quel bordel ! 

Incroyable ! Tout ça pour une histoire de crime passionnel ! » 

“Mr. Daner says he should have doubted all along. 

He says all of this for a crime of passion. 

I must admit, we are both very much shook!” 

“Give me a chance to explain how this looks! 

Before the police get here, let me make things clear. 

All you have is half-truths! 

Yes, my wife is called Mel & yes I’ve been here a few times in the past few weeks. 

Truth is, I’d suspected she’d been cheating so I’d follow her here. 

But I didn’t know with who. All they’d do is stay in some room. 

Then she’d get back home late at night. 

I didn’t have a clue who it was until tonight. 

When I saw Mr. Koech with his pendant. 

That square pendant meant to be one of a kind, 

Yet it’s similar to mine. 

A special gift from my wife. 

The one meant to be the love of my life. 

And so that’s the truth, I’ll admit, 

But tonight I am not your culprit! 

I may have motive to kill this man, 

But I promise you, he did not die by my hand!” 

« Je ne vois pas qui d’autre aurait commis ce crime. 

Il est surement le seul coupable. » 

“Mr. Daner suggests that Mr. Sif is the only guilty man around.” 

“If not Mr. Sif, then who then?” Henry asks. 

Just then, the police arrive at last. 

For a while, every one of us is questioned and asked for their versions, 

And soon we see Phil in cuffs as he’s taken to the station. 

Henry and I are the last witnesses to leave the scene. 

Henry whispers to me, “Something bothers me about this whole thing. 

It’s something Louis said about Mr. Koech and Ms. Melissa ‘making sounds’ in the afternoon. 

But Mr. Koech would leave in the mornings and return no sooner than 5pm.” 

And I reply, “Maybe what was heard was this Melissa finishing off what Mr. Koech could not do. 

We then wish each other goodnight 

Knowing we’ll see one another frequently until the culprit is convicted without a doubt. 

On my way home, I get a call. 

“Hey babe, you’ll never guess what happened tonight. 

Listen, babe, yes I know you can’t reach him, and for good reason. 

Babe, listen, listen, bab- Mel breathe! 

Okay so crazy story but someone died tonight. 

And you’ll never guess who got arrested for killing who at your favourite place. 

All I’m saying is that me and you can keep doing what we do 

Without worrying about the other two. 

Listen, it works out perfectly. Listen…” 

 

THE END

 

*Read and/or listen to the previous episodes and stories by clicking on the numbered pages below.*

MURDER ON THE 6TH – Melissa  

“So where is this lady?” I ask. 

“Let me check,” says Henry. 

A few moments later… 

“I’ve called the front desk. It seems Ms. Melissa left the hotel earlier this evening. 

I’ve also received an update about the police. 

The front desk says they’re on their way and they’ve advised 

That no one walk in or out so as not to contaminate the scene. 

So until they arrive, it seems all of us remain here.” 

 

“Might as well figure out who did it,” I reply. 

“Il dit quoi celui-là?” 

“Monsieur suggère trouver le coupable pour passer le temps. ” 

“Ah oui, ça devrait être intéressant. ” 

“Mr. Daner is willing to, how do you say, play detective while we wait."

 

“Perfect, now let’s focus more on the suspects. 

I know it couldn’t have been me, I’m seated farthest from the victim. 

And I never even knew him. 

I’ve only been here a few times for meetings in the afternoons.” 

“And I could not have done it because I had not moved from my post,” says Henry. 

“I would never even contemplate committing such a crime in the place I love most.” 

“Yes, I work here too and that’s something we would never do,” says Kenneth 

Still in shock by the look on his face.

 

So the staff is working but why did everyone else choose to dine at this place? 

“Well the three of us are here to discuss a business partnership. 

Mr. Daner decided to stay here on the recommendation of his new friend, Phillip.”

 

At that moment we hear a phone vibrate. 

It’s coming from the table of three. 

“Phillip, I do believe this is yours,” 

Says Louis before what then feels like the shock of his life 

When he looks at the screne an reads the words out loud, “Mel –Wife.”

 

*Read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

MURDER ON THE 6TH – Actif  

That’s how I’d heard this name before, 

Another wealthy businessman going through a divorce. 

This article doesn’t specify why he’d been going through this mess, 

But given that his wife had filed the papers, 

Infidelity would be my guess. 

