17th of May, 2023, 23:54. That was the first line written into Kyle’s notebook – the date and time he got to the murder scene. He now stood in the hallway of apartment no. 110 in one of Carrington’s district condominiums, next to a dead body. He wrote down the address and continued searching the body on the ground. He got used to it by now, but regardless, it was strange seeing people like this, stuck in the last moment they saw the world. And his job as a detective was to reveal what happened at that moment.

Kyle kneeled down to the lifeless body. It was lying in a puddle of blood, flowing from numerous wounds. They were deep, but the edges were sharp and defined. Kyle counted them. Two in the stomach and three right in the heart. Five wounds in total, noted Kyle inside the notebook.

Kyle looked at the ID, which was still with the victim. Jett North, it read. He turned 19 recently, noticed Kyle. Such a young boy, he thought. Usually, the younger the victim, the sadder their death.

Kyle looked at Jett’s face. He passed away more than an hour ago, yet he appeared so lively. Only the sparkles in his eyes vanished as they were taken by death whose scent was still lingering in the air.

Kyle looked around the apartment. Bottles of liquor were scattered around the living room, many of them broken to shards reflecting light coming from the nearby window. Kyle’s green eyes were caught by a bloodstained kitchen knife that lay among the bottles. He turned back to check the wounds. They fit the knife perfectly.

He turned towards the door. It didn’t seem like it was damaged in any way, so it was unlikely that there was another intruder inside besides Alex Gray.

Police caught him near the condo soon after the murder had been reported by the neighbor from apartment no. 109. Outside the apartment in the hallway, Kyle saw Vivian talking to the neighbor. He got up and walked towards her. After thanking the neighbor, she turned around and came face-to-face with Kyle.

“The neighbor said he had been returning home when he had seen Alex run from the apartment. He left the door open, and when the neighbor checked what had happened, he found the body. We are still waiting for the CCTV footage from the staircase, but I’m sure it caught the suspect as well,” Vivian reported.

Kyle just nodded. He closed his notebook and packed it into his bag together with the pen. He started to head back to the station, desperate to question the suspect.

While he was walking through the hallway, another door unlocked behind him. The tall, dark silhouette of a boy appeared in the doorway, clearly confused about what was happening. Vivian gave a wave to Kyle, indicating that she would handle it.

Kyle waved back gratefully and hurried towards the staircase.


“Hello, Alex. I’m Detective Kyle DeVello,” Kyle said, introducing himself.

„We´ll start the interrogation shortly, but first, let me remind you of your rights.“

 Despite getting into the interrogation room shortly after 3AM, Kyle was wide awake with excitement. He was glad Alex had sobered up enough so quickly.

Alex was sitting still, not saying anything, looking at his wrists shackled by a pair of handcuffs.

“First,” started Kyle, “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you-”

“I did it,” interrupted Alex.

“What?” Kyle was shocked by the sudden response.

“I killed him,” repeated Alex, but his voice was hardly audible.

Kyle didn’t believe him. Why would he admit that?

“Are you being threatened?” asked Kyle.

“No,” replied Alex.

“So you admit you murdered Jett North by your own will?”

“Yes.” This time, Alex’s voice was filled with sadness.

“Why did you do that?” asked Kyle incredulously.

“I don’t know. I was so drunk…”

“Then how can you tell?” objected Kyle.

“When I woke up… and saw all of this… I just knew. The feeling.”

“What do you mean?” Kyle was confused by the answer. “Could you explain it?”

Alex remained silent like he had said something he wasn’t supposed to.

“Tell me what happened that evening. First things first, what were you doing in the apartment that night?”

“He invited me. I mean Jett,” started Alex. He started to rub the tattoo on his forearm.

“What was your relationship with him?” asked Kyle.

Alex hesitated a while before he continued.

“He was my best friend.” He took a deep breath.

“We hadn’t seen each other in a while. Since graduation a year ago, to be exact. He wanted to meet up and show me his new apartment. So he invited me over.”

