It was a typical Tuesday at Palos Verdes Peninsula High and things were certainly hopping. While it was fall and sunset was rapidly approaching the weather was clear and balmy as it usually was. The Panthers were tearing up the athletic fields and the Pantherettes were practicing loudly nearby. The theatre was filled to the brim with the singing chorus members and the halls were festooned with black and yellow ribbons in celebration of homecoming week.
But not everybody was celebrating. In the lunchroom, under the watchful eye of Morgan Folger their student adviser the Fellowship of Frost and Fire was having their usual eclectic Wednesday evening club meeting. Originally three or four smaller clubs each faced with a lack of school resources to support them, they merged into one of the largest non-sport organizations in the school. In the lunch room, they took up quite a bit of real estate.
At one set of tables sat the Drama students, preparing to propose a script for the winter theatre season. At a second sat the Gaming group, a large D&D map spread out before them covered in various miniature monster figurines. At a third table was a group of students who loved literature and were reading quietly to themselves. The last table, closest to the windows were a group everyone called the Scooby Dooers, because they had a penchant for mystery novels and spoke of investigations into the para-natural.
The Captain of the Football team, a couple of toadies and some cheerleaders came banging into the lunchroom intent on disrupting the club meeting but they cut things short when they realized that Morgan Folger was also present.
Matt was too busy suffering from a migraine to notice the jocks but starting having odd flashes of images forcing them into his head. He’d been experiencing such visions since childhood so they hadn’t really been much of a surprise. The content, as always, was bloody and disturbing.
Headlights. I saw headlights and they ran me down in the parking lot. I felt bones crunching as they ran over me.
- Matt – Police report 20141511/2105/c
When Emma and Matt left and started across the parking lot not a half hour later a dark shape, resembling a muscle car screeched into the parking lot, blinding them with it’s bright headlights and revved it’s engine. The pair managed to get out of the way as the dark car screamed past them. The pair were both unnerved by the event but assumed it was high schoolers playing pranks and headed home.
Both made their way to the school and met up along the way. Matt ‘s migraine returned almost immediately. They decided it would be best to ditch Emma’s car about a block or two away and make their way across the athletics fields to find out what was going on. They could see a number of police vehicles, their lights whirling like a carnival, sitting in the back lot of the school.
Emma decided to sneak closer and try to get inside the police cordon while Matt stayed up on the bleachers with a decent enough view to record things on his iphone. Up on the bleachers Matt noticed that the high powered sodium stadium lights had all blown out, leaving chunks of glass strewn about the area that crunched under his feet.
Just as Emma was about to sneak her way past a police officer, Matt texted her to ask how it was going. The resulting music from her pocket nearly got her busted. She was able to talk her way around the officer but ended up back behind the cordon.
From her perspective Emma was able to see a man’s arm laying on the ground near a beat up looking Mazda and recognized the distinctive tweed sport coat with elbow patches that their favorite teacher had been wearing only a short time earlier that night. The fingers on the visible handle, noticeably mangled in a manner that seemed out of place for a hit and run car accident.
The car itself had been struck by something hard enough to rip the driver’s door completely off. Tire tread marks, as far as she could tell, did not indicate a car stopping but rather speeding up.
Emma decided to go and made her way back to the athletic field to meet up with Matt who had been busy poking around on the bleachers on his own. They’d only been there talking a minute or so when an investigator for the Palos Verdes Police Department caught them there.
Detective Harvis Kramer , questioned the two kids briefly but quickly figured out that they were lying to him about why they were at the athletic field. Given the possibility that they might be responsible for the death of the teacher or might be material witnesses he arrested the both of them and took them down to the precinct house.
The two teens were separated from each other and made to wait in interrogation rooms until their legal guardians could make an appearance. While Matt was bemoaning his parent’s potential reaction to his arrest, he found himself sitting in a chair where a man had been killed. The revelation The Murder of Ernesto Garcia came to him like a knife to the ribs leaving his nose trickling with blood and his head throbbing.
Matt ‘s mother wasn’t happy. Nor was the Bennet family lawyer, Reince Priebus of The Law Offices of Crowley, Manson, Kearney, and Bianchi. A long time retainer of the Bennet family, Reince instructed Emma to cooperate as she was in no actual legal trouble at the time. They told the story of what little they had seen and admitted to having gone to the school’s athletics field to get a look at the scene after a particularly odd and mysterious phone call they’d both received.
Matt ’s mother grounded him, but Emma ’s grandmother, Elspeth Bennet, seemed more irritated with the police than with her granddaughter, calling them all jack-booted thugs on the way out. The both went home to get some much needed rest.