 

“Mr. Koech séjournait dans la chambre d’en face,” the Frenchman says. 

“Je suis ici depuis quelques jours au neuvième étage. 

Mr. Koech me semblait plutôt réservé, même discret. 

Il ne parlait pas trop. 

D’ailleurs ce soir est la première fois que je le vois dans ce resto. 

Sa compagne en revanche m’a semblé plus amiable 

Les quelques fois que l’on s’est croisés dans le couloir. 

Une charmante jeune dame, mais entre vous et moi, 

Elle n’avait pas l’air d’être sa femme. 

Les deux semblaient complètement opposés d’un point de vue caractère. 

D’ailleurs au début je pensais que c’était plutôt un duo fille et père. 

Mais bon, à entendre les bruits qui venaient de leur chambre, 

J’ai vite compris que mademoiselle et monsieur étaient du genre actif. 

Il avait peut-être la cinquantaine mais croyez-moi 

Mr. Koech avait beaucoup d’énergie. 

Actif chaque aprèm et chaque nuit. 

Si je me rappel, sa compagne se nomme Mel-Méli-Mélissa. 

Oui voilà, Mélissa c’est bien ça.” 

 

Phillip coughs. 

The rest of us wonder what the Frenchman is on about 

So Louis says he’ll translate it out. 

 

“Mr. Koech was staying in the room across from Mr. Daner on the ninth floor it seems. 

Mr. Daner has been here for a few days, 

And according to him, Mr. Koech was quite reserved, even discreet. 

He did not speak a lot. 

And in fact tonight was the first time Mr. Daner had seen Mr. Koech in this restaurant. 

His lady friend on the other hand seemed more friendly shall we say, 

The few times they crossed paths with Mr. Daner in the hallway. 

A charming young lady, but between us, 

She did not seem like his wife.” 

 

Phillip coughs again. 

 

“The two seemed complete opposites, nothing the same. 

In fact, at first Mr. Daner thought Mr. Koech was the young lady’s old man. 

But, how do I put this politely? 

From the noises they were making, they were both very active. 

Mr. Daner jokes that Mr. Koech may have been in his fifties, 

But he had quite a lot of energy. 

Active every afternoon and every night.” 

 

Henry the host seems puzzled and sighs. 

“According to Mr. Daner, the lady’s name is Melissa.”

 

*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

MURDER ON THE 6TH – Everyone in the Room  

The lights return but a man is dead. 

Everyone in the room is stunned. 

The host shouts, “Mr. Koech!” 

We take it that’s the victim’s name 

And this hotel is where he’d been staying. 

Shock fills the room, some have heads in hand. 

None more visibly devastated than the diner who seemed to know the man. 

“Oh mon Dieu!” he screams. 

A Frenchman it seems.

 

Then the host shouts at his colleague, 

“Quick call the police!” 

As the diners seem like they wish to leave. 

“No one move!” adds the experienced head. 

“Someone in this room is likely the reason the Mr. Koech is dead.”

 

Silence ensues. 

And soon we’re all trying to figure out who’s who in the room. 

We already know the victim’s name, 

A wealthy businessman the host explains. 

And for a moment, a few wonder where they’d heard the name before. 

But who else is here? 

The question is asked and suspicious looks are passed.

 

The host presents himself. 

“My name is Henry and I’ve worked here for sixteen years.” 

The waiter then says, “Mine is Kenneth and this is my first week here.” 

Murmurs are heard between the Frenchman and the translator, 

Likely curious of what’s going on. 

“Je me nomme Claude. Claude Daner,” the Frenchman says. 

“This is Mr. Daner,” the translator explains. 

“Mr. Daner is here on business. Oh, and Louis is my name.” 

“And I’m Philip Sif,” says the third party at the table of three. 

“But most people call me Phil.” 

And finally, there’s me, Ivan. 

Just a man having his dinner, nothing more than a bystander.

 

Though something still bothers some about the victim’s name. 

I know, Google will explain.

 

*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

MURDER ON THE 6TH - Intro  

7 of us, all men, find ourselves on the 

6th of Mai in a restaurant at a 

5-star hotel on the outskirts of the city. It’s 

4 minutes past seven on a quiet night. 

3 of the men seem in a meeting with each other, 

2 speak different languages, 

1 seems like a translator. 