Alex sounded regretful, still gazing at the ground, not giving a single glimpse, like he was ashamed to look up into Kyle’s eyes.

“What did you two talk about?”

Alex froze. He answered nervously.

“I’m not sure. I don’t remember much. It’s all just… blurry. Sometimes, there’s just his voice. Mostly.”

Alex held his head in his arms and ran his fingers through his blonde hair.

“Such a fool! If he had not brought so much to drink…No. It’s not his fault. If I hadn’t drunk that much…”

“What happened then? Did you two have a fight?” asked Kyle, looking at Alex’s bloodstained hands.

“I’m not sure. I remember the screaming and the sound of smashing bottles. The rest is pitch black.”

He finally looked up, meeting Kyle’s eyes. They were full of guilt and sorrow.

“When I woke up, it took me a moment to get things together. But with that knife in my hand… it was clear.” Alex looked back down but continued.

“It’s quite funny, actually. I thought it was some lame nightmare. Until I looked at him, and  he was lying next to me, covered in blood, with those empty eyes. I don’t think I will ever forget that look. And maybe I don’t want to, since I was the one who did this to him.”

“How do you know it was you?” insisted Kyle.


“I WAS THE ONE COVERED IN BLOOD!” shouted Alex. He calmed down but was still shivering. He smirked and shook his head in disbelief.

“I get it now. Karma is, indeed, real. Just arrest me already, detective, so I can get what I deserve.”


“I don’t know, Vivian. What do you think?”

Kyle was trying to sort his thoughts and create an image of what happened.

“I would say guilty,” answered Vivian confidently.

“But why, Vivian? There’s no motive.”

Kyle was glad that a hardworking detective like Vivian had joined him and that’s why he was so disappointed when she had a different opinion.

“Everything fits, Kyle. We have everything – critical evidence, I mean Alex’s fingerprints found on the knife, and the neighbor’s testimony. Now the culprit even gave us a confession.”

“That’s exactly it, Vivian. He can’t remember. His confession is useless.”

Kyle’s mind was running wild-everything was clear, yet he couldn’t stop thinking about the knife. Where did Alex get it? From Jetts kitchen? If that was the case, why was the body in the hallway? And the number of the wounds…

Kyle refused to give up.


Kyle went through Alex’s file again. He looked for any clue showing something was off.

The list of criminal records was quite long, burglaries, assaults and vandalism involved.

And he was never charged with any of that? wondered Kyle.

Each case had the same lead prosecutor, who Kyle knew very well. Together with Vivian, they worked on collecting evidence against him for some time already, since he was known among detectives for taking bribes from rich families in exchange for covering up their crimes. The Gray family was one of them.

Kyle kept on reading.

Way down underneath all the records, he saw a little note, hardly visible. A bullying scandal from a year ago.  Felix Caster suicide case. Another cover-up case, thought Kyle as he was remembering the details.

A year ago, one of the students from Carrington high school jumped off the school’s roof, killing himself. Police appealed for witnesses but found none, and in the end, the case was declared a suicide. Felix left a letter for his family, where he tried to justify his actions. It was confirmed that Felix was bullied by Alex Gray and his friends, but the suit against him was dismissed. Felix’s brother Chance insisted on re-opening the case many times, but was denied every time.

Well, money talks, smirked Kyle.

Suddenly, a new idea appeared inside his head.

Could this be revenge?

Kyle snapped back from his daydreaming and searched for Chance’s address.

Carrington district condoleum no.3, apartment no. 111. It was in the same condo as the one where Jett was murdered. In fact, it was the apartment right next to Jett’s. Kyle put on his coat and headed back to the crime scene.


Kyle left the station without saying a word, but his mind was loud.