And soon, one of the seven will be dead.

 

Among us are 2 staff members: one a young waiter 

Looks new at his job, the other a host, visibly older. 

3 of the tables are occupied at the time. 

4 of the diners are well dressed up in suits and ties, and so that’s 

5 diners in total and at 

6 past 7 one of them dies.

 

But wait, let’s take it back to a few moments before 

When the last of the diners walks in and sits at the table nearest the door. 

The occupied tables are all within two rows. 

The newest diner sits diagonally from the three who meet 

And two tables from me.

 

As the old gentleman, maybe in his fifties takes his seat, 

He notices what seems a familiar face and nods his head 

To greet his age mate at the table of three – 

The one who speaks no English. 

This gentleman replies in kind 

As the young waiter moves around 

And the host stands at a distance and observes. 

Then the newest diner pulls out what seems like a pendant and smiles. 

Soon after the lights go out and we’re all left in the dark.

 

1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 4 

We hear a voice saying, “Not again.” 

Meaning this has happened before. 

5 seconds, 6 seconds, movement is heard: 

Plates, chairs, maybe utensils. 

7 seconds, 8 

A voice shouts, “No! Wait!” 

9 seconds, 10 seconds, 11 

Two sounds, loud and sharp. 

12 seconds, 13, 14, 15, nothing is said. 

16, 17, 18 and the lights return but a man is dead! 

The newest diner is found collapsed on his table 

With a knife through the heart.

 

*This is the first episode in my 2nd interactive storytelling series. A new episode will be posted weekly over the next five weeks. Take part in it by voting in the weekly polls below.*

THE CYCLE - Asha in Remi's Eyes  

Asha was speechless and surprised for a while. She didn’t know what to say. What does one say after Remi’s revelation? Especially someone who’d experienced the loss she’d gone through. She didn’t want her love life to turn into a cycle of pain and, really, she had no idea what she would be getting into. 

So she asked Remi for time. She didn’t say much else – just that she needed time. Remi agreed and told her he understood, but truthfully he didn’t know what to make of that. Did Asha mean time to come to terms with his condition or time to create enough space for their relationship to die out? Doubts consumed Remi’s mind for the few days that followed but he respected Asha’s request. 

Four days later, Asha called Remi and asked if they could meet. So that same evening they saw each other at the café where they’d had their previous date. There was silence for a moment but then Asha spoke. She started by thanking Remi for the time he’d given her. Then she told him that she’d spent it researching what MS was, the possible relapse triggers, diagnosis, the different stages, the treatments to slow its progression, and the benefits of healthy living. She told him she’d even joined an MS chat room to learn about people’s experiences with the condition. 

That last bit surprised him. He had hoped that she’d get to know more about MS, but he never thought she’d go to that extent – one that he hadn’t even contemplated yet. When he asked her why she’d joined a chat room she replied, “Well if we’re going to make this work, I need to know as much as I can and I need people I can talk to without my fears and questions over-burdening you.” 

He smiled. He smiled the biggest smile he’d ever smiled and kissed her. At that moment he realized that Asha had chosen hope over fear and uncertainty; that Asha had chosen to love. Because after all, that’s what love is: the everyday decision to believe in and be there for someone else; to put trust and hope above the unknown. And in Remi’s eyes, as he smiled, he saw love. At that moment, love was Asha. 

THE END

*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

THE CYCLE - Remi's Truth  

The next time Asha saw Remi was at a café for a quick coffee date. Asha decided then and there that she would ask Remi about his odd behaviour of late. She asked him why he seemed so distant and, after what seemed like a long moment of silence, he tried to explain. 

“I’m sorry I haven’t been the same. I guess I’ve been going through something and it’s been hard to say. I’ve honestly been thinking about when and how best to put this but I guess the easiest way is to just say it. I’m sick Asha and I found out what it is recently. It’s nothing life-threatening in my case but it’s definitely life changing – in the long run especially. 

“See in the months before our first date I’d started having these weird sensations – I could barely feel anything below my waist and my fingers were acting funny like I couldn’t control them fully. I went to different doctors and had different tests. No one really knew what was wrong with me. Not until I went to see this neurologist who put me in this big, loud machine and later on stuck a giant needle in my lower back. He told me results from the fluid he’d taken out would take a few weeks. And as the pain from that test started to fade, I reached out to you. I guess I was scared about what was happening to me and that made me want to reconnect with someone close to me. That was my real intention that night and maybe I should have mentioned this then but I didn’t even understand what I was going through. And then something happened that night. Something between us I didn’t expect. After that, I wanted to spend every moment with you. 

“When I finally found out what I have, we’d already gone on a few dates and you’d just told me about your daughter and your past. The doctor calls it Multiple Sclerosis or MS for short. It’s this auto-immune disease where my immune system attacks my nervous system and eats away at this myelin sheet that protects it. My neuro says I’m relapse-remitting for now which means I’ll get a relapse and then recover. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on it lately and to be honest, it scares me. I live with a whole lot of uncertainty, meds are expensive, and I don’t know when the next relapse will be. 

“So lately I’ve been distant because I’m trying to figure things out. I know what you’ve told me about your past and your current situation and part of me feels like us being together would be a burden for you. So that’s what I’m struggling with basically. And I know that’s a lot to take in but please say something.”

 

*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

*I, Ivan, personally live with Multiple Sclerosis having been diagnosed with it 7 years ago now. You can learn more about what MS is and watch a quick video explaining it by clicking HERE.*

THE CYCLE - Remi's Reaction  

I don’t know what to say. What can I say? This is a surprise. Not a bad surprise. Just… a surprise. You never mentioned any of this before. I guess my first question is why? Why didn’t you feel like you could tell me and why now?” Remi asked. 

And so Asha told Remi about Kojo and her past – that devastating loss during the birth of her child. Remi was speechless. What else could anyone be when told of such tragedy? So he held her. Neither of them knew whether it was more out of the feelings Remi had for Asha or more out of pity. It was instinctive, he just did it. 

I can’t imagine what you went through, what you’ve gone through since. I can understand why you wouldn’t share this with just anyone. That day must already be so hard to relive.” 

After that, Asha and Remi decided it’d be best to call it a night so Remi offered to drop Asha off home. As they reached Asha’s door, she asked, “Would you like to meet her? My daughter I mean.” 

Eventually,” replied Remi. “I don’t know if meeting her now would be a good idea. We haven’t even talked about what this is between us. I know I’d like to see you again sometime soon. And again after that and again. I’m sure pretty soon we’ll figure everything out.” Asha agreed, smiled and wished Remi a good night. 

They saw each other frequently over the following weeks. For a while, their feelings for each other grew as they became more affectionate with every date. But after some time, things began feeling different. Asha saw that Remi was becoming more and more distant. She noticed he would zone out more like he had a lot on his mind, and he was also less and less intimate. Almost like there was something Remi wasn’t telling her. Almost like he had a secret.

 

*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

THE CYCLE - Telling Remi  

It wasn’t long before Asha would tell Remi about her daughter and Kojo. She’d decided that the next time she saw him, she’d tell him. Her only worry now was how she would do so. Would she tell him as soon as they met? 

“Hey, by the way, before you talk I’ve got something to say. I didn’t tell you last time but I’ve got a kid, from a previous relationship, the only man I’ve ever loved.” 

No, definitely not that way. That would be an awkward start. Could she tell him at the end of their date? 

“Hey, so before you go, I need to tell you I have a daughter from a man I almost married named Kojo. I don’t know how you’ll take it, but I really had a great time though.” 

That would be even more awkward. Nah, nope, uh-uh. Maybe at some point during the date? After thinking about it long and hard, she figured she’d let it happen naturally; pretty sure that at some point she’d find the perfect opportunity. 

And so the next day Asha met up with Remi at a park where they used to play and gaze at the stars when they were younger. Turns out Remi was also a careful planner. It was the perfect date. Asha felt younger and forgot all of her worries – though the fact her daughter was safe at Asha’s neighbour’s place played some part in that. 

Asha and Remi allowed themselves to be silly and carefree. They chased each other the way kids do and talked for hours like they used to. At one point, a ball landed next to where they were sitting and a kid – maybe seven or eight – came to collect it. As the kid left with his ball, Remi sighed and said he’d always wished he had one of his own. A kid, not a ball. 

This was Asha’s perfect opportunity. 