Could Chance be involved in the case? When he thought about it, it started to make sense. The CCTV was only on the staircase, so it wouldn’t catch him. He had the opportunity and the motive… but one thing was off. Why kill Jett? His brother was killed by Alex. Did he mess up? It was dark after all, and he was surely killing for the first time. No, that won’t do. If he planned all that, he wouldn’t make a mistake like that.

He pulled out his car keys and unlocked his old black BMW. The fender above the front wheel was a bit rusty. He suddenly remembered his childhood, how he wanted to become a racer, to ride the car chasing for victory, and now… Well, he could at least chase bad guys to bring them to justice. He turned on the engine and headed to the condo.

He walked the stairs to the 10th floor since the elevator was out of service. Before entering the hallway, he looked out of the window. He saw sunbeams shining through the clouds, bringing morning light to Carrington. He was astonished for a while, then he remembered why he was there.

 Kyle turned around and walked through the hallway almost to the end. He stopped by the door with a number 111. What a lucky number, he thought. An angel number. A number which should bring luck and new opportunities. What opportunity did you get, Chance? wondered Kyle.

He knocked on the door.

No one answered.

He knocked again. Nothing. Just when he was about to leave, he heard steps inside. The lock clicked and a tall, black-haired boy opened the door. He looked quite pitiful, a shady look with a pale face and messy hair. When he looked up, Kyle met his tired eyes with dark circles underneath them. 

“Hello,” greeted Kyle carefully, “are you Chance? Chance Caster?”

“Yeah. And you… oh, you must be the detective,” remembered Chance immediately. 

“Detective… DeVello, am I right?” assumed Chance.

Kyle was surprised he knew his name since they had never met, but then he remembered. The silhouette he saw when he was leaving the crime scene.

Vivian had surely talked to him and probably introduced him too.

“Completely right,” nodded Kyle, “Can I come in?”

“Well…” Chance hesitated.

“Just a minute. I’m really tired, so I won’t stay long.” assured Kyle. He wasn’t completely wrong, his eyelids were heavy from tiredness.

“Sure, come in,” agreed Chance. Kyle saw his posture ease up after the confirmation. 

“Do you want some coffee, detective?” asked Chance politely.

“That would be great.” Kyle sat down by the coffee table in the living room. He peaked around the apartment. It looked almost the same as the room next door, except it was crystal-clean, no bottles nor bodies lying on the floor.

Chance sat by the table and put the cup of coffee in front of Kyle, waking him up from his thoughts.

“So, detective, what do you want to talk about?”

“Please, formalities aside. I’m not much older than you, so it would be more comfortable.“

Chance seemed confused, so Kyle added: „What I mean is no detective in each sentence, if you don’t mind.”

“Sure,” agreed Chance with a surprised face.

“It seems like you have a hard time sleeping,” said Kyle, pointing out Chance’s tired appearance. It made him look much older – Kyle guessed Chance is over twenty already, but it was hard to guess.

“A little. You would too if someone was murdered in the apartment next to you. If there was a killer this close. It’s good that he’s already behind bars,” explained Chance.

“Well, not really. That’s what I’m here to talk about.”

“What?” Chance seemed confused.

Kyle took a sip from the cup before he continued.

“I know that my colleague Vivian probably asked it already, but I want to ask you again if you didn’t hear or see anyone that night.”

“Why? Is there something wrong with the case?” pondered Chance.

“Well, I just think there’s something missing.”

“Missing? Like what?” Chace started to panic.

“However I think about it, I can’t find the right motive. Why did Alex do it. Why would he kill his best friend.”

“I heard he was drunk, so…” speculated Chance.

“Yeah, he was completely dead-drunk. He doesn’t remember a thing, only that he woke up and saw the body. Yet he pled guilty,” sighed Kyle.

“Really?” Chance’s eyes widened.

“Hmm.” Kyle shook his head.

“But what is really interesting, he said he knew the feeling”. It started to get in my head. What was he thinking about? So I dug into his past.”

Chance broke eye contact. He stared down on the ground, like his eyes might reveal something.