“About that actually. There’s something I should have told you the other night and before this – whatever this is – goes any further, it’s probably best you know. I have a 4-year-old, a daughter. Her father was a man I loved deeply who passed at really the worst possible time. So I’m a single mother. And there’s so much I could say, but before I go on maybe you could tell me how that makes you feel?”

*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*

THE CYCLE - Asha & Kojo  

Kojo was the personification of Love in Asha’s eyes. His attentiveness and ability to listen to what she would and wouldn’t say were traits she admired about him. His willingness to always communicate and prioritize their relationship above all else was what she loved most. And Kojo’s joie de vivre never left anyone he ever met indifferent. A cheerful man, Asha would always tell him he brought such positive energy with him wherever he went. 

Asha and Kojo met by chance on a beach at the coast in the month of April. They’d both left the big city and its terrible weather for a weekend on separate road trips with their respective friends. On the evening before they’d both return home, Kojo noticed Asha sitting by herself at the beachfront bar of the resort they stayed at. Captivated by her beauty, he figured he’d shoot his shot. 

As Kojo introduced himself and started a conversation, Asha first admired his nervous charm and honesty. No corny pickup lines, no “Hey baby, how you doin’?” just a simple introduction of who he was, how seeing her from a distance made him feel, and how something inside him told him he had to approach her. All while stuttering and repeating his words. 

Once he got a hold of his nerves, they began getting to know a bit about each other. They talked about how tired they were of the big city life, where they’d each relocate to if it wasn’t for the need for paychecks, how they each loved the beach, this, that, and everything in-between. Their first conversation lasted over three hours. As it was getting late, Kojo asked for Asha’s number, wished her a safe trip back to the city, and told her he was looking forward to seeing her again soon. 

Once he got back to the city, the first thing Kojo did was call Asha to plan what would be the first of many dates. Asha soon learned that Kojo could be both spontaneous on some occasions and a careful planner on others. They both liked attending concerts and shows so those were the types of dates they repeated most, but they also enjoyed weekends in bed so there were many of those as well. Somewhere between the fourth and seventh dates, attraction and infatuation progressively turned into love for both of them. 

After a while – thirteen months to be exact – countless dates, endless conversations, more ups than there were downs, and with an ever-growing love for each other, they began planning for the rest of their lives together. They figured they would move in together, get married, and later on start a family – in that order. But life would have other ideas. 

See Kojo had it all planned out: he would one day take Asha back to where they first met and ask for her hand as the sun set. But when that day arrived – and as he was getting down on one knee – a joyful Asha interrupted Kojo to make an announcement of her own: she was pregnant. 

A clearly shook Kojo – both at the announcement and maybe more so at the realization that the contraceptive they were using wasn’t as effective as he thought – stood back up with a great big smile and kissed Asha before getting back on his knee and stuttering through his proposal. Asha said yes, though they later decided they would focus on preparing for their baby before organizing a wedding. After all, they had all the time in the world. 

As the months passed, Kojo remained attentive to Asha’s every need and would offer to do even the simplest things for her. He wanted her and the fetus to be in perfect health throughout. And on a mid-February day, while he was at work, Kojo got a call from Asha saying the baby was on the way. Not to worry though, Kojo had prepared for this moment. He proceeded to call Asha’s neighbour who would rush to her apartment and take her to the hospital where her obstetrician would be alerted and waiting. Kojo would make his way there from his office. 

Kojo never made it to the hospital however – at least not how he intended. As he was driving there, a speeding bike rider – careless in his driving – grazed his car, forcing him to stop suddenly in the middle of an intersection. Unfortunately, as Kojo was getting out of his car to inspect the damage, a bus driver who hadn’t been paying attention as he reached to answer a phone call crashed into Kojo’s car. Kojo passed away soon after. 

Meanwhile, Asha and her neighbour made it to the hospital as they kept trying to reach Kojo to no avail. Asha soon went into labour and, after what seemed like endless hours, gave birth to a baby girl. But when she later found out what had happened to Kojo, she became inconsolable and fell into a deep depression. 

It was a loss in a way no one should experience but Asha did and she now had a daughter to survive for. The years passed somehow and now here she was, in her apartment reflecting on the night she’d had before with an old friend when she got a text from Remi asking to meet again. Asha hadn’t even told Remi any of this last night. Could she tell him about Kojo? What about her daughter?

 

If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.