“I just wonder, Chance, how did you not hear their argument? They must have been pretty loud, after all.”

“Well I… I did hear glass shattering next door. They- they screamed and stuff. But it wasn’t the first time, so I just stood here and ignored it…” blabbered Chance.

“I don’t think that’s the case, Chance.”

“What do you-”

“That was the first time both of them met here, Chance,” interrupted Kyle.

Kyle felt that now is the best time to strike.

“Was it because of Felix?”

Chance looked straight into Kyle’s face, completely  frightened. 



“Leave,” repeated Chance with cold, deep tone in his voice.

“Chance-” insisted Kyle.

Chance jumped up and screamed furiously. “I SAID LEAVE!”

Kyle slowly stood up, directly facing the furious boy.

“Chance, there’s just me and you. You can tell me honestly what happened.”

“No. I left that chapter far in the past,” said Chance, but it sounded like he was convincing himself more than Kyle.

“Did Felix-”

“Don’t you dare say his name!”

“Then tell me what happened.”

Chance stood silent. He stepped in one place nervously.

“Chance, I’m not here as a detective now. Tell me. Tell me before it eats you alive.”

“Do you have a brother, Kyle?” asked Chance suddenly.

“Yeah. Yeah, I do.” answered Kyle carefully.

“Do you love him?” said Chance with tears in his eyes.

“Yes. Yes I do love him very much.” responded Kyle, feeling thorns inside his heart.

“Imagine losing him. Imagine seeing him dead on the ground in front of you, his eyes looking at you, but they don’t see you.”

“Imagine … imagine not being able to be with him. To play with him. To joke with him.

He’s gone, Kyle.” Chance’s voice broke.

He hung his head. 

“And then you see the ones who took him from you walk away freely. Without punishment. Nothing. Because they had money.”

For a moment, Kyle remembered his little brother. He couldn’t think about what he would be able to do in such a situation.

“I tried everything,” continued Chance. “Even after the police closed the case, I asked them to reopen it many times. Denied. Each. Damn.Time.” Chance’s words filled despair and disgust.

“After so long, I let it go. I decided to live with a guilt of not being able to save my brother, not even get revenge for him. I moved on. I really did. I even moved away from my old house, got a new job and started a new life.It was fine, Until that guy moved next door. It can’t even be a coincidence! Both of them met here…”

“So you made up a revenge plan,” interrupted Kyle.


Chance stood silent for a while, unsure if he should continue.

Kyle waited for him to speak up again.

“They were laughing together. Joking together. Because they could,” continued Chance.

“I just couldn’t bear it. I grabbed a knife and went there. I knocked like I was going over for a visit. He opened and I- Well, you know the rest. I killed him. I pierced his heart so he could feel like I did.The other one tried to push me away, but was too weak to do anything. I was in shock, so I hit him with one of the bottles from the ground… Chance seemed to be reliving that moment.

“When I looked at him, I knew I had messed up. I couldn’t believe I had done it. I remembered my mother, how much she had to go through, losing one of her sons. And now she’s lost the other one too…At that moment, I got the idea. I took the knife and put it inside Alex’s hand. I hope he’ll rot in prison for murder this time.”





Kyle was sitting behind his desk and reading his new statement. 

So he was right, after all. Jett didn’t die by Alex’s hand. It was all a part of one big story, thought Kyle. Chance had killed Jett and attempted to kill Alex because of revenge for his brother. In the end, he tried to frame Alex for the murder, but eventually confessed.

Then he closed it. 

Before submitting his new outcome, he remembered the view he saw when he was in the condo. In his memories, he quietly came back to the window, but instead of looking at the sun, he looked down. He always thought about what the victims saw in the last moments of their lives. It sent shivers down his spine as Felix had seen something similar before diving deep into death’s arms. For a while, he thought about who the real victim was.

He looked back at what he had written. And he deleted it.

He thought about it for a long time. Some things… Well, it’s better for them to stay hidden.